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How To Fix My Roof: 5 Effective Tips
A leak, no matter how small, can damage your home. If it is not fixed for a long time, it can lead to mould growth, which is potentially dangerous to health. It is why your top priority should always be to identify the source of the roof leak and get it fixed as quickly as possible.
If you have always asked yourself ‘how can I fix my roof?’ you should follow the five steps below:
1. Identify the Signs of a Roof Leak
The sound and sight of dripping water are the first signs of a leaking roof. However, there are other signs you can discover whether it is raining or not. They include:
– Warped or missing shingles
– Bulging patches on the interior walls
– Spots on the exterior walls
– Water stains on the ceiling
– Musty odours in some rooms
Any of the signs above can point to a potential leak somewhere in the roof. Unfortunately, where you first notice the signs of the leak might not tell you where it is. You will thus have to do further investigation for this.
2. Check the Attic for leaks
To find your roof leak, you need to get a torch and climb up into the attic. Watch your step when you’re up there to avoid putting a hole through the ceiling. You will be searching for water stains, black marks, or mould growth along the roof sheathing and rafters.
Small water stains are sometimes caused by exposed nails. Once moisture from the floor below comes into contact with the cold air in the attic, it condenses on the nail during the night and melts during the day once it warms up. You can fix this easily using a pair of pliers to clip the nail below its head.
3. Make It Rain
If the quick inspection doesn’t yield any results when it comes to finding the roof leak, you need to make it rain. You need an assistant to stay inside the house close to the spot where the leak was first noticed. Then, go up the roof and soak the roof using a garden hose one section at a time. Your assistant should notify you once they see a drip.
Slowly move from one section of the roof to the next, taking several minutes in each section. This approach helps you narrow down the source of the leak. If your assistant sees a drip but is unable to identify the exact spot it is coming from, you can tear up the shingles in the suspected area. You will quickly find evidence in the form of water stains and rotting wood.
4. Fixing Roof Repairs Where You Can
Depending on the location of the roof leak, you can do many potential fixes yourself if you have the right tools and knowledge. If you want to know the answer to the question ‘how can I fix my roof?’, here are a few tips to help you out:
Fix the Pipe Boots: A damaged pipe boot can allow water in where it should not be. You can easily find replacements at your local hardware store. If the existing boot is not too worn out, you may simply have to replace the screws to keep water from seeping in through the screw holes.
Reapplying Caulk Around Window Edges, Vents, and Chimneys: If you discover a leak in any of the areas, you can replace the caulk or apply some sealant. Doing this fills in any gaps and helps you get rid of the leak.
Replacing Damaged Shingles: If the source of the leak is a damaged shingle, you should remove the nail that’s holding it in place then scrape up any roofing cement that remains. Next, take the replacement shingle, apply some fresh roofing cement, and nail it over the exposed area.
5. Call a Professional Contractor for Complex Leaks
Roof leaks can be beyond DIY fixes or may involve serious structural damage to the roof. If this is the case, you need to find a trusted local roofing contractor as quickly as possible. A professional can evaluate the extent of the leak and provide you with repair estimates. The solutions to the more complex roof problems include:
– Total roof replacement
– Installation of heat cables
– Replacement of roof flashing
It generally not advisable to go the DIY route especially when it comes to complex roof repairs due to the following reasons:
Quality of Repair: You lack the training to do the job properly. In contrast, a professional roofing contractor has the training and experience to handle virtually any type of roofing issue possible. Performing the wrong repairs can translate to additional problems such as mould growth and leaks that cost you more in the long run.
Safety Reasons: You are not a trained roofing contractor, which means that going up to your roof to perform the repairs puts you in a dangerous situation. Professional roofing contractors are specially trained to make sure that they never injure themselves on the job. They are also equipped with the right safety gear, which allows them to move freely without the need to risk their safety.
Warranty Protection: Manufacturers usually indicate that if any work on the roof is performed by someone other than a professional roofing contractor, the warranty will be voided. If you do roof repairs yourself, you will not only be putting yourself and your home in danger, but you also risk voiding the warranty that protects your investment.
The Bottom Line
If you have always wondered ‘how can I fix my roof?’, you now know exactly how to go about it. However, you should avoid DIY roof repairs especially for major damage since it is almost always not worth the effort. Instead, you should consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to comply with the health and safety regulations and comply with your insurance provider.