We looked at about twenty houses before we settled on our current home. We fell in love with every aspect of the house. The beautiful French doors, the sliding glass doors in the living room and kitchen, the large deck, two car garage, new roof, new windows and water heater that was only a few years old. The only problem was that even though the roof was new there was a leak in my son’s room. We had no idea where it could be coming from. The roof was brand new, the sheathing underneath was attached correctly and the shingles around the area were perfectly placed. How was the water leaking in and ruining the ceiling to his bedroom?
I knew from examining the roof that it was not coming through the shingles. The spot around where it was leaking into the room was perfectly shingled. The next step was to examine the flashing since I knew with a new roof there was no possibility of a shingle that had deteriorated. The next rain we had I went up into the attic to see if I could see where it was dripping in. Instead I found a little beam of light at the top of the roof where the vent was. I could see the water coming in and draining down the truss right into the drywall that covered my sons ceiling.
Discovering the source of the roof leak was only half the battle repairing it was the other. I decided that the issue was relatively minor and that I could proceed by fixing it on my own. I went out a purchase tar caulk. After letting the roof dry from the previous night’s rain I went on top of the roof and tarred around the vent and flashing. I then went inside to the attic and caulked the area where it was coming in. That sealed the roof leak and so far the fix has lasted three years.
I know that not all households are as lucky as we were in discovering the source of the leaky roof and being able to fix it in a relatively affordable manner. If you have a shingled roof and you discover a leak it is imperative that you find and fix it immediately. Where you see the leak occurring from on the inside is the first place you will begin your search for damage on your roof. Look for noticeable damage to the roof and shingles. Are the shingles missing or curled? Examine all places on the roof that meet. For instance, vents and the chimney should all meet without gaps or breaks between the flashing and the shingles and the vent. All roof cement or tar should not contain cracks or gaps. A minor hole, such as ours, can cause considerable damage to your homes ceiling.
Repairing a shingle if you do find that one is damaged is pretty easy. When curling of the shingles occurs you will need to take roof cement and place the curled end down again. Make sure only to attempt this when the shingles are warm. Warming a shingle in cold weather should only be done with extreme caution. It requires using a propane torch with a flame spreader end. Heat it up just enough to curl the end down and then spread a good amount of roof tar down and place the shingle.
Professional roofers, contractors, and handymen will all be more than happy to help you with this if you are unable to do it on your own. I know going on the roof is not a favorite activity for most homeowners and should only be done when accompanied by someone who can help you if issues should arise while you are working on repairing your roof leak. I always wear long sleeves and pants when doing any roof repair. You never know when you are going to stumble upon a bees nest rough shingles.