Roof Repair – How to Spot Flaws in Your Roofing System

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense. If it’s not in tip-top shape, everything inside is vulnerable to whirlwinds and tornadoes alike.

Roof Repair

Regularly inspecting your roof and attic for trouble spots is well worth the time. Then, if you have to, you can perform basic repairs on your own without hiring a pro.

Just as a missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle leaves an obvious hole in the cover, missing roof shingles leave a major flaw in your roofing system. Fortunately, this problem is often easy to spot and relatively inexpensive to repair.

A missing shingle doesn’t always cause a leak but exposes your roof to the elements. The felt under the shingle may repel some water, but it will deteriorate faster than the asphalt, allowing water to seep through.

If the missing shingle was over a seam, the exposed section may leak. But even if the shingle was not over a seam, it will still allow water to seep under other shingles, potentially causing rot and mold in your attic.

You can replace a missing shingle by climbing on your roof and pulling out the old one with a pair of hand shears or pliers. Then, locate a bundle of three-tab shingles that matches the pattern of your existing shingles. Obtain a ladder, position it in a safe location and climb to the area where the missing shingle was. Before starting, make sure the weather is clear and dry.

Use your pry bar to lift the course of shingles that covers the area where the shingle was. This will expose the row of nails that secured the shingle. Pull out the nail and any debris that is lingering.

Move down the course of shingles until you reach the spot where the missing shingle was. Using your pry bar, lift up the section of shingles above the damaged/missing shingle and remove the remaining nails.

Repeat this process for the other two rows of shingles that hold down the missing shingle. Then, slide the new shingle into place, nailing it securely and covering any nail holes with roofing cement. With these simple steps, you can replace a missing shingle and help prevent future damage to your home’s attic or structural integrity. This is a simple and affordable roof repair that most homeowners can do themselves, but if you are concerned about climbing on your roof or are not familiar with this type of roofing system, it is best to contact an experienced professional.

Cracked Shingles

Small cracks in shingles don’t seem like much of an issue at first glance, but left unaddressed, they can lead to more serious problems. This is because they allow moisture to penetrate the roof sheathing, causing further damage. Fortunately, repairing cracked shingles is easy. All it takes is a little roofing sealant.

First, remove any shingle that is not damaged (you can usually do this by sliding the pry bar under the shingle directly above it and gently lifting it to free it). Raise the shingle tabs and nail them back down with galvanized roofing nails (like these 2-inch options), hammering against the pry bar placed on the nailheads. Then, slide the new shingle under the overlapping tabs and into place. Nail it down with the same roofing nails and spread a little more roof cement on top to help glue it in place. Be sure to round the back corners of the shingle so that it doesn’t protrude over other shingles.

Now, if you have any shingle granules that aren’t damaged, scrape them into a cup and cover the new sealant with it. This will camouflage the repair so that no one will know it was ever there.

Finally, if you have any gaps in the eaves caused by ice damming (which occurs when heat leaking into an attic melts snow on the roof, which then refreezes down to the cold overhangs), fill those gaps with some caulking or shingle sealant. This will also protect against rainwater entering your home through the gap.

Although it’s relatively simple to replace a shingle, a roofing contractor is the best option for fixing more serious issues. So if you have a shingle leak, call a roofer to schedule a roof repair ASAP. This can save you both time and money in the long run, as a leaky roof can cause significant structural damage over time if it’s not addressed promptly. And, of course, it can also save you a lot of headaches! So make sure to schedule a roof inspection with your local roofers.

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is the metal strips that are installed anywhere your roof meets another surface, such as chimneys or other walls on the house. It is designed to redirect water from these crevices and prevent leaks. Without flashing, or when it is damaged, a roof can develop serious leaks that can cause damage within the home, such as water stains and mold.

It is possible to repair flashing, but the repairs will likely need to be extensive if the flashing has been exposed to weather elements for a long time. It is normal for flashing to get damaged by repeated exposure to weather elements, such as heat and UV rays. This can lead to rust spots and corrosion that can eventually eat through the metal. It is also common for flashing to become damaged by a fall or by being pried from the roof by a fallen tree branch or other debris.

These types of problems can be difficult to detect, but they are important to fix. If you notice any of the above signs, you should arrange for a roof inspection. It is important to catch these issues early, before they lead to a major leak in your home and expensive repair bills.

If you notice any water stains on the ceiling, you should immediately engage a professional roofing contractor to inspect the roof. This is because water stains on the ceiling are the first sign that your roof is leaking. It is important to note that leaks can be caused by a variety of factors, including old age, poor roof maintenance, and general wear and tear.

The most common type of roof leak is caused by faulty flashing. Leaks around the flashing can be very difficult to detect, especially if they are small and slow to show up on the ceiling. A professional roofer can replace the affected sections of flashing to protect your home from the dangers of a leaking roof.

It is important to have your roof flashing repaired as soon as possible when it becomes damaged. This is because it can allow water to flow through unprotected crevices and damage the structure of your home. A leaking roof can lead to wet insulation, wood rot in the joists and framing of your home, and damage to other rooms.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are perhaps the most insidious and expensive of all roof problems, causing rotting and other structural damage inside the home. They can also lead to drywall collapse, carpet padding and wood flooring failure and mold growth. Water leaks from the roof can show up as water stains on ceilings, around light fixtures and outlets or in the form of damp walls. They can even cause a spike in your water usage which you may notice on your utility bill.

Finding the source of a leak can be difficult and requires some detective work. Water stains on the ceiling are often the most obvious, but you can also spot them in the attic or crawlspace. Water leaks can also saturate insulation, creating dark areas on the attic floor or wet spots in the rafters. Look for discolored felt paper or rotted wood directly under the leak and around its source. You can also detect a musty smell which indicates the presence of mold.

If you suspect a leak, first try to pinpoint its location by using a garden hose to simulate rain. Begin at the area closest to the leak in your house and move the hose up the roof to soak specific areas. As the hose moves up the roof, listen for the sound of dripping water and mark the area where you hear it. If the leak appears in your attic or crawlspace, you can use a ladder to inspect the area. Look for wet shingles or wood, and make sure to check the areas around vent pipes, dormers and roof-pitch transition points.

Leaks can also happen in the valleys of a roof, where two slopes meet in a V shape. Water will flow into the valley and can get under shingles if the flashing has been damaged or is missing entirely. Look for loose or missing flashing, as well as a lack of shingle caulking at the junctures of the valley and where it meets the fascia board.

Helen Foss