One of the first problems that arise when trying to remedy a roof leak is finding out where it is. Not just where the water is actually dripping into your home, but finding the source of the roof fault that is allowing the water to come in. Water comes in through worn, broken, or missing shingles; worn out nails that have worked loose; through corroded or poorly sealed roof flashing around vents, skylights, or chimneys; or along the intersections of roof planes. With the all the ways your roof can leak, it may be hard to find a quick solution without finding the source first.
How to Find Roof Leaks
To begin, look up from where the stain is. Roof penetrations are one of the most common sources of leaks. By simply identifying and replacing a broken shingle, you not only save time and money but are also able to solve your leaks quickly and without the need of exterior help. If you have an access to your attic, you can easily track down the leak with a flashlight. But if access is a problem, you’ll have to go up onto the roof itself and begin finding a solution.
A practical trick that you can employ requires a simple garden hose and someone kind enough to help. Isolate areas of your roof and start soaking each area for a few minutes at a time. Start just above where the leak or water stain is, then work your way around the area. On the inside, your helper should be alert to the moment the water starts penetrating into your home, and quickly alert you so you can identify the area of the leak and begin finding a solution.
How To Repair Roof Leaks
There are a number of different solutions, but it will always depend on what the cause is.
- Small leaks, for example, are usually caused by what is known by roofers as ‘shiners’. Shiners are nails that were, by some error, incorrectly nailed and missed the framing member. Moisture from the rooms below can frost these nails and cause them to look white. The solution is to simply clip the nail with side-cutting pliers.
- Larger leaks can happen around chimneys. When the flashing around your chimneys becomes loose, the simple fix is to simply add a bit of concrete and press it back into place.
These two examples are just to show the ways in which leaks can be repaired when properly identified. For larger projects, you may have to employ the help of a professional.