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Some DIY Tips for Repairing a Roof
by Weng Jauod on Aug 24, 2017
A small leak in the roof can be one the most disastrous events in the home owner’s life, especially if it is ignored.
Water damage is silent and insidious and causes multiple forms of secondary damage if it is not identified and repaired quickly.
Cracks in windows and chips in flooring can all be covered over for looking at later.
A roof leak does not enjoy the same time considerations.
Water can erode, rot or simply even cause the entire collapse of parts of a home.
There are different signs that may indicate that there is a leak in the roof.
Arguably the most common are staining on the ceiling.
Should staining appear and begin to rapidly spread then urgent intervention may be necessary even.
It is advisable to ignore any consideration to wait until the summer in the event of quickly spreading water stains.
Climbing about on the top of a roof to find a leak can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t take precautions.
Be sure to wear rubber soled footwear and use a harness to keep yourself secure.
In fact, when you’re investigating a leak, a harness inside the roof isn’t a bad idea either.
There is always a possibility of unseen rot giving way underneath you as you explore the extent of any damage.
The golden rule of always having a buddy with you applies to anything you do on a roof.
Apart from having someone to help, there’s always a second person in the case of an emergency or an accident.
Don’t leave it until the summer
Once you notice that there are signs of water ingress, either by stains on walls or ceilings, you may discover that there is a lack of ventilation to the attic or notice growth of moss or algae on the roof.
If you see some flashing or boots on the roof looking ragged or worn, these are early signs of a leak.
Do not ignore them
Every day that a leak exists in your roof, you could be a hundred dollars poorer for the unseen, underlying damage it is causing.
Spray the roof
Start by spraying the roof with water.
On the outside, you may be able to see where the water is disappearing rather than just washing off into the gutter.
Have a buddy on the inside look for where the water is coming in. based on where the original stains are you may have an idea where to start, but don’t be fooled.
Water follows the path of least resistance so the point of entry on the top of the roof may not be close to where the water settles.
Check for dry rot
Ironically dry rot does not come from too much water, but rather from lack of air.
Areas of the roof may be in spaces where there is little or no ventilation.
Dry rot can often be identified by the roof sagging and shingles becoming brittle and cracking.
Once this sets in, roof components will just crumble allowing the elements in.
To combat this, place a vent in areas where ventilation is poor or that already have a history of dry rot.
Prevent ice build up
In the winter, ice will build up wherever there is sufficient moisture to freeze.
This means that ice can build up under the roof membranes, shingles, and gutters. It will build up all the way to the wall line where the house is heated and creates a drip.
To prevent this, ensure that there is sufficient ventilation. Installing ice shields will enable run off preventing this problem.
Repair/replace roof boots, flashing and ice damping
The moment any damage to the boots surrounding ventilation and heating pipes is noticed, get it repaired.
The few dollars that it costs you to repair these classic points of water ingress will save you hundreds in major water damage bills.
Inspect the roof materials
At least on annual basis, but this is better done seasonally, check the materials on the roof.
Make sure that the shingles still sit well, are secure and firmly in place, with no cracks.
Badly placed shingles will push up and begin to look distorted. Better to replace one bad shingle than an entire roof frame internally.
Look for the leaks
Sometimes leaks can be found before they become obvious.
Check the valleys – the place where two parts of the roof come together. These are high-risk areas and leaks often occur at the join.
The same goes for any place where flashing or boots are part of the roof. It’s easy enough to seal up a simple gap or replace a boot for a few dollars.
By inspecting the roof seasonally, you will be able to identify any potential problems before they happen and quickly pinpoint an issue when one does arise.
Keep the roof algae and moss free, and clean the gutters as often as possible.
These little tasks will prevent a major roof refurbishment before its time.
If you need help in repairing your roof to avoid leaks and further damage, you can call a certified roof repair professional to do the job for you.
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