Sometimes roofs develop leaks years before the entire roof needs replacing. Usually these leaks are caused by localized damage, such as cracked or missing shingles or shakes, or on a flat roof, a blistered or cracked area. The hardest part to repairing this kind of damage is locating it.
In this article, you'll learn helpful tips for finding and fixing leaks on all kinds of roofs, as well as some maintenance suggestions for gutters and vent pipes. Since working on a roof can be a dangerous proposition, be sure to take note of the precautionary tips -- they just might save you from a serious injury.
Let's get started by taking a look at how to repair leaks on shingle roofs.
Shingle roofs are usually easy to fix. At the marked leak point, look for damaged, curled, or missing shingles. At every place where two surfaces meet and around every chimney or vent, look for breaks in the flashing or caulking or for gaps in the lines of roof cement.
If you can't see any damage to the shingles or flashing in the leak area, you'll have to call a professional roofer; the problem may be inadequate flashing or simply deterioration of the shingles.
If you find evidence of shingle problems, repairs are fairly simple. Curled-back shingles can be reattached with asphalt roof cement or compound in tubes for use with a caulking gun. In warm weather, you can easily straighten out the curled shingle. In cold weather, shingles become very brittle and must be softened before they can be flattened out.