If you have a leaking roof, it's time to take action. Leaks can cause water damage and mold growth, not to mention the extra money you'll be spending on your energy bill to keep your home warm or cool. Thankfully, fixing a leak is a relatively easy task for most homeowners. Follow these tips to find and fix the source of your leak.
Everyone experiences a leak if they don't pay special attention to inspection and maintenance. However, it can also happen after a heavy-duty storm. Either way, it’s important to take action as soon as you notice leaking, or you may end up with more severe problems over time. The best way to find leaks is by inspecting your ceiling for wet spots or discoloration. Even if the water comes from a specific area, check the rest of the ceiling for similar wet spots. Once you've identified a potential leak area, look at your roof from down below to see if you can spot a patch of missing shingles or an exposed area. If you still haven't found the leak, it's time to get up there with a little help from someone else.
If you're not sure where the leak is, it may help to do a water test. It would be best if you waited for dry weather so that your entire roof and ceilings are dry. Once everything's dry, get your garden hose and run the water along your roof. It's best to do this with someone who'll hold the hose while you're inside the attic looking for the leak. If none of your friends can help or don't feel comfortable climbing that high, call in professionals such as those at Columbus East, OH roofing services to help with the inspection. This is much easier and safer than trying to do it yourself.
Once you've uncovered where the problem is, it's time to fix it before more damage occurs. Always start at the top and work down or water can flow right past your repairs and cause problems on another section. This can be somewhat challenging, depending on the size of your roof. One of the most common causes of leaks is damaged or missing shingles. If your shingles are in poor condition, then it's time to replace them with new ones. Begin at the flashing and work down, removing each section of shingles until you've reached the leak.
Once you have an exposed area, clean it off and apply a generous layer of roofing cement to prevent leaks from occurring again in that section. Next, apply a small strip of shingles along with asphalt caulk before attaching your new shingles. You should start with a new layer of shingles above and below the damaged section and at the top edge of your roof, where it meets the flashing.
If your leak comes from around the chimney, start at the top with a new course of shingles and work down. Make sure to remove damaged shingles completely to have something clean to apply new cement. The flashing shouldn't be too difficult to find or replace, which you should do if it's old and damaged. However, if the flashing was never installed properly, it's best to call in a professional.
If the flashing around your chimney isn't properly fitted, there are some things you can do to secure it yourself before reaching for your toolbox. If you have aluminum or vinyl siding, use small pieces of self-adhesive aluminum flashing and stick them onto your siding. If you're missing the adhesive parts, use roofing nails to attach them like you would with shingles.
Unfortunately, these leaks can be difficult to track down because you'll never see them unless you climb there. However, marking a couple of wet spots will help you find this leak. The only way to find out where the water is coming from is by climbing into your attic. This way, you can check the insulation for any signs of dampness or moldThe most common spots are on the top, at the point where it meets your wall, near a skylight, around a chimney, and in a valley. If the gap is small, you can fix it from inside by drilling holes through each piece of wood before applying some caulking to keep them together.