Nearly every homeowner will find themselves in need of roof leak repairs at one time or another. Homes located in New York State, in particular, require regular repairs and maintenance due to New York’s long winters and harsh winds.
A number of factors can contribute to a leaky roof, such as damaged shingles, clogged gutters, unwanted moss, and more. The majority of roof leaks begin as minor, unapparent faults in the roofing system that progressively get worse until it requires a costly roof repair. It’s important to monitor your home’s roof and make sure it’s working properly. A damaged roof can easily cause water damage, mold growth, and a slew of structural issues.
A leaky roof should be addressed and repaired as soon as possible, but attempting to make these repairs on your own can be difficult, time-consuming, and dangerous without the proper equipment and know-how.
In this post, we’ll cover how to repair a roof leak and how a reputable roof repair company can help you address common issues – as well as steps you can take to maintain your roof for maximum longevity. Let’s dive into it.
A. Damaged or Missing Roof Shingles
One of the most common roof leak repairs is broken shingles, which can leave your home vulnerable to water damage and other issues. A roof leak repair company will be able to inspect your roof shingles and quickly make any necessary repairs using high-quality materials.
Any damage or leaks on your roof require immediate attention to prevent further issues – like rotting of the sub-roof. If your roof is over 25 years old and has predominately well-worn or damaged shingles, it’s probably time to get a new roof. If it’s newer and in better condition, and you are comfortable working on it yourself, small patches can be repaired.
To repair a small roof leak, you’ll need to first identify which shingles are damaged and need replacing. Look for any shingles that are missing a piece, badly cracked, or peeling.
You’ll need a few key tools on hand; a flat pry bar, a hammer, a caulk gun, roofing nails, replacement shingles, and a tube of roofing sealant. Whether you choose to do this on your own or turn to a professional roof repair company, here is the general process:
- Break sealant strips
Using the flat pry bar, gently separate the sealant strips on the damaged shingle from the roof. You’ll need to also break the sealant strips in the section above the shingle you’re replacing.
- Remove nails
Using your pry bar, carefully remove the nails from the damaged shingle by sliding the pry bar underneath the shingle and prying upward. Once the nail pops up a bit, remove the pry bar and finish pulling the nail from above. You will also need to remove the bottom row of nails from the section above the shingle you’re replacing – this can be done by sliding your pry bar underneath the shingle just as you did with the one above. Note that you will only need to remove the nails on the bottom of this shingle. Once all nails are taken out, the shingle can be removed.
- Placing new shingles
Now that you’ve readied the area for your new shingle, it’s time to put it in place. Starting below where it should rest, lay the shingle down and slide it upward and underneath the shingle above. Once it is tightly in place and lined up, you’ll need to secure the new shingle with roofing nails. Make sure when placing (and replacing) nails that they will be under the tab of the shingle above. No nails should be exposed.
- Seal shingle tabs
You’ll need to seal the shingles you’ve worked on to complete your roof leak repair. Using the asphalt sealant, draw a bead across the sealant tabs of all loose shingles. Keep in mind that it is particularly important that you do this step on the above shingle that wasn’t replaced, as the old sealant strip was broken and will not reseal on its own.
Fixing shingle roof leaks is a delicate process. Any mishaps can potentially lead to more damage down the road. Unless you’re 100% confident in your handyman skills, it’s recommended to leave it to a professional.
B. Roof Leaks
A leaky roof left untreated can lead to a host of problems that will cost a homeowner a significant amount. The best way to avoid these costly large-scale repairs is to maintain the integrity of a roof by quickly fixing minor issues as they arise.
To effectively maintain your roof and repair a roof leak, you’ll need to identify the issues and address the underlying cause – whether it’s damaged or missing flashing, skylight seal problems, or something else.
An experienced roof leak repair company will have the expertise and know-how necessary to quickly identify the source of your roof leak, make any repairs, and help you take steps to prevent future leaks.
C. Clogged Gutters
Damaged or clogged gutters can easily cause a leaky roof and should be addressed as soon as possible. Clogged gutters will allow water to back up to your roofing system. This can rot out fascia boards and let moisture into your home. During the winter months in New York, damaged or clogged gutters can cause ice dams to build up that will drive snowmelt underneath shingles and allow water inside the house.
Just like a leaky roof, clogged gutters can cause mold in your home, rotted framing, destroyed insulation, and damaged ceilings. It’s essential to maintain a properly functioning gutter system.
A roof leak repair company will have the tools and expertise to diagnose any gutter-related issues and quickly perform fixes as needed.
D. Tips for Maintaining Your Roof
To keep your roof in good condition and prevent costly repairs, it’s important to take the time to maintain it properly.
Here are some easy tips to help you keep your roof in good shape.
Trim Back Overhanging Branches and Debris
Touching or overhanging tree limbs can scrape and scratch shingles and other roofing materials, which can lead to early peeling, curling, and shingle loss. Close branches can cause flying debris that damages your roof, so it’s important to regularly trim any nearby branches.
Check for Signs of Damage or Wear
A damaged or worn roof can lead to leaks and other issues, so it’s important to inspect your roof regularly for any signs of damage. We recommend taking a lap around your house (from the ground) at least once a month to check for any signs of damage. In addition, it’s important to inspect your roof following any high winds or snowstorms.
Keep your eye out for missing shingles, foreign debris on the roof, and any shingles that are lifting, loose, or curling.
Schedule Yearly Inspections
To help ensure that any potential warning signs are caught before they become major problems, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional at least once a year.
It’s well worth it to have a trained eye take a look at your roof to identify any areas that may need roof leak repairs. A yearly inspection doesn’t cost much and can save you big if any issues slipped past your notice.
The peace of mind, knowing that your roof is fully functional, will be worth it!
When it comes to the quality of your roof and the safety of your home, you don’t want to take any chances. If your roof springs a leak, you should take immediate action. Contacting a professional service is the best option. There’s no need to let roof damage get you down – with the right care and attention, your leaky roof can be as good as new.
Whether you need roof leak repair services or you’re looking for a professional to inspect your roofing system, William C. Rott Roofing is here for you. Call now or send us a message for assistance with roof repairs, roof replacement, or improvements. Buffalo’s best roofing company has your back.