What If I Can’t Find The Leak?
If you can’t find the leak in your roof you will need to cover it quickly with some plastic roof covering. This also goes for homes where there is no attic or attic access. Follow these steps to protect your home if you can’t do a temporary patch.
Buy & Prep The Roof Plastic
You likely don’t keep roof plastic just hanging out in a closet. So, you’ll have to head to the hardware store or call for help. Plastic roof covering comes in 4-foot rolls of polyethylene. Buy some and head home to get it placed on your roof. You’ll also need some 8-foot 2×4’s to act as anchors for your roof covering.
Cut The Plastic To Length
You’ll want to unroll the plastic with a little more length to run from the top of the roof (the ridge) to the edge of your roof (the eave). Don’t unfold your covering yet and cut it to length with a utility knife. You can use one of your 2×4’s as a guide to make the cut as straight as possible. Once it is cut to length you will unfold it to make a section that is long enough for your roof, and about 8 feet wide.
Attach The Cover To 2x4s
Roll one of the ends around an 8 foot 2×4 and use a utility staple gun to attach it to the wood. Take a second 2×4 to and sandwich the plastic between them, then nail the 2×4’s together. Do the same thing on the other end of your plastic roof covering to finish preparing your cover.
Place The Cover On The Roof
It should go without saying that safety comes first and if there’s lightning, you don’t have the ability, or the right equipment to get this done; you should be calling for emergency roof repair. If you’ve got rubber soled shoes, a saw to cut the 2×4’s, a ladder, and some courage to jump on your roof take your cover up there and set one pair of the 2×4’s over the ridge and then stretch the rest to go down to the eave.
Repair a Leak in Your Roof
When you suspect that your roof is leaking, the time to act is now, not later. If weather permits and you have safe access to the roof, jump on this issue before other areas of your home are damaged. If the roof is icy, wet, covered in leaves, or otherwise unsafe, call in a roofing company. They have harnesses and other safety equipment that permit them to walk on unstable roofing surfaces.
- Locate General Area of Leak
The leak may first announce itself to you in the form of obvious symptoms like ceiling spots, ceiling paint bulges, an attic that smells unusually moldy, or wet walls. Keep this area in mind when you access the attic.3
- Pinpoint Drip Point
Crawl in the attic with a strong light above the identified leak area. Use easily identifiable geography to help you find the location, using landmarks such as the chimney or certain corners of the house.
Train your eye upward from the leak area below. A laser level’s plumb feature is especially helpful, as it will force you to look vertical from the leak. In fact, the level’s red dot will exactly locate the drip point.
This is where the leak is dripping, but not necessarily where water is passing through the roof. Entry points tend to be higher up on the roof. The entry point may even be several feet high up on the roof.4
- Test Leak Location
While you remain in the attic, have a partner run a water hose onto the roof and turn on the water above the leak location. It may take up to an hour for spots to form on the underside of the roof. The actual entry point will be towards the top of this spot, farther up toward the peak of the house.5
- Remove Shingle
With your ladder, access the roof. Use a flat pry bar to remove the damaged shingle. Carefully slide it out. Be sure not to damage neighboring shingles.
- Replace Shingle
Slide in a new shingle. Coat roofing nails with roofing adhesive before driving them into place.6
Maintaining and repairing your roof on a regular basis is truly the “stitch in time” that just might save you from costly roof replacement in the future.
Roof Maintenance Tips You Need to Know
The roof protects you and your home from all kinds of weather, bugs, animals and falling debris. Yet we rarely think about the roof until it’s too late—and then it can be a big investment. Since your roof can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance, here are some things you can do to help extend the life of your home’s roof.
Twice a year (spring and fall) do a visual, from-the-ground inspection. Look for these problem areas.
Lifting or missing shingles
Damaged drip edge
Buckling, loose or missing flashing
Missing or exposed fasteners
Sagging or broken gutters
Piles of granules
Clean the gutters.
Call in an expert to clean your gutters a few times a year — and especially before a big storm. Otherwise, water can back up and rot the fascia.
Trim the trees.
One good storm can send branches crashing into your roof. Trim overhanging tree limbs.
Look for moss and algae.
You can help prevent moss and algae growth by doing the following.
- Keep your attic properly ventilated
- Remove debris
- Trim overhanging branches
Re-caulk, if necessary.
If a low-grade caulking was used during the roof installation, flashings may not hold their seal. Call in an expert if you think the caulking needs a refresh .
Check the insulation.
Proper insulation and ventilation in your attic can help keep your roof in good condition by preventing ice dams from forming and reducing moisture.
Roof Flashing Repair
If you are fixing flashing, pry up the nails used to secure it once you locate the source of the leak. Lift any shingles out of the way (be careful not to damage them) and remove the damaged piece. Replacing flashing may mean removing several rows of singles as well as the old flashing. If you don’t have extra shingles be careful during the removal process so you can use them again.
Put the new flashing in its place and fasten it with roofing nails using the pattern of your old piece. Apply a coating of roofing sealant to the nail heads to make them even more weather-resistant. If the damaged flashing is over a vent or pipe, you will want to replace the collar or boot as well.
Depending on the size of the job, replacing flashing and/or other barrier pieces usually costs a few hundred dollars. Although you may be tempted to just reseal the existing flashing using caulking or roof cement, this solution to your leaky roof will not last as long as replacing the flashing. You should only do this if you are planning on replacing the roof soon.
If the flashing around your chimney has minor damage you should be able to replace it as well, but if the chimney mortar is also deteriorating, you will probably want to hire a professional
Tips for Replacing Your Roof
- Do Not Re-roof
Many people want to save money by putting new shingles or roofing material over the existing roof. This is known as re-roofing roofing over. Sure, it might save money in the short term on disposal and labor costs, but you could be missing some big problems that are only revealed when uncovering the underlying deck.
- Repair Wood Under Your Shingles
A vital part of professional roof replacement is fixing any damage to the underlying wood. A reputable roofing and siding company will remove your shingles and fix any damage to the deck.
- Roof Size Does Matter
The size or your roof, of course, plays a major role in the cost of roof replacement and roof repair in Augusta GA. Your roofing and siding company will measure your roof and determine how much material is needed to complete the job.
- Ventilation Counts
Proper ventilation contributes your roof’s longevity because it regulates attic temperatures and reduces moisture buildup. All South Roofing will ensure your roof is ventilated correctly so it lasts as long as possible.
- Don’t Get Blown Away
When deciding what type of material to use and how to warrantee the work, wind speed is taken into consideration, especially in places prone to severe weather.