A Leaky Roof Doesn't Mean You Have To Replace It

Leaky - Broken Roof

Drip, drip, drip. In addition to being an annoying sound in the middle of the night, it's often the sound you hear when your roof develops a leak. But before you break out your checkbook to deal with a full roof replacement, stop and take the time to determine whether your roof really needs replacing, or whether a repair job will take care of the problem. Here are some things to look at when troubleshooting your roof leak:

Location, Location, Location

Is your roof leaking in the middle of a large flat span, near a dormer or in a valley? The location of your leak can help determine what the problem is. One of the most common locations that leaks develop is where the pitch of the roof changes. If there's a ridge, valley, flashing or sealant near the leak, that should be your first place to consider when you're figuring out what's the problem. If the leak is in the middle of the main area of your roof, you could have damage from debris or high winds. If you're noticing a lot of separate leaks across your roof, it may be time to look at having your roof replaced.

Let's Get Physical

Boots Steping On NailNow that you've had an opportunity to figure out roughly where the leak is happening, it's time to make an inspection of that area. Before you climb up, though, make sure you take care of some safety issues. Wear shoes or boots that have good tread and traction to help prevent slips. If your roof has a high angle, add a safety harness and rope to help prevent falls. Are you working on a metal roof? Make sure it's not dusty or damp, as that will significantly lower your traction.

Once you've climbed up onto the roof, take a good look around. If you have shingles, note if there are any that are missing or have damage to them such as tears or holes that you'll need to replace. Cut out the bad shingle and replace it, being very careful to make sure it seals back against the rest of the shingles. If it's cold, use a hair dryer or heat gun on low to gently heat the area and promote adhesion. If your leak is located near a change in pitch on your roof, take some time to inspect any flashing or sealant. If it's loose or has pulled away from the areas it's supposed to protect, there's a very good chance that's the source of your leak. By repairing the area, you should be able to stop the leak in your roof.

Dig Into the Inside

Man Cutting Pieces For RoofNow that you've figured out whether a repair or replacement is needed, it's time to take the next step. Fixing the leak doesn't mean that you're done yet - you'll need to fix any problems that have been caused inside your home. Take the time to replace any wet drywall or insulation and ensure that any electrical wiring or framing is still in good condition before completing the repair. If you've had some mold growth, you'll want to do a really good job of either ripping out the affected parts or cleaning it well with an alcohol or bleach solution and allowing it to dry out well before sealing the cavity back up.

Now that you've had an opportunity to figure out what you need to do to fix your roofing problem, it's time to start taking action. Do an inspection, figure out how bad the damage is and start making repairs or planning for a replacement. If the project has grown beyond the scope that you're comfortable making repairs on your own, contact a few reputable contractors to get quotes or for further advice on the best way to fix the problem. When you're ready to take action, please contact us for a free quote or to schedule a delivery. We're always happy to help.

GAF Residential Roofing Guide

Photo credit: Eric.Ray / Photo / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: MTSOfan / Source / CC BY-NC-SA

Share this Post:
Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.