There are some home repair projects you can’t put off for too long, even if you’re prone to procrastination. Roof repairs tend to fall in this category. Whether you’re exposed to a full-blown leak or an insidious Chinese drop, you have to address the problem. However, fixing a leaky roof can be tricky and, if you decide to do it yourself, it’s important to proceed with caution.
Here are 7 easy tips for successful roof repair jobs and leak prevention:
We might be stating the obvious, but roof repairs can be risky, so you’ll need to take some extra precautions. Have a friend help you out and always use a harness. Wear rubber sole footwear so you won’t slip. Don’t take unnecessary risks, like trying to do the job as soon as you notice the leak even if it’s pouring or freezing outside.
Find the leak.
In some cases, the source of the infiltration might not be obvious, so you’ll need to start spraying various areas of the roof with a garden hose until you find the spot.
One leak at a time.
Some leaks can be harder to spot, so you will have to play detective and do a process of elimination. Identify all areas which might be responsible for the leak and take them one at a time, replace the shingles and seal the area, and, if the problem persists, you’ll have to move to the next one.
Clean up gutters.
Be sure to clean your gutters on a regular basis, as clogged gutters can lead to water build-up, which in turn can lead to leaks.
Don’t “let it go” all Snow Queen.
Another common cause of drips is ice build-up. A sheet of ice will form under the shingles and, if it reaches the wall line, you’re bound to get condensation and infiltration. You can prevent this by ensuring proper ventilation and setting up ice shields.
Sometimes problems arise because shingles were faulty to begin with or were not nailed down properly and will crack or start sliding around. If you’ve got a leak situation, don’t go for a quick fix. Make sure you get the best materials and you do a thorough job of replacing the shingles, otherwise you’ll get a repeat in no time.
Check the roof boots.
If you’ve eliminated all the “usual suspects” and still can’t find the source of the problem, check the rubber boots on the vents lined up around the roof. These can dry up and crack, leading to a leak. You can easily find a replacement; any local hardware or home improvement provider will have them. All you have to do is take some of the singles apart, pour a fresh tar layer underneath and replace the faulty roof boot.
These are just some of the more common causes for leaks and water infiltration. Bear in mind, however, that DIY roof repairs can be quite an ambitious project. If you’re not the handiest person around the house, it’s probably wiser to start with something smaller and turn to a specialist to have your roof fixed.
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