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How to Fix a Leaky Roof

Often times, however, a handy homeowner can take matters into their own hands and take the DIY repair route.

Although patching up a leaky roof may seem like a daunting task, most minor roof leaks can be easily fixed, even for those with minimal DIY experience. Use the following guide to quickly and easily repair a leaky roof, without calling up the pros.

If You Have a Shingle Roof

Most Canadian homes have roofs made of asphalt shingles – luckily, these are the easiest types of roofs to repair:

What You Will Need:

  • New asphalt shingles
  • Asphalt roof cement
  • A prybar
  • A hammer
  • Roofing adhesive
  • Roofing nails

What to Do:

  1. If you notice a leak in your asphalt shingles roof, make note of the leak’s location, and check for damage in the roof material that’s directly above the this location.
  2. While you inspect the area near the leak, look for curled, damaged, or missing shingles and exposed roofing tacks.
  3. Straighten any curled shingles – in cold weather, you can do this with an electric hair dryer.
  4. After you’ve straightened the curled shingle, reattach it using asphalt roof cement around the exposed edges.
  5. If you find damaged shingles, replace these by lifting the damaged shingle, making sure to pull the nails out completely.
  6. Then, using a pry bar, lift the tab directly above the damaged area.
  7. Cut your new shingle to the appropriate length, and then slide it into position.
  8. Fasten the shingle into place using roofing nails.
  9. Using roofing adhesive, coat the head of each nail, then press the new shingle into place.

If You Have a Flat Roof

While repairing a flat roof may be slightly more complicated than replacing a damaged shingle, with the right tools and some patience, you can successfully patch up your flat roof in a few steps:

What You Will Need:

  • A flat-roof roller,
  • A brush
  • Scissors
  • A roof primer and patching system

What to Do:

  1. First off, make sure that the conditions are right for your flat roof repair – conditions must be dry for this technique to work.
  2. Locate the damaged area in your roof.
  3. Then, brush away any loose material to make sure the area is clean and ready to be patched up.
  4. Next, apply your primer to the damaged area, making sure that it overlaps onto the undamaged roof area around – roof primer and patching systems come in different varieties, and manufacturer’s instructions differ slightly. Be sure to read instructions carefully.
  5. If instructions require you to wait for the primer to dry, be sure to do so.
  6. Retrieve your patching material, and cut it to the appropriate size.
  7. Remove the self-adhesive patch from the plastic, then cover the damaged area, once more making sure it overlaps onto undamaged roof around it.
  8. After applying the patch, smooth it out by hand, then with a flat-roof roller.

If You Have a Leak In Connections

After you’ve repaired and replaced any damaged shingles, or patched up any holes in your flat roof, it’s wise to inspect your flashings and connections to ensure there are no damaged areas allowing for leaks:

What You Will Need:

  • A new tube of caulking
  • A putty knife

What to Do:

  1. Examine the areas of your roof where any surfaces connect, including vent pipes and chimneys.
  2. If you find damaged caulking, re-apply caulk to these areas.
  3. First, remove old and damaged caulking using a putty knife.
  4. Then, clean the area, and allow it to dry.
  5. Using a tube of new caulk, spread caulking along the same line.
  6. Use an applicator to work the caulk into cracks, then let it dry.

How to Fix a Leaky Roof

From dripping faucets to cracks in foundation, homeowners know that minor home repairs are a reality of life. Sometimes, the help of a trained professional is necessary.