How to Patch a Roof

A leaky roof represents a lot of work and hassle, and left alone, it can culminate in catastrophe. The last thing you want is to have a leak letting water through.

You need the means to resolve a leak, and the sooner you can do it, the better. Patching a roof is usually not the most difficult job imaginable. It’s work, and it requires patience, but when you know the basics, you can get through it. This tutorial will walk you through the essentials of patching a roof. While you’re reading, keep in mind that not all leaks are created equal. If you’re ever unsure about your ability to patch the roof, or it needs urgent repair, skip the lesson and call a professional right away.

Find the Leak

The very first step in roof repair is finding the problem. More often than not, you’ll know you have a leak because you’ll see it in your ceiling. Minor leaks will create water stains on the ceiling drywall. If those appear, you have a leak that needs your attention.

Finding the source of the leak can be harder than it might seem — especially when it comes to shingle roofs. The simple fact is that the leak you see in the ceiling will rarely line up neatly with the faulty part on top of the roof. They’ll usually be in the same general vicinity of each other, but insulation and things in your attic can give the water a winding path before it shows up on your ceiling.

Most of the time, the leak will be identifiable by clearly compromised shingles. They might be curled, missing, or clearly cracked. If the damage is not obvious, then you can get in the attic with a flashlight and look for the source of the leak. This works best after a good rain, but you can also run a hose on the roof to try to find the problem.

Repair the Damage

Once you know where the problem originates from, you can repair it. If the leak is from a damaged shingle (or shingles), you need to replace them in order to plug the hole. Sometimes, this requires a few quick shingle replacements and isn’t too bad. Other times, the patch can be more complicated, especially if it is around roof fixtures instead of just damaged shingles.

Shingle replacement is fairly straightforward. Pull up the bad shingles and nail new shingles into their place. Be sure to use properly coated roofing nails when you do this work. It prevents maintenance problems down the road.

Patching around roof fixtures is more complicated. It will usually require the use of sealant, and you may have to install new flashing.

Restore the Ceiling

After you fix the roof, you are not done yet. Leaks can create varying levels of damage on your ceiling and in your attic. Now that the leak is resolved, it’s worth your time to fix the interior damage. If the ceiling is lightly stained from water damage, a few coats of paint will suffice. If the drywall was soaked enough, you’ll need to patch the damaged section.

As for the attic, the most common problem is with insulation. When insulation gets soaked, it can lose its integrity. It can also grow mold and/or mildew. Any insulation that was drenched in water should be thrown out and replaced. Any insulation that remained dry is fine to keep.

Getting Help With Complicated Patch Jobs

Plenty of patch jobs are safely in the DIY level of repair, but if they ever get complicated, it’s best to get help as early as possible. For specialized roofs, you’ll need experts from the start. Metal roofs and roofs with coatings don’t have simple fixes. Instead, they require specialized tools and know-how to manage. Even with shingle roofs, some areas are hard to safely access. Or it might just be too much trouble to do it yourself. In any case, professional help is always available. When you want the best for your roof, contact Alpine Roofing Construction. We’ve been fixing and installing roofs in the Dallas area for more than 20 years, and we’ll be happy to take care of yours. We work on residential and commercial roofing, and we’re versed in all kinds of roofing materials. We’ll make short work of your patch job and ensure that it is done to the highest quality. Contact us today to get out there and fix your roof.

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