As frustrating as it may be to hear, even the tiniest roof leak can result in significant damage to your home. Your home is a huge investment, so it’s vital to locate and rectify the problem as soon as it’s detected. The good news? According to Dallas roofers, a large majority of roof leaks can be easily repaired. Here’s the inside scoop on how to identify and fix a leaky roof.
Identify the Root Cause
Before you can grab your tool kit and start repairing your roof, you need to identify where the leak is originating from. Water generally tends to seep into your home through fixtures, like chimneys, vents, or dormers. Keep in mind that the exact source of the leak may not be directly above the visible signs you’ve located in your home - it could be several feet away from the actual origin point. If you cannot find the cause it may be in your best interest to find the help of a water damage specialist like Abbotts to help you through the entire process.
Here’s how to locate the source of your roof leak:
- Using a flashlight, assess the inside of your attic, looking for evidence of water stains. If spotted, follow it up the roof and rafters to find the entry point.
- If you have a not-so-obvious leak, enlist the help of a friend or family member to watch for any water dripping into the attic while you spray down the roof with a hose.
- You always want to start low on the roof, just a smidge above where the visible signs of damage are appearing in your home. Pro Tip: To ensure you see results, spray the roof at a pace that would mimic a heavy rainfall.
- Continue to run water for several minutes over the low side of the penetration. This will allow enough time for your inside helper to identify any water droplets that may come through.
- Nada? Zilch? No worries. Simply move to the right or left side and repeat the process. Slowly work your way upwards, targeting areas around each penetration. Your helper will eventually discover where the droplets are coming from.
Roof Vents & Plumbing Vent Boots
Always examine your roof vents and plumbing vent boots to see if water is entering from those locations. Be on the lookout for broken seams in metal pipe flashing or visible cracks in the base of flexible rubber flashing. It’s possible that the rubber seal surrounding the vent pipe is rotted or deteriorating.
If necessary, use washer-head roofing screws to replace the plumbing vent and safely secure the base to your roof. Should you find that your boot is still in good condition, but your fasteners are nowhere to be seen, you can use the same screws to replace them. Any cracks discovered in your roof vents will need to be replaced if you want to prevent water from creeping into your home.
Intersecting walls on a shingle roof and the area around the chimney is where you can find step flashing. If you noticed the steps are rusted or loose, water can seep underneath it and into your home. You’ll want to replace the damaged piece by carefully removing it and securing the new flashing into place with roofing cement.
Walls & Dormers
It’s important to note that water doesn’t always come into your home through the surface of your roof. Dormers have a number of areas where water can begin to dribble in. To repair, dig out dry or cracked caulking and replace with silicone caulk to ensure the adjoining surfaces are sealed properly. If there’s rotted or missing siding above the flashing on your dormers, make sure to replace those as well.
With the proper attention, tools, and knowledge, you’ll be able to identify roof leaks and repair them in no time.