How to Fix a Leaking Roof (DIY Guide)

January 29, 2019 How To

How to Fix a Leaking Roof (DIY Guide)


When most of us find out that we’ve got a leaking roof,
then the first thing we tend to think of is getting a handyman in to fix it. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to fork out a lot of money in order to get your roof fixed.


On the contrary, getting a leaky roof fixed is one of those things that are surprisingly easy to do it yourself. However, that doesn’t mean that many people know where to start or even how to properly fix a leaky roof. That being said, there are a few easy to follow steps that can have your roof fixed in almost no time.

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How To Find A Leak In Your Roof 

The first thing to do is to actually figure out where the leak is coming from. After all, just because you can see the results in your home doesn’t mean that you’ll know exactly where the leak is. Because of that, you’ll need to do a fair bit of searching before you can actually start fixing it.


The first thing to look for is any kind of penetration in your roof, as this is the most common cause of any form of roof leaks. Having said that, these kinds of penetrations are normally most common around any kind of roof vents or chimneys or anything else that goes through your roof.


If you can get up to your attic space, then you should be able to find the source of your leak relatively easily. This is because most of the leak will be visible here as it would have caused more damage at the source than it would have anywhere else in your house.


If the leak is difficult to find, you could always try one simple trick to find it. You’ll need someone to help, but it’s relatively easy. When one of you is inside the attic space, simply soak the outside of the house section by section. The person on the inside of the attic space will then be able to identify exactly where your leak is coming from.


How To Fix A Small Leak

While many leaks may be difficult to find, hopefully, this will be a sign that you only have a small leak in your house. However, since it’s a small leak it will be a lot easier to actually fix. Once you’ve found the leak, the easiest way to fix it can be as simple as either replacing or removing a nail or simply filling the gap that’s causing water to leak into your house.


Many leaks can be caused by ‘frosted’ nails, which means that any moisture that has gathered on them frosts over during the night. During the day, this can end up melting and can be one of the causes of your leak, especially if this happens often over the course of an extended period of time. However, many of these kinds of problems are extremely easy to fix and don’t take up too much time.


Fixing Roof Vents

Some of the bigger causes of a leaking roof include a broken roof vent, which can be difficult to actually fix. This is because there are very few ways to properly fix a roof vent, especially in the long term. While the likes of caulk may fix the problem temporarily, it’s not a long-lasting approach.


Because of that, if you’ve got a broken roof vent, then there’s a decent chance that you’ll just need to replace it. Having said that, though, they’re surprisingly simple to remove and install so you may not need to get a handyman in order to do this.


In most cases, you’ll be able to remove the nails keeping the roof vent in place relatively easily; in most cases, these will be under your shingles so it may take a little bit of time in order to get them out without damaging your roof. Once that’s been done, it’s as simple as making sure all of the nails have been taken out and then removing the roof vent.


Installing another roof vent is almost as easy, and is pretty much done the same as removing the vent, just in the reverse order. However, you should always ensure that you don’t break any of the shingles or any other part of your roof while you’re doing so. Doing this may end up creating another leak next to your roof vent, which may end up being more difficult to fix.


Fixing Dormer Walls

A lot of roof leaks aren’t caused by problems in your roof, but may be caused by any walls or dormers that are adjoined to the roof or even sticking through it. Because of that, there’s a big chance that your dormer walls may actually be the culprit for any leaks.


That’s because Dormer Walls are especially well known for developing leaks over time. Having said that, however, they can be extremely easy to fix. This is because Dormer Walls all tend to leak in the same ways, meaning that there have been a number of effective ways to fix the leaks in them.


The most common way that water leaks through them are because as the walls get older, the caulk that they’re made of can get old and cracked. Water is then able to leak through them into your house. Depending on its age, the leakage itself may not be visible and it may not be completely sealed.


However, no matter what the issue is with your Dormer Walls, they’re extremely easy to fix. In this case, it’s simply a matter of replacing any unsealed or broken caulk with a newer, high-quality caulk. While you may need to invest in some new caulk, it’s certainly a lot more affordable than hiring a handyman and having to pay for the caulk anyway.


Leaks Around Brick Chimneys

There are a host of problems that can occur with a brick chimney, with leaking just being one of them. However, there are some simple fixes for them, with the most common being replacing the flashing around the chimneys.


This is because most flashing may end up rusting over the course of a few years, meaning that holes and leak can end up developing in your chimney. If you want a quick, easy way to fix it then you can simply install new flashing under your current one and this will divert any leaking. However, it won’t stop the leaking completely, instead of ensuring that it doesn’t make its way into your house.


However, that may not be the best way to go about it as it’s not the most long term approach. The best way to fix this issue is removing the current flashing and completely replacing it. However, this isn’t the easiest fix and may end up taking a while to actually do.


This requires taking a saw to the mortar and replacing the flashing, which can end up being a lot of work. If you do go this route, however, you’ll need to be extremely careful not to break anything while you’re fixing the roof. That being said, though, it will stop any leaks for many years and is the longest lasting way of actually fixing the issue.


Fixing Complex Problems

Speaking of complex issues, fixing leaks caused by storms or snow can be a little bit tricky. One of the biggest problems, in this case, is the build-up of ice dams, which ends up pooling water in your roof and causing a leak.


The easiest way to fix this, though, is with new flashing, which can help prevent any leaking and may help with any leaks from ice dams. However, you’ll end up needing to remove many of the shingles in order to get to the problem area and installing your flashing.


We’d also recommend using an adhesive ice-and-water barrier in order to prevent this build-up in the future. Combined with new flashing, and you’ll be able to stop leaks from many of these causes. However, you need to be sure to put the shingles back properly.


If they’re not reinstalled properly, you could end up developing more leaks in the long run. That being said, taking care when you’re taking them off your roof and then putting them back properly will ensure you’ve fixed the issue. On top of that, you’ll be preventing many other issues from developing in the future. After all, taking care when you’re making any repairs to your home is extremely mandatory; nobody wants to make issues worse, right?


Between each of those DIY guides to fixing your leaky roof, you shouldn’t have any major issues with it in the future. That being said, though, there are some things that are better off being left to a professional. Because of that, it’s worth ensuring that you know what you’re doing before attempting to fix a leaky roof yourself. If something seems too complicated for you, then you may need to get a professional straight out of the gate.

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