Here are five quick fixes for leaky roof problems you can do with some assistance:
Cover the area of the roof where it is leaking.
Use a tarp or polyethylene sheets as a temporary fix. When you determine from where the leaking is originating, go up onto the roof and cover the area. (Be sure to have someone hold the ladder for you!) Polyethylene sheets are transparent plastic and a tarp or tarpaulin is a large, strong, and flexible waterproof fabric, that usually has grommets on the edges to allow you to tie them down to secure them. To ensure a good fix against further leaking, you can use more than one sheet of polyethylene or double the tarp.
You can also use tar paper and plastic roofing cement to remedy a leaky roof. Spread the tar paper on the roof to cover the area of damage. Using a caulk gun or putty knife, spread roofing cement over the tar paper. A further measure is to cover the tar paper with a roofing felt, which will act as an extra layer to protect your home from further damage.
Use caulking or silicone to stop the leak.
Caulking or silicone is useful for repairing a small hole in a shingle, flashing, or soffit. Sometimes silicone is used around chimneys, which can deteriorate and crack over time. This can be the source of leaks. A new application will help to stop the leaky roof problems in these areas.
Apply a rubber sealant coating to the leaky roof problem.
A product such as Flex Seal ® has proven to be effective in temporarily stopping leaks. While not as long-term a solution as silicone, it can be used in an emergency in wet and dry conditions. It is best used in small holes. To stop a leak in a larger area, you may need to use a combination of these quick fixes. For example, use a tarp, and then to make it airtight, apply rubber sealant around the edges. Rubber sealant also works well for patching holes in leaking gutters. Be aware that rubber sealant will change the color of the material it is sprayed onto. Don’t overspray or use it in areas you will not be replacing. It could leave brightly colored splotches on your roof.
Seal the walls and dormers.
Leaks can originate from locations other than the roof. Strong winds can drive water up the exterior walls, around windows, or between the corners of boards and siding. Dormer walls provide several opportunities for water to dribble down onto the roof. Water can seep between corner boards and between the window sidings and edges if old caulking has lost its waterproofing properties.
Patching or Plugging the leaky roof problems
Patching roof leaks using roofing tape is also a potential solution and a safer method to remedy the leak without getting up on the roof. Go into your attic and try to determine where the roof leak is coming from. Apply adhesive-backed roofing tape to the area. This is a good method as long as the rain has stopped, but the adhesive properties of the tape may wear away if it is still raining hard.
Plugging the leak area using a powder mixed with water can be poured onto the roof where it is leaking. The mixture will dry solid and stop water from getting in.
Remember that all these fixes are temporary… We suggest them as a means to protect your home and interior belongings from damage until we can complete a permanent solution. Even if water isn’t visibly leaking anymore, it can still penetrate the roof cavity at a slower rate. To prevent structural damage, call a professional roofer for an assessment and estimate to correct the issue and prevent future problems.
If you have questions about repairing leaky roof problems or replacing your home’s roof, call us at 508-873-1884. Or schedule a one-hour roofing consultation with one of our roofing experts.