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Leaky Roof? A First-Aid Approach To Roof Repair

Discovering a leak in your home's roof can be just like cutting yourself with a knife, you need to deal with it immediately and then get professional help. Of course, using a plastic tarp to cover the portion of your home's roof which is leaking is the best "first-thing" to do, but oftentimes determining exactly where the water is infiltrating your roof can be difficult.

Tips to Locate Roofing Leaks


  • Most shingle roofing has a 20 or 30 year lifetime, but if you see curled or damaged shingles on top of your home then it may be time for a new roof now. If you've discovered a leak in your roof, start by covering any damaged roof shingles with a plastic tarp and see if this stops the leak. To avoid working in the rain, you can test the water-tightness of this "quick-fix" by spraying it with a garden hose.
  • If you have a new roof which is leaking, then you can probably assume that it is not the shingles which are failing but rather it is the flashing around the chimney, a skylight, or a plumbing vent which is leaking. Cover these leak-prone areas with a plastic tarp and then test for water-tightness.
  • If covering the above-mentioned problem areas does not stop the leak, then you will have to access your home's attic and try to determine the location of the leak from the inside of your home. While inside of your attic, have a helper on the outside continually spray the roof with a garden hose while you look for dripping water and wet spots.

Once you have stopped the water from entering into your home, you can take the time to find a reliable roofing contractor who can give you a written estimate for repairing the leak.

When to Hire a Roofing Contractor

  • Hire a contractor if your roof has a steep pitch or is too high off the ground for you to safely climb on. Remember shingle roofing is usually much easier to walk on then roofs which covered in metal or clay tile.
  • If you have tried the "first-aid" approach to finding the leak, but still can not locate its exact location, then turn the situation over to a professional.
  • If you are unable to cover the leak with a plastic tarp from the outside, then place a bucket under the dripping water on the inside. This way you can at least avoid expensive water damage to your home's interior.

When dealing with a leaky roof, don't delay the inevitable work which needs to be done. Do what you must to locate and cover the leak, and then take some time to find a reliable roofing contractor who can permanently fix the problem.

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Roofing vs. Reroofing

Roofing vs. Reroofing

If you come to find out that your roof has been damaged and needs to be fixed then there are two main approaches you can take. You can either decide to make a roof repair or replace the entire roof. Roof repairs will generally save you time and money, but in most cases a new roof is the best option. As a general rule of thumb, if the existing roof on is only one layer and there are no problems with the roof deck, a new roof is not necessary.

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