Roofs generally have a lifespan of around 20 years barring unseen complications like major storms and hail. There are times, however, when small areas of damage occur, such as loose, torn, or missing shingles. When this happens, you need to be able to find the leak and fix the problem before it becomes a much bigger issue.
Finding the Problem
While it may seem as if locating the area in which a leak is occurring is easy, it really isn’t. The leak inside your home can be quite a distance from the actual area needing roof repair. You will want to make sure to do a thorough inspection of the shingles, making sure to notice any obvious signs of damage, such as missing, curled, or buckling shingles. You also need to check around vents, chimneys, and flashing to see if there are any noticeable cracks, gaps, or breakage.
If you find any of these, it might be obvious where you need to focus your efforts. If you can’t locate any areas that show obvious damage, you will need to contact a professional roof repair service. The problem could be due to the age of the shingles, or issues with the flashing.
Making Roof Repairs
If you’ve located damaged or missing shingles, the repairs are fairly easy, provided that you pay close attention to your own safety during the process. Curled shingles can easily be fixed with roofing compound or cement. You will need to pay attention to the temperatures when working on them. If it’s cold, your shingles will be brittle, which means you can break them easily. In this case, your roof repair is going to become a bit more involved – you’ll need to use a torch that has a flame spreader nozzle to warm the shingle so that it is pliable. If you’re not experienced with using a torch, please call the professionals – you being a die-hard DIYer is one thing, but try explaining to your wife that you burnt the house down with a torch…
If you do have the experience with a torch, you can carefully heat the shingle just enough to soften it. Once pliable, just add roof cement along the bottom and at the corners and press it down firmly.
Replacing missing shingles is another roof repair you may be able to do on your own. You will need to remove damaged shingles by removing the nails, including any that might be sticking up if the shingle was lost. Then, you’ll just slip a replacement shingle into place, drive a roofing nail into each corner, and apply roofing cement over the nails.
If you notice that shingles come off very easily, this is a sign that they are rotten. In most cases, larger areas will be affected, which means you need to call a professional about reroofing your home. Rotten shingles can be a sign that your current roof is too old, or it could point to a much bigger problem that involves mold, major leaks, and other significant issues.