Roof leaks can occur in any kind of roofing material. Generally, asphalt shingle roofs or steel roofs leak sooner than tiled roofs but all kinds of roofs can end up leaking. If you do a good job on the installation of the roof and use high-quality materials, you might not have a leak for decades but a substandard job could start leaking right away.
The most important thing when repairing a leaking roof is to understand the material you are working with and have the right supplies. Here are a few tips to help you repair a leaking roof.
Asphalt shingles are the most common kind of roofing material used today because it is easy to install, it’s durable and affordable. To identify the leaking area look for broken tiles, curled tiles, or missing tiles on the roof. Once the leaking spot is identified, start removing the damaged tile and scrub away the cement underneath. Also check surrounding tiles to make sure they are secure, if they feel a bit too loose, remove them as well.
The aim is to smoothen out the entire area before you apply fresh cement. With the cement applied, stick the tiles back on and hammer down the top part of the tile to secure it. If the tile is warped or bent, you can moisten it, straighten it out, and reuse it. However, if it is broken, you will need a new replacement tile.
Another common option, especially for commercial buildings, is steel roofs. In this case, you could have a hole or tear in the roof, or you might have sheets that area imbalanced and causing water to seep through. If you are using a standing seam roof then be sure to inspect the joint between the seam and the flat part as this is where leaks can occur. For small leaks, you can use a good surface sealant that is designed for use with metal and seal the hole with that.
However, if there is a tear or a bigger fault in the roof then you might have to weld it or replace the entire sheet.
Tile roofs are a little trickier to repair because of the overlapping structure and also because you have a thicker roof under the tile to address. It’s hard to identify the source of the leak on tiled roofs. Keep an eye out for water stains as these commonly develop around the area that is leaking. If it’s a cracked tile then you can use tile cement to seal up the crack. Rub this down with some sandpaper to smoothen it out and repaint the tile.
If the tile is severely damaged then it will need to be replaced. This can be tricky because you have to also remove the tile above the cracked tile to get access. If your tiles are relatively loose then this is easy; otherwise, get an expert to help you out.
Roof repairs are not only challenging to do but they are also quite risky. Whenever you are working on a roof, make sure you have someone around on the roof or on the ground below to keep an eye out. Furthermore, you must wear the right kind of shoes to prevent yourself from falling. Try to stay as low as possible on the roof to maintain your center of gravity.