How to Find a Leak in a Roof & Fix It

In order to begin working on a leaky roof, you must first find the leak. This is probably the hardest part to fixing the roof. The leak could be in several places on the roof, since water can travel a pretty good distance before coming through the ceiling.

The first thing to check is the flashing. Go to the attic during a rainstorm and see if you can find the leak with a flashlight. If you can not wait until there is rain, you can get a friend to take a hose and get on the roof and try to find the leak. Once you find the hole, put something like a nail in the hole so that you can spot it from the outside. If you have a tile or slate roof, you can fill in the holes with roof cement.

How to Replace Asphalt Shingles
When replacing shingles, it is a good idea to do it on a day when it is warm outside. The shingles will be flexible, and easier to work with. Lift up on the shingle and remove the nail holding the bad one. Once removed, replace with a new shingle and roofing nails. Look for damaged shingles below the one you are replacing, when removing an asphalt eave shingle. Use the bad shingle as a guide for the pattern that the shingleles are placed. Also, look at some good shingles to see how the nail pattern is, and follow the same pattern.

How to Repair a Flat Roof Leak
A common problem with flat roofs is blisters and bubbles. If one of them forms, use a utility knife to slit them in the middle and put roofing cement under both sides of the slit with a putty knife. Nail down both sides and cover with more cement. Finally, put down a shingle and apply a final coat of cement.

If the damaged area is large, remove all worn material and apply cement, then use the same technique as above to patch the area.

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