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Watershed Roofing > Commercial Roofing  > How to patch a roof leak
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How to patch a roof leak

You have a leak in your roof. Always patch the leak right away because leaving a little problem can cause a big headache later when decking and rafters need repair or replacement. How do you patch a roof leak? Good question!

First, make sure to have a safety plan before you get up on the roof. Have appropriate footwear to prevent slips and falls. Make sure the ladder you’re using is designed to reach the necessary heights and if possible always have a friend help you out. For very steep or high roofs, it’s wise to have a climbing harness and rope. Never attempt a roof repair in the rain, during a storm, or when the roof is wet. The chances of falling are just too costly.

Damaged or Broken Shingles

Replacing a damaged shingle is not difficult. Carefully lift the shingle and pry the nails loose with a pry bar. If you have extra shingles just replace it and nail it down. Make sure to remove any protruding nails and scrape away any existing sealant there might be. If you don’t have an extra matching shingle, you can apply tar beneath the shingle, replace the broken shingle and apply more tar over the tear and the nail heads.

If you need to repair a tile roof, be very careful not to damage the tiles. Tiles are not supported from beneath and will crack or break under weight. If you’re not sure how to walk on a tile roof without causing damage, it’s best to leave it to professionals.

Failed Flashing

Leaks from failed flashing sealant is common. Whether it’s a chimney, vent, or skylight flashing the fix is the same. A generous application of tar or caulking to replace the failed sealant should be sufficient if a gap has emerged. If the flashing is cracked or damaged, you can buy replacement aluminum flashing at a home improvement store. Shape it as needed and trim with tin snips to fit. Apply tar to seal it and make sure to give a good daub to each of the nail heads used to hold the flashing in place.

Foreign Objects

If you do happen to find a nail that missed a rafter and is letting water in, applying tar to the nail head will stop the leak.

Emergency Roof Repair

When there’s a significant roof repair needed, or a roof replacement, a blue tarp is a great substitute. The metal grommets allow you to tie the tarp down. Don’t use bricks or other heavy objects on top of the tarp on the roof to hold it down. A strong wind can lift the tarp and send the heavy objects to the ground without warning. Make sure to secure the tarp to something a storm wouldn’t move. Using a trash can or some other similar small object could create a safety hazard if the wind gets under the tarp and flings whatever is supposed to be holding it down.

Give our team a call for a free quote on all roof repairs.