Of probably all components of a home, the roof often gets ignored the most. That is likely because they last very long, with most of them lasting 25 years or longer. So it makes sense that many homeowners ignore the condition of their roofs until they encounter a massive leak which they need to then hire somebody to fix. Then, the problem goes away for awhile, but because the roof has not been repaired completely, another leak (or three) occurs. And then the cycle repeats: You get somebody to fix this newer, more intense leak, then you finally realize that you probably need to replace the entire roof.
All of this could have been stopped if you just knew how to detect a leak in your roof and fix it before additional problems arise. This will save you quite a bit of time and money in the long run. Some leaks need to be fixed by a professional, but some can be fixed by yourself.
In order to determine if you can indeed fix a roof leak in your home by yourself, you first need to learn how to detect it. There are numerous causes for a roof leak, but most of them revolve around the same issues and that is a combination of normal wear and tear as well as damage caused by acts of nature, trees or animals and other wildlife that may be on the roof of your home. Now the common roof is fairly strong, and it is not necessary for you to check the roof of your home every week for leaks. Once a month could be excessive for some, but it is ideal if you want to prevent a leak from happening.
What Exactly Causes Leaks?
According to some experts in the field, roof penetrations are the biggest source of leaks and, of course, they are likely the most overlooked. Water stains, mold, and black marks in the plumbing, roof vents, chimneys or dormers in the roof can cause a leak. If it is not fixed properly, the leak could spread and become something much worse. If could lead to mold which can infect the roof penetrations. Approaching these penetrations through the attic is the best way to find these leaks. If that is not possible, you will need to approach the leak from the roof itself.
That describes how to find a leak and where most of them come from. The specifics of these are also useful in detecting roof leaks and then figuring out if you can fix them yourself or if you should hire somebody. Roofing Calculator has listed ten direct causes of roof leaks. There are some similarities within them, but there also exist some differences as well.
Roofing professionals say, normal wear and tear, eroded brick chimneys, missing shingles, vent boots between the roof and the piping, roof holes, outdated architecture, clogged gutters, and frozen nails in the attic (known as “shiners”) can all cause roof leaks. These are easy to check for, and you can fix most of them alone. However, there are tasks that require the service of a roofing company.
When is it Possible to Fix Leaks Yourself?
It’s not always necessary to hire a professional for every small repair your house needs to make after detecting a leak. Sometimes you can fix the problem yourself, which saves you money. Any leak that is caused by deterioration, erosion, or any kind of break down due to wear and tear can usually be fixed on your own. It’s only a matter of gathering up the proper materials and putting in the time and effort. If a leak is caused due to a lack of cleaning, then you should definitely handle the task yourself. Something as simple as cleaning out a gutter costs nothing except a few moments of your time.
The roof leaks that require a professional roofer are often the ones that require multiple repairs. Old, worn down shingles are a great example of something that would likely require you to hire roofers to either repair the shingles or, in most cases, install a completely new roof. Missing a few shingles is alright and you can often replace them yourself. But if there are many missing shingles, or shingles that are torn up, it would save you more money in the long run to get a new roof installed.
Another instance where you will eventually need to hire a professional to fix a leak is if the repair is only a temporary fix. A good example is if the flash metal around the base of the chimney, or any structure on the roof, that needs to be resealed. It is possible to reseal it yourself, but this only serves as a short term resolution. Unless you want to keep making these changes over and over, it would be best just pay a professional and replace the entire roof.
Small leaks are usually solved by making repairs yourself. The best example of this involves shiners. Recall that shiners are nails in the attic that have been frozen over. When it gets warmer, the formerly frozen nails melt, producing condensation and causes leaks. This is easily solved by clipping the nails while they are frozen. This will permanently solve your shiner issue causing leaks.
When you see a leak in your home, the very first thing that you should be thinking about is when you are going to get a new roof. Because the majority of house leaks can only really be eliminated on a short term basis, the long term solution to (more or less) any house leak is to prepare to get a new roof installation. Just consider that the reason these leaks exist is because of important foundational parts of the roof that are transitioning from experiencing normal wear and tear to completely falling apart. To prevent this transition from happening, it would benefit you to start saving up enough money and allowing enough time to get a new roof installed.