Three Common Roof Leak Locations, And How To Handle Them

Posted on: 11 November 2015

A roof leak is a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Leave it alone for even just a few days, and you could end up with serious water damage to your walls, ceilings, and personal items. The way in which you should handle a roof leak depends, in part, on where that leak originates. Here's a look at three common areas where roof leaks occur and what to do in each situation.

Chimneys

Often, a roof leak will result if the flashing around the chimney becomes loose or damaged, or if the caulk around the base of the chimney begins to crack and wear away. If you are confident climbing onto the roof to take a look, check to see which of these situations is the case. If it seems like the caulk may be to blame, you can peel the old caulk and apply new roofing caulk yourself. Use a putty knife to pry the caulk out of the groove. Then, using a standard roofing caulk, squeeze a line of caulk back into the groove. You can use a smoothing tool to make sure it fully fills the crack between the chimney and the flashing.

If the flashing itself seems to be in bad shape, then this is likely the source of the leak. Unless you have a lot of home improvement experience, you're probably best off letting a professional roofer handle replacing the flashing since doing so will require removing and replacing many shingles.

Skylights

As with chimneys, leaks around skylights are usually due to problems with the flashing. If you are able to get up on the roof and take a look, you may spot places where the flashing is peeling away from the roof's surface or where it has become corroded. You can temporarily apply some roofing caulk in the space where the flashing has peeled away, or spread a layer over the corroded area. This will help slow the leak until your roofing professional can replace the flashing completely.

Valleys

The shingles in the valley of a roof are the most likely to degrade prematurely since water tends to pool and collect in the valleys. If your leak is coming from a valley in the roof, look for shingles that are missing or in poor shape. Then, slip a new replacement shingle into its place, and secure it in place with 6 roofing nails. Lift the tab up, and apply a dab of roofing cement to make sure it adheres well to the rest of the roof.

If a large number of shingles in the valley of your roof are damaged, then it may be best to call in a professional, as replacing more than a couple of shingle panels takes precision and time.

For more information, contact Grissom Contracting or a similar company.

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