10 Tips on Handling a Roof Leak

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Roof Leak? Call an Experienced Professional

Dealing with a roof leak can be very dangerous. While we write this article to assist those who like to “do it” or “Diagnose it themselves”, We always recommend having an experienced professional handle your roof leak. At Point Roofing we have the experience and certifications to handle any roof leak on any structure, residential or commercial.

Think Safety First

Fussing to try and find a leak as soon as it happens is something that could put you in the hospital. Meddling on a roof while it’s raining or covered with ice and snow isn’t the ideal way to find a leak. Trying to temporarily fix a leak could be highly dangerous. If you want to do it right, there is no quick-fix. Just take your time, and be very patient and careful to wait for Mother Nature to give you the green light.

Take Precautions

Being on a roof will put the body in positions that are not comfortable or safe. Make sure to wear rubber sole shoes to prevent slipping. Also use a harness and always work with a buddy.

Spray the Roof

Take a garden hose and go up to the roof and start spraying in different locations to find the leak. Wait if it’s wintertime because it’s not safe to run water on the roof when it’s freezing out.

Keep Gutters Clean

One of the most common areas and causes for roof leaks are clogged gutters. Gutters that have not been cleaned can cause the water to build up during rain.


Avoid Dry Rot

Dry rot isn’t related to any type of water damage, but lack of ventilation. If a roof repair is right in the middle of the roof, there is a chance that the plywood might be deteriorating. The roof will actually sag in and cause the roof shingles to get brittle, crack and then leak. Preventing dry rot consists of installing proper ventilation. We highly recommend vented ridge, however it is very important to make sure that there is enough intake air to allow the ridge vent to work.

Prevent Ice Buildup

In the wintertime, ice has no problem building up under the roof membrane, shingles and gutters. The ice builds back up when it reaches the wall line where the house is heated and it creates an interior drip. Proper ventilation, rain and ice shields along with installing a drip edge will help prevent this problem. If you do see signs of ice dams, it is important to get those removed as quickly as possible. Check out our blog on Ice Dams for more information.

Fix Roof Boots

Flashing, roofing, ice damming and skylights are all obvious places for potential leaks. One thing people often miss is the rubber boots. It’s where the plumbing and HVAC vents comes up that you find roof boots. If they dry up they will get brittle and crack, and can quickly cause major leaks. It’s a quick fix; purchase a new roof boot in a local hardware store. You may have to remove some of the shingles, lay a better tar under it and put it back in place.

Inspect Materials

Sometimes shingles are faulty and will begin to crack after they’ve been nailed down. If you have concerns your roofing materials may be faulty it is a good idea to call an expert to inspect the shingle for signs of a manufacturer recall. It can be a difficult process to determine if a roof has been recalled and replace the roof.

Check Valleys

A valley is where the intersection of two roofs comes together. It is also called the ridge, which is again where two roofs meet at the top. Valleys are very common places for leaks because that’s where the water from the entire roof goes to and it will start sloshing back and forth. Keep in mind, the valley is the easiest area of the roof to walk and also the easiest to damage. Take caution to keep your feet to the outside of the valley to avoid tearing this very sensitive and critical area.

Check the Attic Space

If you cannot easily tell where the leak is coming from on top of the roof, get into the attic and track the leak to the area where it is coming in. Sometimes you will be surprised how far the water traveled before you noticed it coming inside.

Eliminate Leaks

It’s important not to get discouraged when a leak can’t be found. It’s a process of elimination. You’ve covered one area, installed the shingles back and sealed it watertight so at least one spot is eliminated. Now, you can try other areas.

For expert residential roof repair and replacement in the Treasure Valley area, contact us today. Point Roofing and Restoration is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, and serve Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, Garden City, Star, Middleton, Homedale, Marsing, Greenleaf, and the surrounding areas.

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