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7 Roof Repair Tips to Help You Fix Your Roof

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Although your home’s roof is one of its strongest barriers against the harsh elements of the great outdoors, there will inevitably come a time when roof repairs are necessary. Even if you’re one of those homeowners who stay on top of roof maintenance year-round, you’re never truly protected from the unexpected. Whether you have damaged shingles after a severe storm or your roof leaks due to time and age, it’s important to fix your roof right away.

While taking care of roof leaks and other issues immediately is essential to maintaining a high-functioning home, it’s easy to make simple mistakes if you don’t know what you’re doing. But don’t worry; we’ve compiled the top DIY roof repair tips, as well as some things to avoid, so you can guarantee you repair successfully without too much additional stress. 

Signs of a Leaky Roof 💦

roof repair tips sign of water damage in corner of home interior

Before you can make any repairs, you’ll, of course, want to know whether you actually have a roof leak in the first place. Signs of a leaky roof include:

  • Cracked, curled, or missing shingles
  • Discolored shingles (from hail damage)
  • Water spots on interior ceiling or walls
  • Loose asphalt shingle granules in gutters
  • Missing or damaged flashing, pipes, or vent boots
  • Wet roof deck or attic floors
  • Damp attic insulation
  • Large debris on the roof (i.e., fallen trees, limbs, etc.)
  • Obvious light shining through into the attic

Finding the Roof Leak 🔍

roof repair tips empty attic with light shining through hole in roof

If any of the issues above sound (or look) familiar, it’s likely that you have a leaking roof. The source of most leaks is typically easy to spot, but small leaks can pose more of a challenge. Take the following steps to find your leak:

  1. If there are water spots on the attic floor, shine a flashlight on the underside of any roof decking right above the area or in the general vicinity. This could help reveal the leak.
  2. Sometimes you can’t spot leaks without rain, so create your own! Work with a partner and have one person hose down the roof surface while the other looks for attic leaks.
  3. Inspect around your roof’s flashing, chimneys, or pipe and vent boot areas, since these are easily damaged and often the source of leaks. Fortunately, they’re all easy to repair or replace on your own.
  4. Remove roof shingles where you think there may be a leak to get a closer look at the underlayment. Then, you can also see if there is any damage to the shingles themselves.
  5. Schedule a professional roofing inspection if you don’t feel confident getting up there to find the leak yourself. Hiring professional roofers will ensure every issue is addressed quickly and correctly.

7 DIY Roof Repair Tips to Fix a Leaking Roof 🛠

After finding the leak, you’re ready to fix your roof. Try out some of these helpful tips:

1.) Make Minor Repairs

It’s easy to make minor repairs like replacing old shingles, vents, and flashing or applying caulk around corroded nail heads. Just make sure to use matching shingles when making repairs.

2.) Fix Small Holes

roof repair tips worker caulking metal roof panel

Hail storm damage or smaller debris can create little holes in your roof or underneath shingles, which are relatively simple to fix using caulk or flashing. Lay overlapping flashing on top of these holes once they’re filled to create a tight seal.

3.) Replace Step Flashing

Roof flashing often fails first because of consistent weathering and exposure to the elements. Fortunately, it’s easy to replace using the following steps:

  1. Remove shingles
  2. Pry up damaged flashing
  3. Install new flashing, ensuring that it’s level
  4. Secure flashing with roofing nails
  5. Seal the edges with caulk
  6. Replace removed shingles

Don’t know what the different parts of your roof are actually called? Check out this helpful guide to common roof terminology.

4.) Repair or Replace Vents & Boots

Vents and pipe boots are also susceptible to leaks if damaged since they’re placed in a cut hole and sealed around the edges with flashing. Once damaged, these items must be replaced immediately to avoid further problems.

Replacing vents and boots is very similar to replacing flashing. You need to remove the surrounding shingles in order to get the boot or vent out. Then, confirm there’s no damage to the underlying roof decking before installing the new vent or pipe boot in its place. Finish off with more flashing or caulk, then reapply the shingles.

5.) Fix Leaks Around Chimneys

roof repair tips man in yellow safety vest repairing chimney on asphalt roof

Whether the step flashing around your chimney is leaking, or an actual crack has formed in the brick itself, leaks in brick chimneys can cause water damage all the way down to the ground floor. You may need to hire a professional mason to make these repairs unless the flashing needs to be fixed. If that’s the case, simply follow the steps we already listed above.

6.) Don’t Rely On Re-Caulking

It might seem like the easy route to use your caulk gun for every repair, but you can’t count on this temporary solution to stay working for long. Roofing cement or caulk only acts as a filler for small holes or where flashing can’t create an airtight seal. Choose the correct type of caulk for your home’s roof to make a quick fix, then call a professional roofer to fix the problem long-term.

7.) Know When to Say No

Although you might be able to tackle some smaller repairs yourself, you need to know when it’s time to call your local roofing contractor. If you’re feeling less than confident in your abilities, know that a pro can handle it, so don’t hesitate to contact someone with more roofing expertise to ensure everything’s done right.

DIY Roof Repair Mistakes to Avoid ❌

While some minor repairs are easy for the family handyman to finish, any professional roofer can attest that not every homeowner is equipped to handle DIY repairs. Making mistakes when it comes to your roof can be costly and frustrating. To help you avoid an expensive headache, here are a few things you should NOT do when repairing your own roof:

  1. Try to tackle big repairs alone. Don’t get in over your head DIYing large or complex jobs that can avoid warranties or fail to meet local codes. Instead, hire an experienced roofing contractor who can get it done right.
  2. Get on your roof without the proper safety equipment. Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs; without adequate training or safety precautions, it can be potentially fatal.
  3. Go crazy with caulking. Caulk is only a temporary roof sealant, and this quick fix shouldn’t be used in the long-term or on large-scale projects.
  4. Let water leaks linger. Waiting to fix a leaky roof can lead to more damage to your roof as well as your home’s interior.
  5. Hire an underqualified roofing team. Always work with a roofing company that is licensed, insured, experienced, and offers workmanship warranties.

Put Your Trust In the Pros 👷🏻

roof repair tips two roofers working on metal roof replacement

If you realize that your roof problem is too substantial to tackle alone, or a roof replacement might be necessary, the next step is to speak with an experienced contractor. Put your pride aside and put your trust in the professionals to get your roof fixed quickly and correctly. Contact Impact Roofing to schedule your repairs or get your free estimate to install a new roof today.

What Our Customers Say...

Aaron PorterAaron Porter
16:42 28 Feb 22
I had some damage from recent wind on my roof. I was referred to Impact Roofing by a friend and have been extremely pleased with their service. They were prompt, professional and took care of my repair to avoid further damage. I would HIGHLY recommend this company if you are looking for any roofing help! I will be using them myself when the time comes to replace my roof.
I DurneyI Durney
18:07 08 Nov 21
We were in a bad spot with a leaky roof down at work but being a small business owner I can’t afford to be taken advantage of. So glad we chose PFM. Brad gave us a great deal was professional and fixed everything in a timely manner. What a blessing.
Brandon JohnsonBrandon Johnson
20:04 11 Apr 20
Like many of the homes in the area, we had some shingles blow off after being hit hard by Wednesday evenings storm. There was not an excessive amount of damage, but enough that we needed some minor repairs.I spoke with a couple of different companies on Thursday. While they were friendly, their main objective was to take a deposit to put a tarp on my roof and try to get my insurance company involved.While considering the options I noticed PFM Roofing was completing a job just up the road, so I stopped off to talk with Rusty and his crew. They were happy to speak with me and look over some photos I had taken of the damage. After a short conversation he quoted me a reasonable amount to complete the repairs, and even better told me he could have it done the next day. Sure enough, today they showed up to replace the missing shingles and nail down any other shingles that had been raised by the storm.Overall it was a great experience. If you are in the same boat and have some roof damage that needs worked on it is worth your time to give these guys a call!
David GrovesDavid Groves
17:56 06 Jan 20
We called PFM to come repair the repair made by a less reputable company. I had some questions so the owner promptly reached out to me and took plenty of time to address them one by one. I could tell he takes great pride in his company's work and wants his customers to be 100% satisfied. Would highly recommend to anyone in need of professional roofing services.
Informed ConsumerInformed Consumer
21:26 23 Jun 19
PFM Roofing did a whole new roof for me. Competitive Price, Excellent Team, No problems, great people. Professional, respectful, courteous. On-time, kept me informed throughout the whole process. Well-spoken. Top-notch service and workmanship, excellent results, awesome cleanup! Brad and Chance are real Pro's! I highly recommend them for your Roofing job.

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