Finding a roof leak can be tricky but with the proper procedures it can be found and fixed. Here are some basic carpentry tips that can help you repair any leaky roof. When a roof leaks, the culprit may not be the roofing material. First, check the flashing in roof valleys and around chimneys, dormers, vent pipes, and other objects that project through the roof.
Don't risk life and limb to inspect your roof's flashings and shingles. Get a close view with binoculars.
Leaks are rarely located directly above the water spot on the ceiling. While it's still raining, check under the roof deck for a drip trail starting at a higher point.
When you find a leak in the attic, push a nail or wire through it to help you locate it outside.
To spot roof leak sites, go to the attic on a bright day and turn off any lights. After your eyes adjust, examine the roof's undersides for telltale pinpoints of light.
On a wood shingle roof, light showing through the underside doesn't necessarily signify a leak. Wood shingles have cracks between them when they're dry, but the wood expands and seals the cracks as it absorbs moisture.
BASIC CARPENTRY ROOF REPAIRS
When finding a roof leak a carpenter can patch any hole in roofing or flashing up to the size of a nickel by simply covering it with a layer of roof cement.
To patch an asphalt shingle, cut a rectangle of sheet copper or aluminum, coat one side with roof cement, and slip it, cement side down, under the shingle. Then put roof cement on top of the patch and press the shingle to it.
If a wooden roofing shingle is split but is otherwise in good shape, coat the edges of the split with roof cement, butt them tightly together, and secure them with galvanized or aluminum roofing nails. Cover the nailheads with roof cement.
Roof cement is one of the stickiest and messiest materials invented by man. When making extensive repairs with it, wear clothing and shoes that you won't mind throwing away afterward.
To clean roof cement from your skin, clothing, and tools, wipe them with a rag moistened with paint thinner. Don't use kerosene.