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A Guide to Repair a Leaking Roof : Steps and Causes

From identifying the causes of roof leakages to detailing the various ways to stop roof leakages, this blog offers practical steps to help you keep your roof in good condition, protect your home from costly water damage and repair a leaking roof.


A leaking roof can be a nightmare for homeowners. Not only is it an annoying inconvenience, but it can also cause severe damage to your home if left unchecked. A roof leak can lead to water damage, mould growth, and structural problems if not repaired promptly. In this blog, we will discuss what a roof leakage is, the potential harm it can cause, and most importantly, how to repair a leaking roof. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or prefer to hire a professional, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to tackle a leaky roof and protect your home from further damage.

What are the causes of roof leaks ?


1) Roof Cracks

Roof cracks are a common cause of roof leakages. These cracks can occur due to various reasons, such as age, weather, or poor installation. Over time, exposure to the sun, wind, and rain can cause the roofing material to deteriorate and crack. Additionally, when it was time to build a roof, the roof not being installed correctly, could lead to cracks developing sooner than expected. Roof cracks can allow water to seep into the roof's structure, leading to water damage and mildew growth. If left unattended, small cracks can turn into larger ones, causing even more significant problems. Regular roof inspections can help identify cracks early and conduct a proper roof or ceiling leak repair.


2) Improper slope of roof

An improper slope of the roof can also cause leakages. The slope of the roof is essential as it ensures that rainwater and snowmelt flow away from the roof's surface and into the gutters or drainage system. If the slope is too shallow or flat, water can pool on the roof's surface, leading to leaks and water damage. This is especially true in areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall. Similarly, if the slope is too steep, it can cause water to run off too quickly, leading to gutter overflow and water damage. Ensuring that your roof has the proper slope during installation or repair is crucial to prevent leakages.


3) Flashing Damages

Flashing is a thin material, typically made of metal, that is used to protect the joints and angles of a roof. Flashing can be found around chimneys, skylights, vents, and other protrusions on the roof's surface. If flashing is damaged or improperly installed, it can cause water to seep into the roof's structure. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause flashing to deteriorate, resulting in cracks or gaps. Additionally, improper installation can cause flashing to loosen or detach from the roof, allowing water to penetrate the roof's structure. Regular inspection and maintenance of flashing can help identify any issues and prevent further damage.


4) Tiles Damages

Tiles are a popular roofing material that can last for many years. However, over time, tiles can become damaged due to weather or poor installation. When tiles are damaged or broken, they can allow water to penetrate the roof's structure. Water can seep through even the smallest cracks, causing water damage and mildew growth. In some cases, missing or broken tiles can be easily replaced, while in other cases, the entire roof may need to be replaced.


5) Improper Maintenance

Improper maintenance is also a common cause of roof leakages. Regular maintenance of a roof, such as cleaning gutters, removing debris, and inspecting for damage, is crucial to keep the roof in good condition. Failure to perform regular maintenance can lead to the accumulation of debris and water on the roof's surface, which can cause damage and leaks. Additionally, neglecting to address minor issues promptly can lead to more significant problems down the line.


6) Excess Roof Moisture

Moisture can accumulate on a roof's surface due to poor home ventilation, weather conditions, or leaks in the roof's structure. Over time, excess moisture can lead to the growth of mildew, which can weaken the roof's structure and cause leaks. Additionally, moisture can cause corrosion and rust on metal roofing materials, leading to leaks and further damage. In most cases, waterproofing the area can help against the problem because of the various advantages of waterproofing.


7) Corrosion

Corrosion is another cause of roof leakages, particularly in metal roofs. Metal roofing materials can corrode over time due to exposure to the elements, such as rain, wind, and sun. Corrosion can weaken the roofing material and cause it to become brittle, leading to cracks and holes that allow water to seep into the roof's structure. Additionally, corrosion can cause fasteners and other metal components to become loose, leading to further damage and leaks.


8) Aging

Aging is a natural cause of roof leakages. Over time, roofing materials can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements, wear and tear, and other factors. Aging can cause roofing materials to become brittle, crack, or lose their protective coating, leading to leaks and water damage. Additionally, aging can cause roofing materials to become less effective at repelling water, which can result in water pooling on the roof's surface and causing leaks. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify signs of aging and address any issues before they cause significant damage.

How to stop water leakage from roof ?


1) Asphalt shingles

One way to stop roof leakages is by installing or repairing asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material that is durable and relatively inexpensive. They are also easy to install and repair, making them a popular choice for homeowners. Here are some steps to help repair your roof :

  • First, check the roof for widespread wear and tear

  • Next, straighten and reattach the curled shingles

  • If you notice a clean crack use a roof sealant to repair it

  • Replace shingles that might be broken or missing


2) Roll Roofing

Roll roofing is a type of roofing material that is made from asphalt and is similar to asphalt shingles. It comes in large rolls that can be quickly installed, making it an attractive option for low-sloped roofs. Here are a few steps to follow :

  • Check the roof for cracks or blisters

  • If you find any blisters, cut them open to release any trapped air

  • Apply a sufficient amount of roofing cement underneath the split

  • If necessary, replace the roofing substrate

  • Cover the area with a patch of roll roofing

  • Apply a final layer of roofing cement to ensure a watertight patch



3) Wood shakes

Roof shakes are a type of roofing material that are made from wood, typically cedar or redwood. They are often used on steep-sloped roofs and can provide a natural, rustic look to a home. Here are a few steps to follow while repairing wood shakes :

  • Check and inspect for any damage to your roof

  • Using a hammer or chisel, split any cracked shakes

  • Cut off the nails that secured the broken shake, using a hacksaw

  • Cut a new shake to fit into the gap and slide it into place

  • Secure the new shake with 2 galvanised nails

  • Roofing cement should be used to cover any exposed nail heads


4) Leaky Joints

Leaky joints can occur where different parts of the roof meet, such as where the roof meets the chimney or where two sections of the roof meet. You can follow these steps to repair leaky joints :

  • Inspect areas where surfaces join such as chimneys or valleys

  • Apply a roof sealant using a putty knife to the area

  • Using roofing nails, fasten a strip of metal flashing over the area

  • Next start sealing the roof leak. To establish a watertight seal, add another coat of roofing cement over the flashing


5) Concrete roof

Concrete roofs are another type of roofing material that can be susceptible to leaks if not properly maintained. Concrete roofs are made from reinforced concrete and are known for their durability and longevity. However, they can develop leaks due to various factors such as cracks, improper installation, and damage caused by weather conditions or impact. Here are a few steps to repair concrete roofs :

  • Inspect and identify the source of the leak

  • Clean and prepare the damaged area, by removing debris or loose concrete

  • Apply a sealant or patching compound over the area

  • Make sure to leave the patch to dry

In conclusion, a leaking roof can cause a lot of damage to your home if not addressed in a timely manner. Identifying the causes of roof leakages can help you prevent leaks from occurring in the first place. And with these waterproofing tips at your disposal, you can help ensure the longevity and integrity of your roof, and ultimately protect your home and repair a leaking roof effectively.

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