How do you fix a leaking roof?

damaged roof shingles

Does roof repair require permit? 

Roof repair isn’t anything a homeowner wants to talk about but needs to know about. With the climate and weather we have year round, roof repairs and replacements are more common than we’d like them to be. The home is always being able to repair roof without replacing it, but unfortunately, there comes a time that replacement is the only option. 

After getting a few quotes, a homeowner will often wonder, can I fix my own roof? Well, sure, of course you can.  Anyone with common sense, a hammer, nails, and logic can probably do a decent job if the repair is simple and small. What you need to ask yourself is, “should you” do your own roof repair? 

There are a multitude of DIY videos on the internet about roof repairs and replacement. Most, if not all are going to be a straightforward tutorial on roof repair, but they may not cover all the safety precautions and the incidentals that can happen. 

It is those things that make more sense to hire a professional roofing contractor. However, it is your home and if you want to attempt a DIY on a roof repair project that has taken the professionals years to learn, give it a try! This may be your calling. 

It depends on the locality where you live. Roof repair or replacement isn’t governed by the federal or state laws, but by the city or municipality. In League City, Texas, yes, roof repair or replacement requires a permit. There is an application that must be filed, and the work cannot begin until you have the permit in hand. 

How long does a roof repair last?

New roofing should last for asphalt shingled and composition shingles, a lifetime is typically 20 years, maximum 25 years. Fiber cement shingled roof has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years and wood shake shingled roofing has a lifespan of around 30 years. 

Now when you’re talking about roof repair, the longevity will depend on the original roofing material, the age of the roof, and the method that the roof repair was done. Quality materials and workmanship make the difference in everything, and along with the age of the roof, your roof repair could last another 10 years. 

Is it better to repair or replace a roof?

When the roof is showing damage, a roof repair may be the answer and it may need to be replaced. How do you know which way to go though, repair or replace? A few factors to consider that can help you make that decision when to repair vs replace roof:

The Age:

Once a roof reaches the 10 to 12 year mark, depending on the roofing material, if there is much damage, replacement is the best option. You could end up making repeated repairs over the next few years. With a replacement, your warranty starts over, and you shouldn’t need repairs anytime soon unless there is a significant weather event. 

Leaking Roof:

When the roof is leaking, visible by stains on ceiling and walls, you know roof repair is necessary. Calling a professional roofing contractor to inspect the roof is advised. They will tell you if the leak is minor and roof repair will be sufficient or if the leak is too big for a quality repair job. Let that leaking roof go, and you’re setting your home for bigger, more costly damage with these things and more: 

  • Mildew and mold
  • Rotting frame and sheathing
  • Damaged ceilings, and walls
  • Destroyed insulation

Roof Damage:

How damaged is your roof? An experienced professional roofing contractor can inspect the roof and explain the extent of the damage, advising you whether roof repair is possible, or roof replacement is the better option. Indications that roof repair isn’t going to be sufficient: 

Aesthetically: 

  • Roof looks aged, old, and worn
  • Dark streaks of algae and moss

Structurally:

  • Cupped or curled edges on shingles
  • Bald spots and missing granules
  • Broken, cracked shingles
  • Dented or perforated shingles or metal components
  • Rusted metal components 

Geographics:

If the area you live in is susceptible to major weather events like hailstorms, high winds, hurricanes, or tornadoes, you probably have missing shingles. Immediate roof repair is a must to replace those shingles to keep your roof in good condition. If there are large areas of missing shingles, a replacement is the better than roof repair because there is a likelihood of more damage to the sheathing and more. 

Replacement Cost:

Yes, a roof replacement is going to cost more than roof repair, but if the repairs are going to keep coming, weigh out the difference over a year of repairs versus the replacement. 

How do I stop my roof from leaking inside?

A leaking roof can be hard to diagnose because there are various conditions and issues that could be the cause, and the origination point usually isn’t where you see the leak. For a roof repair to work properly, the leak must be fixed from the exterior, however, that isn’t always possible at that exact moment. So, stopping the leak and patching the area from the inside it your only choice. The following are recommended steps to follow for a temporary interior roof repair: 

  • Step 1: Locate where the leak is coming from by going into the attic with a flashlight. Check for obvious holes, hidden cracks or holes, and dark spots on the attic ceiling and on the insulation. With chalk, mark those areas where you see possible leaks. This will make it easier to locate the leaks later.
  • Step 2: Wait for the rain to stop, allowing the wet areas to dry, and using a putting knife, apply a patch with roofing tar to the underside. Next place a piece of plywood or a shingle over that area then apply caulk around the edges. 
  • Step 3: In the room where the leak is coming in, place a  bucket under it. Then poke a nail or screwdriver in the bulge of the ceiling. Leave the nail or screwdriver in the hole so the water will follow it down to the bucket. 
  • Step 4: As soon as the ceiling area has dried, apply a patch with caulk until a permanent fix is possible. 
leaking roof

Does insurance cover a leaking roof?

It depends on what has caused the leak.  If your home has suffered from a significant weather event with hail and high winds that knocked shingles off or a tree limb fell on the roof, then yes, your homeowner’s insurance will pay for roof repair or replacement. If the insurance adjuster determines that the roof was in poor condition from homeowner neglect, meaning you didn’t do routine roof repair and cleaning, then your claim will be denied. Call (281) 338-7663 today for your roof leak help!