If your roof is leaking and it’s only a small leak, you may be able to fix the leak yourself and save yourself money on a professional roof repair bill. If you detect any structural damage it’s best to call a trained roofer straight away, who will be able to assess the damage and deal with it with professional care. You should also contact a roofer if you can’t find the source of the leak – they’re trained to spot these things and could save you time and frustration trying to see where the leak is coming from.
Of course, before you start work you must make sure you perform the necessary safety checks. Ensure that your equipment is sound, never go out on the roof when it’s wet and be sure that the structure is solid enough to carry your weight. Remember that roofing is a highly specialised skill and one that can pose a hazard if you don’t go about it the right way, so always use safety ropes, wear rubber soled shoes so that you can grip properly and make sure there are no electrical wires nearby.
Different types of roofs will require a different approach to repairs. For shingles, it’s usually quite easy to tell that they’re damaged as they tend to curl up, which is where the leak occurs. Wait until the temperature warms up then you should be able to straighten the curled shingle without any problems. In cold weather you’ll have to warm the shingle yourself. Do this with a propane torch, using the nozzle that serves as a flame spreader. Make sure you wear goggles. This will ensure that you don’t heat up the material too much and do any further damage. Heat only the curled edges of the shingle, making sure it doesn’t catch fire. Then you should be able to straighten it easily. Reattach the shingle to the roof with roof cement. Apply it to the bottom of the shingle using a generous amount in the corners, then push it back into place firmly. If a large area that has been affected, it’s a good idea to call an experienced roofer. They will be able to tell you the extent of the damage and what work is required. If you have shingles that are loose and lift out easily then they’re probably rotten and should be replaced. Ask your local roofer for advice if you’re not sure how much work is required.
If your flat roof is leaking it’s usually easy to spot where the leak is coming from. Because the roof is flat, the water should run straight through so it should be directly under the point of entry. You should be able to see the damage to the felt, it may be cracked or blistered where the top layer has come away. If the roof has blistered you can mend it by applying roof cement on the area where the felt is blistered. Burst the blister using a small, sharp utility knife, taking care not to damage the material below. Mop up any water that’s underneath the blistered area and let it dry out. Spread the roof cement on the loose felt and press it back down firmly. Make your repair job more permanent by also fixing 6d galvanized roofing nails along the split and then cover the area with another layer of roof cement to cover the nails. For help repairing flat roofs, including flat roof replacements, contact a trained roofer from G&A Roofing and Building.
When a leak is coming from worn flashings on your roof, you may be able to carry out the repairs yourself. If you spot a gap between your roof and the flashing you can fix it with roofing cement. Apply the cement generously with a trowel and make sure you cover the whole of the flashing edge. If the flashing is around your chimney then the job’s a little trickier and you may need to contact a roofer for help.
If it’s your gutters that are leaking you need to fix the leak fast, otherwise you risk damage to the structure of your property from water that seeps through the brickwork. You can carry out repairs to your gutter provided that the damage isn’t too substantial, in which case you’ll need to call out a roofer. You can fix small holes in your guttering with pieces of scrap wire screening. Cut a piece out that’s larger than the actual hole that you’re fixing and attach it to the gutter with roof cement, using a trowel to press it down. Allow it to dry and if you want to make doubly sure that the hole is fixed you can apply another layer of cement over the patch. For larger holes, use sheet aluminium instead of using wire sheeting – or copper if you have copper guttering. Usually if there’s a lot of repair work to be done it’s best to call a professional roofer, who will be able offer a permanent fix for your guttering or offer replacement gutters.
For all types of roofing work, G&A Roofing and Building can help. We are a team of trained roofers who deal with all aspects of roofing work including emergency roofing. Call our friendly team for help today on 0800 626430.