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Old 11-20-2011, 07:40 AM   #1
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Small roof leak - how to repair


The more I look, the more I find....this time it is in the form of a roof leak. Though, it made me inspect the entire roof and I don't see any other signs of water or moisture. So that is at least good.



This is a small leak on the roof, it is dripping at a seam. My roof is not easy to get on top of - and this space in the attic is not easy to work in. That being said, is there something I can do from the inside to stop the leak?

The roof was put on in 1997 so i figure within the next few years I will need to redo the roof, but for now - any suggestions?

Thanks much

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Old 11-20-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
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Sorry, but you have to patch that guy from the outside. You need to find where it is leaking and fix it. This is the ONLY way. If you try to patch it from the inside, you will only make the matter worse by hiding the issue. It could damage 10x more area before you even notice it.

A local handyman might be able to get you out of this relatively cheaply if you don't have means to get to the roof yourself.

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Old 11-20-2011, 08:25 AM   #3
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Can you post some pictures of the roof from the outside?
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Best thing to do is wait for a heavy rain episode and get up there in the attic to see where it's coming in. I had a leak, went in the attic to the spot where I THOUGHT rainwater was coming in, & could never really track it down. Finally, after a really heavy rain, I heard the dripping, went to the attic where I had to lay on my back and squeeze into a tight spot near an attached gable, and found the leak.......ended up being a tiny, tiny, hole in the flashing. What I'm saying is this: you really gotta listen to the experts here and get to where the action is........that's the only way to trouble-shoot a roof leak.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Best thing to do is wait for a heavy rain episode and get up there in the attic to see where it's coming in. I had a leak, went in the attic to the spot where I THOUGHT rainwater was coming in, & could never really track it down. Finally, after a really heavy rain, I heard the dripping, went to the attic where I had to lay on my back and squeeze into a tight spot near an attached gable, and found the leak.......ended up being a tiny, tiny, hole in the flashing. What I'm saying is this: you really gotta listen to the experts here and get to where the action is........that's the only way to trouble-shoot a roof leak.
Ok - I will try to get on the roof to see what the issue is. Then it looks like I can pull back the shingle(s), remove any nails with a prybar and slide out the shingle. Then replace it, maybe round out some of the back edge to make it easier to put in, then use some roofing tar\cement\caulk to seal the shingle back into place.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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If you have a chimney, vent, valley, or other feature above that area, that is where I would start looking. Water can travel quite a way sometimes, under the shingles, until it finds a place to get through to the sheathing.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:55 AM   #7
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Small roof leak - how to repair


I will have to look but I think the only "feature" on that part of the roof is the ridge vent at the top. I will keep an eye out for any damaged shingles, and I will keep in mind that the water may be coming from above.

Any other tips\suggestions for finding the leak on the roof top? What you said about it running down makes sense, especially since it is leaking at a seam in the plywood.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #8
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Small roof leak - how to repair


I have a roof leak as well... several actually. I sealed around the most obvious problem areas like the plumbing vent pipe, attic vent and another type of wind powered attic vent (I can't remember what they're called). All these items are "close" to where the water is damaging the ceiling so that's why I started with those first. Time will tell if I plugged the leak or not... waiting for the next big rain in which case I will sit in the attic and see if I can locate where it's coming in.

That said, even if I find where the water is coming in the attic it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to easily find where to patch it on the roof does it? I mean the water could run under the shingles for a bit before it finds a way in.. as was pointed out in a previous post.

So it's a real crap shoot in a way... finding exactly where to plop the gue on your roof to plug the leak I'm finding out.

Oh well ... on wards and up wards.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:45 PM   #9
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Ok - I will try to get on the roof to see what the issue is. Then it looks like I can pull back the shingle(s), remove any nails with a prybar and slide out the shingle. Then replace it, maybe round out some of the back edge to make it easier to put in, then use some roofing tar\cement\caulk to seal the shingle back into place.

Thanks for all the help.
I'm just a simple diy because I own a house... but why take the shingles off?
Especially if they're old.. you could easily damage adjacent shingles just trying to get one of them off. Why not just lay the plastic cement to the problem area?

I got my roof done in 1998 and I wouldn't ever attempt to lift off a shingle because they're so darn brittle now. I'm nervous just walking up there for fear of cracking a shingle in two.

They don't last like they used to that's for sure.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #10
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Any other tips\suggestions for finding the leak on the roof top? What you said about it running down makes sense, especially since it is leaking at a seam in the plywood.
Yes, post some pictures of the roof here before you blindly start ripping the roof apart.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:49 PM   #11
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Small roof leak - how to repair


Check that ridge vent to make sure it was properly installed. Sometimes the roofing nails used to nail it down work there way up due to heat and water trickles into the nail hole area and drip inside. Sometimes you see them with silicone caulking on top of the nail heads and the caulking has failed and allows a trickle of water inside.

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