How To Repair Minor Roof Leaks On Asphalt, Metal, And Wood Shingle Roofs


If you have a small leak in your residential asphalt shingle, metal tile, or wood shingle roof, you can fix it yourself if you are careful. Here are directions to repair small leaks in those residential roofs:

Asphalt Shingles - Search in the area of the leak for any obviously crumbling or warped asphalt shingles. With a pry bar, loosen the damaged asphalt shingles and remove them. Take the removed asphalt shingles to a building supply store to purchase replacement shingles that match the color of your existing shingles. Also, buy tar paper and tar roofing cement. Repair the leaky asphalt shingle roof as follows:

  • Remove any remaining nails under the damaged asphalt shingles that you removed and seal the nail holes with tar roofing cement. 
  • Install new tar paper on the area where you will place the new shingles. 
  • Seal the edges of the tar paper and any tears or holes with tar roofing cement. 
  • Place the replacement asphalt shingles on the roof and line them up with the existing shingles.
  • Once you have them in place, lift each one, apply tar roofing cement to the bottom of each, and lay it into place.
  • Nail the new asphalt shingles to the roof substrate with nails. 
  • Seal each of the nails with a dab of tar roofing cement. 

Metal Tiles - The metals most commonly used to make roofing tiles are steel, aluminum, and copper. Although these metals are some of the strongest materials to use for a roof, they sometimes need to be repaired due to age and weather damage. Repair a leaky metal roof as follows:

  • Search for any loose tiles and/or loose nails in the area of the leak and reattach the tiles with new nails. 
  • Find any visible holes, rusty areas, or other signs of metal fatigue and deterioration. When found, remove the rust and loose deteriorated metal with a wire brush and repair with urethane roof cement. Smooth the cement over the damaged area to seal any holes. 
  • Allow roof cement to completely dry and then apply metal primer and a top coat of paint to match your roof. 
  • Check all flashings and seams where your metal roof tiles join together or meet chimneys and other roof structures. Reseal those areas with urethane roofing cement. Be generous with the cement application to make sure you seal out any future moisture. Apply metal primer and top coat paint to the applied urethane cement repairs. 

Wood Shingles - Search the roof area for the leak and identify the cracked or damaged wood shingles. Remove damaged shingles by splitting them lengthwise with a wood chisel and removing them. Repair the area as follows:

  • Measure and cut replacement wood in the same thickness as the existing wood shingles. 
  • Apply roofing paper underneath the area you are repairing.
  • Slide replacement wood shingles into place underneath the shingles directly above them. 
  • Leverage the replacement wood shingles firmly into their slots and nail them securely in place.

With a keen eye and some basic tools, you can fix your residential roof yourself if you only have one or two leaks. Be careful on the roof and always work in calm and sunny weather. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands. Limit yourself from walking or crawling too much on your roof as you could damage more shingles or tiles.

If you have a steeply pitched roof or other complications, it is best to call a professional roofing contractor to fix your roof. Companies like Homestreet Roofing Inc. may be able to meet your needs in this area.  


21 February 2016

An Amazing Transformation

When I married my husband 10 years ago, I agreed to move into the ranch home he already owned. Initially, we planned to live in this house for five years and then after a few years of marriage we wanted to buy our dream home. After our wedding, many things in our lives changed. We both got different jobs. And we decided to transform the house my husband owned when we married into our forever home. To accomplish this task, we have begun a major renovation project. The first job on our list was a new roof. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best types of roofs to install on a brick home.