A leaking roof problem, more often than not, can be traced to a damaged flashing. Having a leaking roof on your head is quite a hazardous scenario to have, when the rain is imminent. The only way to take care of the problem is going for immediate repair unless you want to set up buckets under the leaking roof.
About Roof Flashing
One of the three things that man has striven for, since ancient times, are food, clothing, and shelter in the form of a roof over his head. The importance of having a roof over your head need not be explained to you. It is your home's bulwark against everything that the weather throws at us, including rain. The roof flashing (known as 'flashing' due to its metallic nature) is nothing more than a piece of galvanized steel, copper, or aluminum. It covers the joints in the roof construction and prevents water from seeping into the gaps. So, when you see the roof leaking at some point, you must check the flashing over it.
It tends to be strategically placed to cover the intersection points of a roof, like the peaks and valleys in the structure which are likely places of water accumulation. It is placed over the roofing to primarily prevent water seepage.
How to Repair it?
You will have to inspect the source of the roof leak first and assess the scale of damage. It will help you decide on the purchase of a replacement, that will have to be installed, to plug the leakage. You will have to climb up on the roof, using ladders, for the actual inspection. Be careful in climbing up, especially if it's raining. Check flashing in the area of the roof, from where the leakage is occurring.
Check for signs of corrosion and holes, if any. Sometimes, an abnormal bending in the flashing might be causing the water to be obstructed and stagnated. Mostly, the reason for damages is the stress created from its expansion and contraction by exposure to heat and cold. Sometimes, the roofing shingles are damaged too. In that case, you must replace them first.
If you notice that the flashing is quite intact, except for some of it coming off in certain places due to dislodging of the nails holding it in place, then fixing it is an easy job. Just fix new nails or screws in place and seal it with waterproofing material. With that, your job is done.
If you notice extreme corrosion, it's best you got it replaced. Get ready for the repair job by first noting the things you will need, which are:
- New roof flashing
- Tin snips (To cut the new flashing)
- Roof sealant
- Ladder (Since you can't fly!)
Before installing, cut it in the right size to cover the roof leakage. Using tin snips, cut a patch of the right size. Remove and scrape off pieces of the old flashing. Then, place the new one in place and secure it properly with nails. Apply sealant and cement to fix it in place.
This repair job is easy in principle but there is a risk involved due to the climbing on a slippery roof and working on a sloping terrain. If you are not very confident of pulling it off, leave the job to a handyman.