Any roof can develop leaks years before the entire roof needs replacing. The most usual and common cause is localized damage, for instance cracked and missing shingles, or blistered area on a roof. The most difficult part about fixing a roof leak is to locate it. United Contractors uses the latest cutting-edge technology in fixing roof leaks – Thermal Imaging Camera – which uses infrared vision for finding water damage and water intrusion areas.

This blog post contains useful information on how to find and fix roof leaks, along with roof maintenance suggestions.

Please keep in mind that working on a roof is dangerous! Be sure to take these precautions:

– Only sunny and dry weather is appropriate for roof work. Slippery and wet roof surface is very dangerous.
– Take adequate safety measures for your roof repair, consider using ropes.
– Use a ladder framework to provide secure anchoring.
– Wear rubber-soled shoes to ensure the best traction when on a roof.
– Be sure to locate power lines when working on a roof.

Fixing Shingle Roofs

Usually easy to fix, when having a problem with shingle roofs look for damaged, missing, or curled shingles at the marked leak point. Look for breaks in the flashing or caulking, or gaps in the lines of roof cement at every place where two surfaces meet, especially around chimney or vent.

In a situation where you cannot locate the leak, the problem may be in inadequate flashing or deterioration of the shingles. In this situation, consider calling United Contractors, a professional roofing contractor in Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas.

After finding the evidence of shingle problems, it is time to start repairing work. Reattach curled shingles with asphalt roof cement or compound in tubes for a caulking gun. By the way, it is easier to straighten out the curled shingles in warm weather.

Apply cement generously to the bottom; put a good dollop of cement at each corner. Press firmly into place.

Replace any rotten, torn, or missing shingles with new ones. If you can lift the shingle right off the roof with no effort, it means it should be replaced. If there is a large area of rotten shingles, it might be a time for an entire new roof. Only professional Myrtle Beach roofer can help you with replacing your old roof, consider calling United Contractors for your free roof quote.

If you are able to get away with only a roof repair, and you cannot find matching shingles, consider using non-matching ones. In case of emergency, cut patches from sheet aluminum or copper.

Replacing damaged shingles step by step:

Step 1: Lift edges of shingles that surround the damaged ones, and carefully remove nails. Scrape opening clean, if there is loose or brittle roof cement left under it. If your shingles were blown off by a storm, remove any protruding nails left in roof. Leave in place nails that don’t stick up.

Step 2: To make it easier to slide new shingle into place, slightly round its back corners with sharp utility knife.

Step 3: Slide new shingle into gap, with its front edge aligned with shingles on each side and its back edge under shingles in row above it.

Step 4: Lift corners of overlapping shingles and fasten top of new shingle with 6’’ galvanized nails driven through each corner. Cover nail heads with roof cement. Smooth down overlapping shingle edges.

When replacing rows of shingles, round the back corners where the top row meets the row above. Ridge shingles are replaced the same way. Overlap them along the ridge and over the shingles on both sides. You must use new ridge shingles only, do not try to use flat ones. The back of each new ridge shingle should be covered with roof cement before setting it into place. Secure each corner of the shingle with a roofing nail. Cover the nail heads with roof cement.

Inspect the chimney flashing, the flashing around vents or pipes, and any line of roof cement where two surfaces meet.
Fill the joints with roof cement in a caulking gun, if the metal flashing around a chimney or dormer is not thoroughly caulked. Along joints sealed with a line of roof cement, apply roof cement with a putty knife to areas that look worn or cracked. Apply the cement liberally, covering the questionable areas completely. Cover exposed nails with roof cement.

As far as flat roofs and shake roofs, they have their own unique leak problems — and the ways of solving these issues. Read about it in United Contractors’ next blog post.