The last thing you want is your Honey-Do list to turn against you. Even a minor leak in your home can create major damage if left untreated. So, a problem like a roof leak should be addressed with haste.
Don’t Worry, Be Handy
If you’re lucky, you’re only dealing with a small leak, which can probably be fixed without the help of a professional. The hard part about a do-it-yourself project is locating the leak. TheFamilyHandyman.com suggests running water on parts of the roof to find the problem area. If that doesn’t work, the site suggests to removing shingles until the problem spot is found.
If you find one or more shingles that are cracked, This Old House suggests applying roofing sealant under the cracked shingles.1 You’ll need a putty knife to spread the sealant. This Old House offers a couple more tricks, too, to blend the patchwork in with the rest of the roof.
The cause of the leak could be a number of things, such as weathering, loose installation with a television cable dish, or, as Buildings.com points out, it could be due to poor installation and workmanship of your house’s initial roofing project and the lack of maintenance. Inspecting your roof on a routine basis could prevent costly damage to your home and your pocket.
If you have a metal roof, the job could be a lot bigger. If the damage covers a large area, you may have to replace entire sections of the roof, something probably best left for the professionals. Smaller leaks can be taken care of fairly easily, though.
Loose nails can easily be pulled and re-nailed, notes HomeTips.com. Rust should be removed with a wire brush, then primed and painted. Any repair will have to sealed with a urethane roof cement or waterproof membrane.
Avoid the Bigger Uh-Ohs
Most manly men take pride in fixing things on their own. But when you’re facing the potential of thousands of dollars in roof repair, you don’t want that sudden “uh oh” to come up. Choosing a roofing contractor to fix your leak takes time, research and, most importantly, trust. The contractor should be bonded and able to give you references from current and past jobs, according to Roofer 911.2
Paying for the repair may sometime be stressful. Little do most people know, but for homeowners without a rainy day fund, there are actually some federal grants for certain home repairs. According to Roof Rocket, Uncle Sam has many grant programs for home owners who are facing a costly fix and can’t afford it.
A BAND-AID for Your Home’s Boo-Boo
While you wait to figure out which contractor to use and how to pay him, every rainy day causes worry and frustration with each drip that penetrates through the walls. It may not be pretty, but in an emergency, keeping a leak in check until the professionals get there only takes a special roof patch, a putty knife or a caulking gun, according to HomeOwnerCare.com. Don’t be afraid to raid the kitchen to use pots and pans to catch any dripping water. On the exterior, use roofing tar, roofing cement or even thick plastic or tarps to cover the problem area for the time being, according to Roofing Tutor.3
The sooner you apply these quick fixes the less additional damage you’ll have.