Repairing roof leaks can be very simple or very extensive. From finding the cause of the leak or damage to actually repairing it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources which many homeowners can’t afford in a snap.
However, it is important that homeowners act on it as fast as they can since even over a short time, small leaks can lead to big problems, such as mold, rotted framing and sheathing, destroyed insulation and damaged ceilings. Here are some emergency roof repairs you can do while you wait for a professional to do it for you:
For this emergency roof repair, you will need a polyethylene sheeting which can be bought on most home renovating and repair shops. Partially unroll or unfold enough heavy (6-mil) polyethylene sheeting to cover the leaking section of roof, from eaves to peak; add about 4 feet extra, and cut it with a utility knife. Wrap one end around a 2 by 4 that is as long as the plastic’s width; staple the plastic along the 2 by 4. Sandwich the assembly with a second 2 by 4, and nail the boards together with three or four 3-inch or 3 1/4-inch common nails.
The next step would be placing the sandwiched end of the plastic along the eaves and stretching it from eaves to ridge, running it over the top of the ridge and down the other side a few feet. Put it in between of the top end of the sheeting with another pair of 2 by 4s so the wind will not carry it away. Do not nail any part of this assembly to the roof.
If a roof leak is caused by a hole, using a a 12-by-12-inch piece of galvanized sheet metal can do the trick. Lift the damaged shingle with one hand, and push the sheet metal flashing up underneath the shingle so the sheet metal covers the hole. It may be necessary to pry up one or more roofing nails in the row above the damaged shingle so you can push the flashing all the way up under the course of shingles above the leak so water will be shed over the metal.
DIY-ing roof repairs
Keep in mind that working on top of a roof can be difficult and dangerous. Unless your roof’s pitch is relatively low and you have the necessary experience, tools, and enough knowledge to get the job done safely, you should leave this work to a professional. These options are just for the mean time.These quick fixes are just emergency responses to make sure that a simple leakage won’t turn into a disaster. Homeowners should still call and consult a professional home contractor to have it inspected and repaired properly.