If your roof looks damaged or if there are leaks inside your home, then you know that you need to contact a roofing company as soon as possible so that a new roof installation can be completed. If your roofer is too busy to help you out right away, or if you are soon approaching the winter season, then you may need to make some temporary repairs yourself. Temporary repairs can be completed relatively easily.
Repair Small Holes
If you have either a major or minor roof leak, then you have probably started to see some water pooling across your ceiling. Unfortunately, leaking water will gather at a low point in the ceiling or it will move to an area where an opening is available. This is generally near a corner seam or around a light fixture. If the water seeps near the electrical components of a light, then a short can occur and a fire may start in your house. This is one reason why you need to take care of leaks both inside and outside your home.
Look for the Leak Inside
To take care of the leak inside your home, look for a dark stain or a wet area on your ceiling. Use a drywall knife or a utility knife to cut a small one-half inch hole in the middle of the stain. Make sure that you have a bucket ready so you can collect water that flows out of the hole. Place the bucket on the floor so water can be caught while you make the other repairs.
Go into your attic or crawl space and find the roof area that sits directly above the ceiling stain. You will likely need to pull away wet pieces of insulation to locate the leak. Underneath the insulation you may see a seam or a small hole. This is the area where the leaking water has found its way into your home. Your roof leak may sit directly above the seam or hole, or it might be located several inches from the opening. This will give you a good starting point to find the roof leak.
Once you have found the general location of your leak, stand outside your house and use a pair of binoculars to inspect your roof. Look for loose shingles, discolored areas of the roof, or find a space where a tree branch or other object has caused damage. Climb on your roof when you find the damage and bring several new shingles and roofing sealant with you. Roofing sealant can be purchased at your local home store and it comes in small cylindrical containers like caulk. Remove damaged shingles by using a crowbar or the claw end of a hammer.
Apply a generous amount of the roofing sealant to the bottom of your replacement shingles and slip them underneath the undamaged shingles in the area. Use your hand to place pressure on the shingles to secure them in place.
Seal Your Entire Roof
If you see curled and dislodged shingles across the entire surface of your roof, then you will need more than a patch to make a temporary repair. You will need to seal the entire roof instead. You can use roofing tar to seal the roof. This material is often secured over the tops of flat roofs to protect them from weather damage, but the same product can be used over asphalt shingles to create a waterproof barrier.
Use Roofing Tar
You can buy roofing tar at your local home store and the material often comes in large buckets. Pick up several rollers when you purchase the tar material. Use a broom to remove all of the leaves and other debris from your roof and also get rid of any shingles that have completely pulled up from the roof surface.
Once the roof is clean, open your bucket of tar and pour some of the material into a painter's tray. Work a generous amount of the tar onto your roller and start spreading the material on your roof. You should start at the peak and work your way down so you do not tar yourself into a corner.
If you have roofing leaks and damage concerns that cannot be addressed immediately by a professional roofer, then make some temporary repairs yourself. Adding replacement shingles and applying a layer of tar are two good options.