DIY Roof Leak Repair – Architectural Shingles – Sealing Field Area




Repair of asphalt shingle roofing to prevent more water damage. The damage from the water was very minor and I could have went much farther with this roof repair, but the owner wanted me to do the least and not the most. So I just sealed the shingles so the roof would stop leaking. I could have removed and replaced a section of shingles and also had some wood repair. The wood was ok enough and the leak areas were still mostly solid so it is not dangerous or anything. In this area, this home is considered a tear down. So it is common to band-aid the roof to keep costs to a minimum. Besides, this roof needed to be replaced 5 years ago.

Skip ahead to the part you’re looking for or watch the entire video. I did not glaze over the parts and delete footage. This video takes you through every last row. 14 rows in fact, by about 8 feet wide. So skip ahead once you get the idea.

0:00 – Attic and Perimeter
02:09 – Popping the shingles
09:27 – sealing the shingles with roofing cement
44:54 – stepping off the newly sealed shingles

I sealed the seams and the fasteners (underneath the shingles). While I was eliminating all fasteners and seams, I did find quite a few suspects, and also a few that I know were contributing to the leak(s). If I can pull out a nail by hand, then I know water is getting past it. After a while, the hole will get bigger and the water will go in faster.

This roof is 1 x 6 decking so there is a greater chance that a row of nails from the shingles is going to end up right in a seam of the decking. If this happens, the nail is not in anything and will work its way loose over a short time. If water finds this nail then it will go right through. Very easy to fix, but not always easy to find.

If you notice I am sealing underneath the shingles. I do this because the roofing cement will marry the two shingles together this way. The proper way to seal shingles. If I put roofing cement on the top of the roof shingles, it will eventually crack where the shingles come together and let water underneath the shingles anyway, which is where the hole is that is leaking. Water gets under the shingles during rainstorms. Even on brand new roofs. Some areas more than others. That is why there is a 5″ minimum sidelap or stair-step when overlapping the next row of shingles. If the shingle is bumped up in some way, then the water will ride this bump all the way under the shingle. Then, once the water finds a seam, or a nail that is not set right, over time the water will work its way in and leak.

In this installation, the shingle seams are at an angle or stair step. When doing one row at a time you will find a seam every 3 feet or so. It is important to do the seams and the nails and get all of them in the perimeter you are trying to eliminate. I usually measure to where I see the stain in the attic, mark this area on the roof. Then, I will go 3 or 4 feet in all directions. Then, make a decision from there exactly where to stop the repair. This way is very thorough and will almost always work. You can always make the area bigger later, if it still leaks. The most important thing is to know where you are on the roof in relationship to what you see in the attic. The roof leak you see in the attic does not always come in right where you are seeing it, but it is the only place you have to start.

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