How to Patch a Roof

There is one surefire way to turn a rainy day into a bad day in a hurry. When you’re sitting inside and suddenly feel a drop of water on your head, you know that you’re in for frustration. When your roof leaks, it’s more than inconvenient. It’s potentially a major problem for the home or business, and you need to get the leak fixed right away. For any roof, there is a process that can help you find and repair the damage in order to resolve the situation. We’re going to go over that process and explain how we approach patch jobs for any roof.

Find the Leak

Depending on the roofing material, this can easily be the most difficult part of the entire process. You know that a roof needs to be patched when there’s a leak. Sometimes the leak doesn’t get past the attic. Other times, you notice water splashing on your head.

Regardless, the leak you see extends to a leak through the top layer of the roof, and those locations rarely coincide. The first thing we have to do to fix your roof is figure out where the ingress is occurring on top of the roof. In order to do that, we’ll try to trace dripping water, and we may even run a hose in order to conduct that search.

Ultimately, we always find the leak. Once we do, we know where to focus our efforts, and the rest is a simple matter of following the process. 

Remove the Damaged Material

We have a leak. That means that some part of the roof was damaged. We can use a damaged shingle as an example, but this can apply to anything. It could be a rubber or silicone seal. It could be flashing. It could be the joint on metal sections. Any part of a roof can fail, and the procedure to remove the damaged material will depend on the medium.

So using shingles as an example, when we find the damaged shingle (or shingles), we remove them. This is done by gently prying up on the shingle until we can get to the nail. The nail is then removed, and the shingle can come with it. When the damaged material is fully removed, we can clearly see signs of water leaks, and depending on the extent of the problem, we may have to address substrate damage too. When that’s the case, we’ll keep you informed, and we’ll do all the work necessary to ensure that your roof is sound.

Cover the Bare Section

We found and exposed the leaky part. This is where we actually repair it. If necessary, we repair substrate layers first. When that is done, we patch the roof with the same material that was there in the first place. If it’s an EPDM roof, we’ll patch it with EPDM.

Going back to our example using shingles, shingle patches are fairly fast. We get new, matching shingles that cover the bare spot. We install them the same way as any other shingles. We line them up and fasten them to the roof with a properly coated nail. It’s all standard procedure.

Seal as Needed

The last step in patching a roof is checking seals. Some patches do not require a separate seal. Other patches hinge on the final application of sealant. It mostly depends on the part of the roof and the materials involved. For this step, we’ll stick to standard procedures. If we’re repairing something that needs a specialized sealant, we’ll apply it as part of the job. That can apply to flashing, flat roof seals, joint seals, or anything else that protects your roof from future leaks.

At this point, we’re done with the patch. Your leak is fixed, and your roof is reliable once again. There is a point of follow-through work that needs to be considered. If the leak caused damage, that also has to be addressed. Now that the leak is resolved, fixing any amount of water damage is viable because the fix will last. Some of the most common issues with a leaky roof are damaged or molding insulation, water damage to sheetrock, and water damage on flooring. Now that you know what it takes to patch a roof, you can see why it’s important to have good experts in your corner. Total Roofing & Service Inc is the source for the experts you need in Southern Vermont. You can contact us today. We’ll find and fix your leak or provide any other roofing service that can help.