How to Fix a Leaky Roof on a Budget

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The first thing you’re going to want to do before even touching your roof is to make sure that there’s no underlying water damage because if there is, not only could you slip and fall due to slippery conditions but you could fall through your roof as well and no one wants that to happen. You are going to want to check the wood underneath all of your shingles for damage or rotting and if they are rotting, you should not be up on the roof.

Your Tools

First, you are going to need some tools. You are going to need a ladder or even a window that gives you easy and safe access to your roof. You are going to want a high quality clear silicone (commercial grade preferably). You are additionally going to want a caulking gun and a utility knife. If you can, it would be highly beneficial for you to obtain an object that is sharp enough to open up the silicone tube because they do not open easy. Finally, you are going to want some clothes that are old or clothes you simply do not care about with some comfortable shoes.

Once On the Roof

This is where you are going to go around the roof looking for leaks and cracks in the shingles that might lead to leaks down in the wood below the shingle. Examine your J-Channel and just to be safe, fill it up with silicone and then move along to other areas of the roof to find leaks. Popped nails are another thing you are going to want to look for because while a lot of water does not come in through a popped nail, some does and it can build up over time. If you find any, simply cover it with silicone.

Don’t Use Too Much Silicone

One important thing that is important to mention is that you never want to use too much silicone on a leak. Not only is this not cost effective but also this allows water to build up over time and can cause significant water damage.

Using a Utility Knife or Sharp Object

This will be essential to cutting off the tip of silicone. These are relatively cheap and you can find them for under $6. If you can get one ahead of time, try to find a bamboo skewer as this will allow you to break off the foil seal that lies within the tip of the silicone. However, these are just suggestions, you can use anything sharp.

How Much Time Is Involved?

This question will be completely dependent on how fast you fix leaks, how many leaks you find and how extensive the water damage is to your roof. If you have a leaking roof, it does not matter for how long, there is going to be some form of water damage whether it is small or substantial. Just make sure to check for water damage and do not step on a roof with an extensive amount of water damage or rotting wood below the shingles.

Author Bio: Bill Smith works for Roofer911 a roofing contractor in the Alexandria area.

Updated: June 27, 2013 — 1:22 am

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