Longmont Roofing: Article About DIY Winter Roof Leak Repair
A minor roof leak doesn't necessarily require professional Longmont roofing, but it's important to be safe and methodical in order to avoid injury or worsening the roof damage. Don't rush to action. A sudden leak won't result in irreparable damage just because your aren't able to deal with it in the first hour. Wait until daylight, roof conditions are safe and the weather is clear.
Winter can be a particularly trying period for homeowners. A running garden hose is often the easiest way to spot a leak, but it's not safe or good for the roof to do so in low temperatures. If the leak isn't spottable from an attic or crawlspace, then you may have to get on the roof when it's safe to do so.
Check all the gutters and downspouts first because gutter blockages are the most common cause of minor roof leaks. Clear any debris, and ensure that the water is flowing freely. Frozen gutters are a problem because ice dams can form, and those can lead to interior dripping. Interior dripping can also result from ice buildup on shingles, roof membrane and siding.
Be very careful when melting ice in a gutter or on a roof. If practical and safe, the ideal way is to use a hot saltwater mixture. Ice melt is an option, but it can damage your gutters. If a direct heat source is needed, then use a hairdryer.
The roofing contractors at Colorado Roof Toppers of Longmont can assist you with questions about flashing or commercial roofing.
Never use an open flame, such as a propane torch.
If the leak is not occurring doing to blocked gutters or ice buildup, then dry rot is the next likeliest culprit, and it usually occurs due to a lack of ventilation. Signs to look for include sagging in the roof and shingles that are brittle and possibly cracked.
If ventilation is the problem, then you should install or upgrade as soon as possible. You'll need to install a ridge vent at least and possibly a soffit vent. Soffit vents do require some drilling, but neither vent type is hard to install; nevertheless, improper installation can cause big troubles, so you must take great care to do the job well.
The next likeliest culprit is flashing or some other joint or seal point. A typical problem during winter is a roof boot becoming compromised. Roof boots serve as flashing for pipes and the like. They're made of rubber and they tend to dry rot over time regardless of how well you maintain them. Fortunately, correcting the issue is as simple as replacing the boot and, possibly, the several or so shingles you had to remove to access it. This is also a good opportunity to upgrade to a modern roof boot, which are much less prone to dry rot and leaking.