Roofing tips from a professional roofer on how to do roofing repair and shingling on a composite shingle roof.
Your roof is leaking and needs to be repaired. You, the homeowner, would like to save some money and try the repair yourself. If you are fairly handy you might be able to do this, especially if it is a small job and your roof does not have a pitch, or slope, greater than 6 (a ” 6 pitch” in roofing terms).
How do you go about fixing your roof?
The first step is to go into your attic, if your house has one. Take a flashlight, and look along the ceiling rafters for watermarks. These will show you where water is getting beneath the shingles, and where the roof needs repair. Usually the area needing repair will be two to three feet ABOVE the watermark, since water travels downwards. If you can find the water entry point, inspect this area carefully for damage to your roof decking (the wood that covers your roof and where shingles are nailed on top of). If there is any damage to the decking, call a professional roofing company, since most homeowners will have difficulty doing this work.
If water is leaking in, take a nail (at least 3 to 4 inches long) and pound it straight up through the spot you found in the ceiling where the water was entering (watch out for wiring or other structures when doing this). When you climb up on your roof to do the repair, you will be able to find the spot where the water damage was occurring by looking for the nail.
Now, go outside and visually inspect your roof for cracked, curling, broken, or missing shingles. If the entire roof is badly worn or has cracked shingles everywhere, you will need to replace it entirely. It is best to have a professional roofing company do any major roofing job (see my article on how to get a great bid on your roofing work). If the damage is localized, such as where a tree branch has overhung the roof, then go up onto the roof and measure the area that is damaged. If there is more than one damaged spot, measure each one, recording it on a piece of paper.