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Roof Repairs

A leaky roof is a major problem that can cause a series of rapidly cascading home interior issues, from waterlogged attic insulation to ruined floors. Repairing a leaking roof is important to maintaining your home.

Leaky roof repair is a labor-intensive project that isn’t for everyone. Let San Joaquin Construction by Matthew Wilson help you solve your issue. Hear is what we do!

1. Locate the Roof Leak

Start at the lowest point in the roof leak, such as a ceiling stain, and work your way upward. Using a ladder and flashlight, access the attic and visually follow a vertical line up to the roof. The leak may begin a few feet higher up the roofline, toward the roof ridge. The leak’s location on the bottom of the roof deck may be stained black or white or may have mold or mildew,

Roof vents are a major source of roof leaks. Roof vents can include attic fans, turbines, plumbing soil stack pipes and any element with metal flashing that extends above the roofline. Or the roof leak’s source may be damaged plywood roof decking (also known as sheathing).

2. Examine Roof Vents

If the leak stems from roof vents, return to the top of the roof and check on the condition of the vents. The housings or boots might have become cracked. The vents themselves may have become dislodged. Check for missing or dislodged nails holding the vents to the roof.

3. Remove Damaged Roof Vent

From the top of the roof, remove the damaged roof vent. First, use the pry bar to pull out nails holding the shingles to the vent. Next, use the pry bar to pull back the shingles covering the base of the vent. It helps to have an assistant hold the shingles. Do not remove the shingles. Remove nails that hold the vent to the roof deck. Finally, remove the vent.

4. Replace Roof Vent

Apply a thick bead of roofing cement or exterior sealant to the bottom of the vent’s flashing. Have the assistant gently roll back and separate the shingles as you slide in the vent.

The lower section of the vent flashing should ride over the shingles to prevent leakage. Nail down the vent at all corners and every 4 inches. Cover the nails with cement or sealant.

5. Tear Off Old Roofing Shingles

If the leak is coming from damage to the roof deck, you’ll need to remove shingles to gain access to the damaged section.

Slide the pry bar under the shingles from the bottom upward (toward the roof ridge). Start about two rows of shingles above the intended repair point. Then, work downwards through the rows, progressively prying nails loose and pulling shingles away.

6. Remove the Old Roofing Paper

Roofing paper or synthetic underlayment will separate the shingles from the roofing deck. Slice off the paper or underlayment with the utility knife. Keep as much intact as possible.

7. Mark the Deck Cut Area

Snap a chalk line down the roof rafters on both the left and right sides of the damaged section of roof deck. Be sure to snap the line in the center of the rafters. Follow existing nails as a guide to the rafter center.

Then, snap a chalk line crossways or 90 degrees to the rafters both above and below the damaged section.

8. Cut Away Damaged Roof Deck

Set the circular saw blade depth to the thickness of the roofing deck, plus another 1/16-inch. Follow the chalk lines to cut away the damaged section of roof deck. Be sure to kneel outside of the marked-off section when cutting.

9. Remove Roof Deck

Use the pry bar to pull out nails from the cut-out section of the roof deck. Then, pry the damaged plywood off but do not dispose of it yet.

10. Cut New Roof Deck Patch

Use the damaged section of roof deck as a template for marking the dimensions of the new roof deck patch. For safety, cut this patch on the ground.

11. Attach the Roof Deck Patch

On the roof, set the roof deck patch in place and nail it into place on the rafters with 8d common nails.

12. Lay Paper or Underlayment

Working from the bottom upwards, nail down the roofing paper or underlayment with roofing nails. Overlap each row by at least 4 inches.

13. Run the First Row of Shingles

Starting at the bottom-most row, lay the first row of new shingles. Maintain the established rows by leafing the new shingles into the existing shingles, from left to right.

Apply a bead of roofing cement along the bottom of the shingles. Nail down the shingles along the top of the shingles.

14. Complete the Shingles

Work upwards until you reach the top row of shingles. Mesh the new shingles with the existing shingles by sliding the new shingles under the top row.

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