Repair Roof Flashing: Tips for Asphalt Shingle Roofs

As unlikely as it may seem, you don't have to be an experienced roofer to repair roof flashing on an asphalt shingle roof. With a set of dependable rules and tips, along with an adequate tool box, you should be able to rmake these repairs.

Tip 1 – Locate the Leak in Your Roof

Locating a leak in your roof is possibly the most important step in repairing the leak. Begin by any clues you have, such as water dripping from the ceiling or spots in your ceiling that are discolored, wet or bulging. Once you find these clues, look in your attic above the wet spot in your ceiling. Typically, this spot will be almost directly below a leak in your roof. Most likely, the leak will be in one of your flashings that is located in the roof above the wet spot. If water is leaking while you are in your attic looking for the leak, you should easily be able to trace the leak to the flashing.

Tip 2 – Locate the Leaking Flashing

Once you have located the leaking flashing from your position in the attic or crawl space, go up onto the roof and locate the flashing that is leaking. If it is raining or snowing, mark the leaking flashing so you'll be able to find it when the roof is dry and you're ready to repair it.

Tip 2 – Locating Head Wall Flashing Leaks

Chances are small that you'll have head wall flashings on your roof. These flashings are commonly used on roofs whose edges end at a vertical exterior wall where the wall edge and roofing edge come together. The installed flashing must fit under the wall material and roofing in such a way that water is not allowed to run into the space between the wall and roof. Caulk, roofing cement, or tar should not be applied to these areas. If you discover any of these types of waterproofing already on your roof, it is probably from someone's previous efforts to patch a leak. Under normal conditions you should see a small exposed area of the flashing. The major portion of the flashing will be attached beneath the shingles and the wall material.

Tip 3 – Locating Chimney Flashing Leaks

Chimney leaks are among the most common of flashing leaks. This is because four different types of flashings are commonly used, all of which must be leak proof to keep the flashing from leaking. To find leaks in these flashings, determine if there are any cracks in the chimney through which water can leak under the flashing. Also look for any soldered flashing corners where the solder has broken loose or has holes in it.

Tip 4 – Repairing Flashing Leaks

When you have found leaking flashings, do not try to repair them with caulking or other sealing materials. The flashings, themselves, will usually need to be replaced. If you have the skill and experience to replace them, it should be a simple task of cutting and fitting the flashing. Otherwise, you may need to call an experienced roofer to do the job for you.