Nothing really tests the durability of a roof like a good week long down pour. While it’s mildly rare to see a down pour in California come early fall, it’s a blessing in disguise because detecting and patching a minor leak is always easier to do sooner rather than later.
As a landlord, whose responsibility is to provide a safe, dry, and habitable for his tenants, it was my responsibility to fix the problem at hand.
The roof itself hasn’t been replaced in over twenty years, but at this point I felt that the roof could be of service for a few more years. Outside of replacing the roof which may cost upwards toward $10-$20k, the current and most cost effective solution would be to do a simple patch.
Not sure which type of repair cement to use? Click here to learn more about the different sealant attributes.
Time: 1-2 Hours
Identify the location of the leak. Use the broom to brush away any gravel or dirt to reveal any cracking on the surface. Inspect the roof for any and all of the following: divots, cracks, splits, or tears. For any roof penetrations such as chimneys, vents, and or sunroofs, examine to see if there are any visible signs of cracking around existing roof cement.
Once the location leak has been identified, using the trowel, apply the cement / sealant over the cracked surface. Make sure that the cement is spread out evenly. When applying cement, make sure to layer the cement so that the surface has a slight downward tilt towards the spout or drain. It’s important to layer and distribute the cement evenly so that water does not pool up in one particular spot.
Let the cement dry out for a few hours. Sweep the gravel to cover up the newly cemented area. If you are repairing the roof leak in the rain (not advised), but if you are, the wet patch will work during heavy rain and wet conditions.
This is optional, but to test whether the patching succeeded, use a hose and gently apply water over to the area that had the leaked.
If the leak originated from around the heating or exhaust vents, you can repeat the same steps outlined above and apply the tar around the gap between the vent and the roof.
If you have any tips on patching the roof leave a comment below!