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How to Fix a Garage Roof Leak

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Pat in Pennsylvania is on the line with a leak in a garage roof. What can we do for you today?

    PAT: Well, I have an attached garage to my house and right down at the end where the – near the garage door is there – right where the soffit meets the shingles, I have a leak there. And I was just wondering how I could try to fix that, if I could just put some of that BLACK JACK in there and try to fix it or …

    TOM: How long do you want it fixed for? A week or like forever? Because if you just use the tar, it’s going to be a very short-term repair.

    PAT: OK.

    TOM: Tell me where exactly the leak is evidencing itself.

    PAT: Well, it’s just a little bit of a water spot there right at the garage door and it seems like the shingles are lifted up a little bit. But my – we built our home only nine years ago, so I wasn’t sure if it was the shingles or …

    TOM: OK. So you’re not even sure if it’s the shingles themselves that are cracking. So if you built your home nine years ago, you’ve got a fiberglass-based asphalt shingle. And one of the ways that fiberglass-based asphalt shingles wear is they actually develop sort of fissures or cracks in them. So if you put a ladder against the front of the garage and you kind of go up and look down on the shingle itself and if you see cracks that go through them, that could be the source of the water.

    Now, if you’ve just got one or two shingles that are pushed up like that, usually that’s because a nail is actually backing up through the roof. And you can put a flat bar in there and kind of tap that nail down. And yeah, if you want to put a little bit of asphalt sealing under the tab just to kind of hold it in place, then that would be OK.

    But in terms of leak prevention, that type of sealant is not the way to fix the leak. If it turns out that the shingles are cracked, I don’t want you to tar them; I want you to take them off and replace them.

    PAT: OK. So that’s not a permanent fix then, I guess, is what you’re saying.

    TOM: Well, that’s right. It’s not going to be a permanent fix. If the shingles are cracked, then you should pull off the shingles that are damaged and replace them and you can do that with a flat bar. You can actually sort of extract – sort of surgically remove a shingle from the middle of a roof and put a new one back in its place.

    PAT: OK. You wouldn’t think after nine years, though, that the shingles would be cracked already, would you, or …?

    TOM: I have seen it happen quicker than that.

    PAT: Oh, really? OK.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s why – see, that’s kind of the way those shingles wear. It depends on a lot of factors. But I would take a very careful look at that and see if that’s what’s causing it.

    PAT: OK. Well, that sounds good. I appreciate your help.

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