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How to Fix a Roof Leak in a Three-Season Room

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Darlene in Iowa is on the line who’s got a leaky roof. Tell us what’s going on.

    DARLENE: I have got a three-season room that was built onto the house that I purchased and it was attached to the original home. And I’ve been fighting with a leak in that area. And I used some BLACK JACK for a sealant where the shingles come over onto the three-season room area. It’s a flat roof.

    TOM: So, I think that what’s happened here, Darlene, is that the junction between the three-season room and the roof was probably not correctly done. The BLACK JACK stuff you are talking about is, obviously, a temporary coal-tar patch type of a product. And that might give you a short-term solution but it definitely will not give you a long-term solution.

    If you’re having this kind of a long-term problem, what I would do is I would take the roof apart at the intersection between the three-season room and the main roof and then I would reinstall it, making sure that I address whatever the imperfection is.

    So, I suspect that since it might have been added after the fact, that it wasn’t flashed correctly. So, if you were to pull that off and use ice-and-water shield, which is like this rubberized material, under that junction between the three-season room and then the main roof and go up from there and make sure everything overlaps properly so that the water runs down and not back up, that will solve it.

    But short of doing that, you’re only going to be making very small gains in terms of slowing down this leak. So I would encourage you to stop using the temporary patch material, to take the roof apart and then fix it right so that you won’t have to be bothered with it again. Because if you don’t, there could be long-term problems: it could cause rot to the roof sheathing, as well. Even though you don’t see the water below, it could be leaking very slowly into the roof sheathing. So that’s the way to fix it once, fix it right and not have to worry about it again.

    Darlene, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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