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Repair Small Holes in a Ceiling and Roof

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Well, Fred from Colorado’s up next and you’ve got a leaky ceiling. What’s happening?

    FRED: Well, it’s in my garage and I’m buying a house and the guy before me – had the house before me, put a ham radio antenna through the ceiling – I mean through the roof of the garage.

    TOM: OK. (laughing)

    FRED: And I’m taking that antenna down. And I’m wondering how to patch those holes so I don’t have a leak, you know, to where it gets under the shingles or under the tar paper. How would you go about doing that?

    TOM: Alright, Fred. Well, when you dismantle the erector set structure on your roof (laughter), that once was, and the ham radio antenna, is it mostly attached to the roof? It sort of bolts through the shingles? Is that how he did it?

    FRED: They just drilled holes (laughter) and stuck the antenna down through there.

    TOM: Oh, man. Alright, well, …

    FRED: Apparently, it didn’t bother him that it leaks around there but I want – like I said, I want to take the antenna out of there. I …

    TOM: Well, he probably got an extra few thousand miles of distance out of that thing because of the water conductivity, with all those leaks. (chuckling)

    FRED: Right.

    TOM: I’ll tell you what you want to do, Fred. First you want to remove the tower, obviously, and wherever it has broken through into the roof, the first thing you need to do is to pull the shingles off in that area. If it’s just a matter of some holes in the plywood – for example, where a bolt went through – not a big deal. You can reshingle right over that. You want to pull out the old shingle. The best tool to use for that is a flat bar. You simply reach under it, find the spot where the nails are attaching it into the sheathing and sort of wiggle the flat bar from side to side and that will pick those nails up, slow but sure. And then you want to slide the flat bar on top of the shingle to pull it out the rest of the way. You can slip out an old shingle and in a new shingle pretty easily.

    Now, if they’ve actually done some serious damage to the sheathing itself, then you patch that hole next. And the best way to probably do that is to pull off all the shingles in the area, to cut a piece of plywood that goes from impact point – which would be, for example, the top of the rafter (ph) or the top of the truss to the next one – from those two load points, you want to actually spread that with the plywood and then re-tar-paper and then reshingle in that area. But, for the most part, if it’s just the holes, you can simply pull out one shingle at a time and make that repair.

    FRED: Alrighty.

    TOM: Fred, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You know, when I was a kid, my dad had a ham radio and he was …

    TOM: Uh-huh.

    LESLIE: … and he was WB2YOD and he actually talked to the space shuttle.

    TOM: Is that right?!

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: That’s pretty cool.

    LESLIE: The space was accepting open calls from ham radio operators and my dad got to talk to them and he was very excited about it.

    TOM: That is very exciting.

    LESLIE: And he didn’t need water to reach him, either.

    TOM: And he had a ham for a daughter.

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