Can I seal a leaky roof instead of replacing it?

Old 03-21-10, 10:07 PM
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Can I seal a leaky roof instead of replacing it?

I definitely need a new roof, and it's currently leaking in one area. I just can't afford a new roof this year, or at least not until this fall. My roof is asphalt shingles.

Is it possible to coat the area, probably an 8x12 area, with a brush on clear roof sealant? I can't pinpoint the exact spot of the leak, but know it's in that general area. Or is this only suitable for very small areas, if you know where the leak is?

I'm guessing this would prevent the rain from coming in at least temporarily. According to the descriptions of the products I read about, they stop leaking. They also claim to be elastic so they move with the roof. I just hope the seal stays intact.

Is there a down side to this approach? Can I expect it to last a year?

Old 03-26-10, 05:07 PM
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I just passed a house the other day. They had a tarp or something held to the roof with furring strips. I guess is was for the same reason.

Another idea is to nail some tar paper to the roof & use some roofing tar to cover the nails & edges.
Start from the lowest point & overlap as you go up.
Old 03-26-10, 05:38 PM
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Hi Ginger, first step is to be certain you know where the leak is. The actual leak can unfortunately be right there or some distance away, always above the water you see. It would be a real pain to apply a bunch of sealer and have it still leak.

Is the area in question simply a section of roof with no dormers, walls, or other flashed areas above it anywhere? And by above it I mean 10 to 20 feet to either side. It is less common for leaks to occur in the middle of a roof and more common for them to be associated with valleys, vents, skylights, dormers, transitions, or anywhere where flashing was required.

If you can post some pictures it might help.

Some investigating can possible reduce the target area or sometimes find an easier solution.


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