How to Repair a Leaking Corrugated Roof
A corrugated roof may be a versatile, cheap, and popular roofing option among homeowners, but this does not mean that it is impervious to leaks. They are actually quite common, but the good news is that it can be fixed properly as long as you have the right tools and knowledge. Rather than calling a professional, you can personally do the task and save on unnecessary labor costs.
Step 1 - Gain Access
Plant a ladder firmly to the ground. If it is an extendable type, make sure that extensions are secured. Wearing a harness and safety goggles may also help in preventing injuries while you're on the roof.
Step 2 - Find Leaks
Finding leaks in a roof can be very tricky. Roof leaks can cause water damage to a home or garage's ceiling, so this damaged point should be the point of reference. A common sign of roof leaks is the wetting of ceiling tiles. Trace the leak from there backwards to its source on the roof. The source can be a few meters away from the spot where the water drips.
Some of the more common areas where leaks are located include skylights, chimney, and fields of shingles, low spots, and wall step flashings. You can also check the gutters and vents for any signs of leaks. Usually, damaged gutters can result to water damage going as far down as the cellar. This is because the water directly runs down the exterior walls.
Step 3 - Patch
Use a rag to quickly clean the area that needs to be patched. Apply a small amount of lacquer thinner afterward. Then, use a specialty sealing tape to cover the area that needs to be patched. Make sure your sealing tape is made especially for patching metal materials so it sticks easily and is UV and rain resistant. A specialized patching tape like Eternabond can be purchased at most hardware stores and home improvement shops. Press the patching tape down over the leak. Alternatively, use a rubber roller in various directions to apply more pressure.
When the damage is large enough for patching, it is best to replace the entire affected sheet. Start by carefully pulling off the nails or screws on the damaged sheet and the sides of any adjoining sheets. Notice that the edges of the sheets overlap on the next one; you should install the replacement the same way. Use only specialty nails or screws suited for corrugated roof, as they should be more water-tight and weather-proof. Drive them on the ridge of the corrugated roof instead on the lower curve to make them even more watertight. You will need around 20 nails or screws for one sheet. Secure adjoining sheets as well.
Step 4 - Conduct Regular Inspections
A good way to prevent leaks from occurring in a corrugated roof is to regularly inspect it, even when there are no leaks occurring. It is always recommended to inspect a roof after weather disturbances such as heavy rains and snow, or weather phenomena like hurricanes and hail storms. Unclog the gutter as well to help in preventing leaks from occurring; always clean the gutters regularly to keep the roof in tip-top condition.
With proper care and maintenance, any corrugated roof will be spared from leaks. The good thing with this type of material is that it requires minimal maintenance, so it can last for a long time. However, finding and patching leaks will go a long way towards ensuring the durability of your roof.