How to Repair a Leaky Asphalt Shingle Roof – DIY Guide

In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of asphalt shingle roof repair:

  • Finding the leak
  • Repairing damaged shingles when possible
  • Removing and replacing damaged asphalt shingles
  • When it makes sense to replace the entire roof or section
  • The cost of asphalt shingle replacement

Have you had that “uh oh” moment when you look up at the ceiling and are hit with the tell-tale signs of a leaky roof? The drywall is wet, maybe stained too. Or water is making its way through a light fixture, and drip, drip, dripping onto whatever lies beneath. That’s definitely a problem, but we’ve got the solutions right here.

Visually inspecting your roof from the ground using binoculars is something you should do after every high-wind event, and that’s often all it takes to discover the mauled or missing shingles, hopefully before a leak develops.

via A Step in Time Roofing

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

Either way, your roof is the home’s most important defense against the elements, and leaks must be stopped immediately. If they’re allowed to continue, extensive water damage, rotting wood and mold that is difficult and costly to remove will result.

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Top 10 Causes of Roof Leaks – How to Find and Fix Common Roof Leaks

They are the two most dreaded words in a homeowner’s vocabulary: a leaky roof. Water is the most insidious foe, eager to penetrate your home covering’s most vulnerable defenses. And once inside, the damage and destruction may be taking place far from the point of the initial attack, making the initial source of a roof leak difficult to identify.

a handy woman on the roof

The best homeowner defense is vigilance and fast action. Maybe a new roof is in the near future and it seems like a folly to bother with a leak. However, even a small, out-of-the-way drip in a house that seems like nothing more than an inconvenience is a major repair bill waiting to happen!

Did you know? Roof leaks can ruin insulation, become a breeding ground for black mold, damage interior ceilings and walls, and rot the wooden framing.

So, let’s look at the ten of the most common culprits in causing your roof to leak and what you can – and should – do about them (other than recruiting a bucket brigade):

1. Villain: Age

an-old-asphalt-roof

Roofing materials, especially asphalt shingles, get old and tired. Expansion and contraction with the change in temperatures cause aging roof protection to turn brittle and eventually crack. Years of harsh rays from direct sunlight can melt the tar that holds composition shingles together.

Father Time has not lost a battle yet and when roofing materials run up against their life expectancy, it will be time to budget for a new roof at the first sign of a leak.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

2. Villain: Brick Chimneys

leaking-chimney Source: Roof.net

Have you ever seen house ruins from 200 years ago? The chimney is often the only thing standing. While brick chimneys may seem indestructible, the mortar that binds the bricks together is nothing more than a hard-working mixture of water, sand, and cement.

Exposed to the weather elements, the mortar can erode and crumble over time. Check the mud cap on top of the chimney for deterioration and inspect the mortared joints where the chimney enters the roof. If patches are required, it is a cheap and quick fix.

3. Villain: Failed Flashing

chimney-flashing Source: Runyon and Sons Roofing

Speaking of chimneys, compromised flashing is a common problem on a roof. Flashing are thin strips of metal installed at danger points for leaks around a roof. For a chimney, they are bent at a 90-degree angle to attach to both the roofing material and the brick chimney.

Flashing needs to be properly sealed to protect against water intrusion. It also needs to remain nailed in place and even if that is all squared away, the metal can rust or crack.

Expect the cost of replacing old flashing to run several hundred dollars per major penetration like chimney, depending on the job size and desired material (aluminum, lead, copper, steel, etc.). Although it may be tempting to marshal the forces of caulking and roof cement in the battle against faulty flashing, this would be only a temporary solution best reserved for situations where you know the roof will soon be replaced.

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Rain Chains Cost, Materials, DIY Options & Styles in 2021

Rain chains demonstrate a beautiful blend of decorative form and useful function. Instead of water traveling from your roof through a closed downspout, rain chains allow you to enjoy rainwater’s pleasing sound and aesthetics, like a babbling brook cascading downward.

Rain Chains DIY Installation
via Hallmark Channel

In Japan, where rain chains had their origin, they are a common element of traditional building design. Gutters are viewed as too utilitarian to use when the function can be handled by something that also enhances the beauty of the structure. — That view is spreading, and the popularity of rain chains is growing in North America and around the world.

This buying guide provides a comprehensive overview of rain chain styles, materials, options, installation methods, costs, and DIY options.

The Basics

If you’re unfamiliar with rain chains, or kusari doi in Japanese, lets discuss their anatomy.

  • An adapter or bracket is attached to the gutter in place of a downspout
  • The rain chain hangs from it
  • The chain is anchored by a basin, stake, or weight

These three essential components might be sold separately, but many top manufacturers produce kits with everything included.

Cost

There is a wide range of rain chain prices, but they can be loosely grouped into these four categories that have some overlap:

  • $25-$55 | Cheap rain chains, fine chains, small design elements spaced widely, most often painted or coated steel or aluminum.
  • $55-$120 | Good-quality rain chains, larger and more design elements, most often copper, but some are brass, aluminum or stainless steel.
  • $120-$250 | High-quality rain chains, large, complex design elements, most often copper or stainless steel, a bottom bowl might be included.
  • $250-$700 | Best-quality rain chains, quite ornate, copper, zinc, and stainless-steel designs, often with a basin and stake included. The very finest rain chains are imported from Japan and cost in the upper end of this range.

How Much Do Accessories Cost?

The accessory options are weights, basins, and stakes:

  • Rain chain stakes: $15-$25
  • Rain chain weights: $25-$75
  • Rain chain basins: $50-$200 depending on the size, material and whether they’ve been handcrafted

Most Popular Styles

  • Chain links are interspersed with artistically designed cups or other features such as birds, leaves or flowers at intervals of a few inches to as much as a foot apart.
  • Most rain chain cups have holes in the bottom to allow water to pass through. Other chains are produced with shallow cups, and the rainwater fills the cup and spills over into the cup below.
  • Single links or another type of connector are used to hold each cup to the one above it, so that the rain chain is really a series of cups with little or no chainwork.
  • The rain chain is a series of decoratively fashioned links or loops, often of varying size and artfully interwoven, with no cups at all.

Because of the artistic nature of rain chain design, these three basic styles are produced in nearly limitless variations and combinations.

Traditionally, rain chains were crafted from metal, and most still are.

Most Popular Materials:

  • Copper: This is the traditional material choice of rain chain artisans. The copper must be polished regularly if you wish it to maintain its gleam. Most copper rain chains are allowed to develop an appealing patina finish that changes as the copper ages.
  • Steel: This is another traditional metal. Make sure any steel rain chain you consider is coated or painted to prevent rust, though corrosion is probably inevitable.
  • Stainless steel: This corrosion-resistant metal is often used by itself or in a rain chain design with copper.
  • Aluminum: More affordable than stainless, aluminum is durable and will develop a light patina too.
  • Brass: This material is a staple of plumbing fixtures because it resists corrosion. It’s an attractive choice for rain chains too.

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