Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Leaky Garage Roof...gotta fix it ASAP

Got a day to fix a roof!!!
It's supposed to rain tomorrow.

Having never ever in my life ever really thought about roofing, I've not got a day and a half to stop our garage roof from leaking.

First, I had to determine where exactly it was leaking from. From inside the garage I closed the doors and went looking for sunlight showing through the underside of the roof....well, I found it. There appear to be three main spots where the roof is leaking, though having been up there and seen the condition of the roof I'm surprised it's not leaking in many more places. I stuck yellow pipe cleaners up through the holes so I could see them from above.

One of the main leaks and most light showing is this disintegrated cap shingle.
I don't think that there is a lot of water coming in through here but it has the most light.

From underneath

Doesn't it look all spooky with the real spiderwebs?

I found two other leaks, interestingly enough, where the roof sheathing has a joint.

I believe these leaks are where most of the water is coming in. It gets through the shingles and runs down the underside of the roof where it drips off in various places. See that horizontal crack in all those shingles? That coincides with the roof sheathing joint...coincidence? Those shingles are cracked totally in half and you can see right through into the garage...

Underside view

This, I believe, is the main leaking spot. Look at that fungus damaged sheathing...it's pretty spongy...as in, I don't think it'll take a nail...

Other Side

This leak looks more recent and the sheathing is still pretty solid.

The Plan:
I don't have one. Help...I need to stop this roof from leaking and have the patch hold through this wet season and probably one other...

I've been looking at the roofing isle in Home Despot and hey, you can buy shingles in singles! But you can not buy cap shingles that way...?

I guess my plan is to attach some solid plywood to the underside of the rotted out stuff and then use REALLY long nails to attach the shingles to the roof? How do I do that correctly?

The cap shingle...how do I plug that hole if I can't get a cap shingle to replace the rotted out one?

Any useful advice would be greatly appreciated.


Gene said...

The best approach would be to strip all the shingles, fix the sheathing (i.e., replacing any that's rotted) and then reroof. However, that sounds like it's outside your time frame.

If you're just doing a quick patch job to hold for now, I'd get some Henry's Roof Cement (and a brush and cheap putty knife to dispose of) and a bundle of shingles. Then you can use the roof cement to basically glue the shingles in as patches.

For the ridge, just flop a shingle or two over the whole thing, probably sideways. For the others, gently lift up the row above with a prybar, and glue in a shingle that starts as high up as you can.

The goal with any of the patches is to not leave a top edge exposed. If you do (or if you end up with one that's too close for comfort), smear a generous amount of Henry's along the entire seam. Just think like a drip...of water :-) and make sure you're not leaving a way in.

(An intermediate approach would be to just do a whole new roof over the existing one. It's common with composition shingle roofs to have a couple of layers as they get redone over the years.)

Anonymous said...

Hey - Did you see your previous home all fixed up and listed on MLS for sale? I wondered what you thought
of the work done and the final product and the price?

Marley Barley

Old House Lover said...

Daniel, Some companies now-a-days make specialty cap shingles, but back in the day when 3-in-1 shingles were the norm we made our own. A 3-in-1 shingle is the type of shingle that has 3 individual tabs. Many of the newer dimensional or architectural shingles don't actually have tabs any more. Anyway what we would do is take a 3-in-1 and cut it in to 3 cap shingles by cutting from the top of the tab slot all the way to the top of the shingle. I don't seen any reason that the non-sloted shingles couldn't be cut in thirds and used the same way. Since you're in CA you probably won't have any trouble bending them, but if they're cold they can be warmed up by laying in the sun or even bringing them in to a heated space for a bit. If they're too warm they're hard to cut, but easier to bend without cracking. Once bent just position them like the old ones and nail on each side of the cap shingle above the "tar" strip. The final one can be stuck down using some roof cement. My dad always like to tack the last one down with a couple of non-rusting small nails (like a box nail) just to make sure it didn't blow off in the wind. I beleive that if you Google replace damaged shingle or somesuch that there are sites that can tell you how to do it, if you can't find one, comment and I can try to remember the details. Haven't done any roofing since the 70s so I'm a little rusty. : )

Gene said...

I'd forgotten about the cutting a 3 tab trick -- it's probably been 15 years since I used it. But good call, @Old House Lover.