What to look for before making a roof repair

Things to look for before attempting a roof repair:

Making roof repairs can be easy. Identifying the problem is not so easy. Many times we see roof repairs done but the roof is still leaking. It is important to first locate the position of the leaky area on the outside.

Vents on a roof

The rubber boot around a vent pipe can crack and leak water. Sometimes tar is used and gets hard over time and crack.
Vent Pipes on flat roofs that causes leaks

The best way is to take exact measurements from the inside of the room where the leak is spotted and then convey those measurements on the outside and locate the area. Once the approximate area is located on the outside, then you can start looking for obvious problems that could be the cause of the leak in a five-foot circle around that area.

Vent pipes – Many times vent pipes that stick through a flat roof can cause a leak. The rubber that seals the pipe can have dried up or the tar around the pipe can be cracked.


This is a common area for a skylight to have a leak.
The corner of these type of skylights always cause leaks

Check the flashing around the skylight. Whenever there is a skylight within six feet from a roof leak, that could be a strong possibility causing a leak.

DIY Flat Roof Repair Videos and Instructions

Before making a Flat Roof Repair, determine what type of roof you have

Railing Posts

Often the posts of railings on a deck are not properly flashed.

This post on a flat roof have no sleeve. You will notice where the flashing ends is caulking. That is where the water gets in.
The flashing on this post is incorrect. A post jacket is needed to complete the flashing

Flashing against the house

Whenever there is a transition from a flat roof membrane to another surface, then there is flashing involved. Attaching the membrane to metal flashing is not everyone’s cup of tea. In many cases, the membrane comes loose and water can get in.

The most important part of a roof is the flashing. Care must be taken not to damage it while stripping a roof.
Always check the flashing against a wall where the roof has to meet the wall


If your roof has an inner drain, many times the transition to the drain can also be the cause of the leak.

Debris clogging roof Drain
Drains can cause leaks
What to look for before making a roof repair 1
This is what a Torch Down Rubber looks like with white ceramic granular

Once the problem has been identified, the proper materials have to be used to make the specific roof repair. Never use silicone caulking. Silicone and rubber roofs don’t go together. Never use cheap flashing cement or tar from Home Depot.

The best thing is to find a roofing supply company in your area and ask the salesperson for advice on what to use to make the proper roof repair.

The repair of a Valley area. Most roofers do not know how to do a valley correctly. We often have to repair roofs that the flashing and valleys were not correctly installed.

We serve New Canaan and Connecticut.

This valley happens to be where two roofs meet. The biggest danger for this type of valley is when snow builds up. That very section will collect a lot of snow and ice. It is important to install a rubber membrane high enough under the shingles so if there was a build up of ice, that the water would not leak in.

Before a roof can be repaired two factors need to to be taken into account.

1. What is causing the leak? The roof could be leaking due to a skylight, drain or other flashing problems.

2. What material the roof is made from. There are four possible roofing materials that the roof could be.

a. Modified Bitumen Membrane

Modified Bitumen Membrane torch down with white granules surface to protect it from Ultra Violets and keep the roof cooler

b. EPDM membrane

c. TPO vinyl membraned. Hot Tar and gravel roof.

Most of the time it is advisable to get an expert to come and determine the cause of the leak. Often people try to save money by fixing the roof themselves ending up causing more damage.

Other problems with roof repair is that people will slap caulking on everything or tar and make it harder to do a proper repair. Once someone that doesn’t know anything about roofing try to make repairs, it usually ends up to be more costly due to the cleanup and preparation that has to be done.

The benefits of calling an expert for roof repairs:

  • The proper materials are used on the right rubber roof.
  • Experience in what the cause of the leak could be.
  • Analyzing the condition of the roof.
  • Guarantee on the work.
  • Peace of mind that you will not get inside damage.
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