Is your leaky roof bringing you down?  If you're sick of feeling drops on your head while you're sleeping, it's time to make a change.  Here are a few tips to waterproof your roof.

Take Preventative Measures

Most roofs are constructed from shingles.  If proper steps aren't taken to waterproof your roof, your covering doesn't have much of a purpose.  Before it's too late, you need to take preventative measures to ensure your house isn't damaged from rain or moisture.

  • Check the flashing: Flashing, or strips of metal used over joints in the roof, is vital for preventing leaks.  In fact, faulty flashing is said to be responsible for 90 percent of roof leaks.  Metal drip-edge flashing bends over the roof so it stops water from sneaking under the roof tiles.  Use galvanized nails to secure the flashing on the eaves.  
  • Waterproof over and under: If you're adding on or replacing your roof, you need to make sure to place roofing felt between the rafters and the shingles.  Then, when your shingles begin to show wear and tear, you can apply a waterproofing compound onto the shingles.  This process can breathe new life into the original waterproofing materials in your shingles.  You can choose between oil or water-based waterproofing materials.  Oil-based materials will give your roof a longer life.  However, water-based compounds are better for the environment.

Fix Leaks

Even if you waterproof your roof, it's still important to check for leaks.  After all, even small leaks can cause a lot of damage.  Check plumbing and roof vents, chimneys, or anything else that sticks out of the roof.  Then, use a flashlight to look for water stains or black mold in your attic.  Here are a few tips for fixing leaks:

  • Replace roof vents: Typically, you will have to replace a damaged roof vent.  First, you'll have to pry up the shingles.  Then, remove any nails and the roof vent.  After purchasing a new roof vent, slide it over the pipe and attach it to the deck with roofing nails.  Finally, you will need to cut new shingles and then place them under the old shingles.  Secure the new shingles with roofing nails.
  • Nail holes: Even small holes can cause damage.  To fix this, you can put silicone caulk or roof cement in the holes.  Then, lift up the shingles where the holes are and apply roofing cement under the shingles.  Next, cut sheet metal and put it on top of the cement.  Finally, apply caulking to the sides of the sheet metal patches and push the shingles back down.

Install Foam Roofing

Foam roofs are an excellent choice for leak prevention.  To put on a roof like this, polyurethane foam is sprayed onto the surface.  The foam is made of two liquids. When combined, these two materials create a foam that expands 20 to 30 times in volume.  Since the foam doesn't have seams or cracks, the end result is a solid, water-resistant mass.  Other benefits of foam roofing include:

  • It doesn't shift: Standard roofs shift when the temperature fluctuates. As a result, the seams are weakened and become vulnerable to moisture.  However, unlike standard roofs, foam roofing can also easily adapt to temperature changes.  Its seamless nature isn't susceptible to water damage.
  • It can be applied over an old roof: In some cases, foam roofing can be put directly over old roofing.  This can save time and money.

A leaky roof can really dampen your spirits.  When in doubt, you may want to hire a roofing contractor, like Independent Roofing Inc, for some professional help.