Is your roof leaking? Do the recent rains here in Hawaii have you wearing your raincoat inside? If so, you want to fix this problem immediately since water can cause significant damage to your home’s construction, whether it’s your home or an investment property. It’s not always a quick fix, but you need to get it handled NOW. If you’re not going to call a professional (and be honest, maybe you should), then here are some quick tips on how to fix that leaky roof:
1. Get yourself a good ladder and a few ounces of courage, because you’re getting up on that leaking roof! Ok, do I need to say that you should not do this while it’s actually raining?? Once you’re up top, enjoy the views of Waikiki, Pearl Harbor or Diamond Head or wherever you find yourself because you really shouldn’t be up there too often. Now back to work!
2. Look for imperfections in the shingles. Any broken pieces or tears? Anything rotting? Now examine your vents and skylights or anything else you have up there – satellite dishes, antennas, etc. Are the cement seals broken? I saw a few chimneys in Wahiawa recently – check those seals, too. What about your solar panels? Did they cause any problems when installed? Check for mold as well so you know whether you have another problem on hand.
3. Need help locating the site of the leak? Try this: take a few flowers up there with you, break off the petals and tear those into small pieces. Now, place them on the wet roof and see where the water takes them. That’s your leak! If it doesn’t work, then at least it will smell nice as you’re walking around.
4. Now get down from the roof. Really, what were you doing up there? Don’t you know it’s dangerous? You could get a bad sunburn, too. You should be in the attic instead because that’s where you’re going to locate the source of the water’s entry into your house. Hopefully it’s only coming in from one place. Just follow the wet tracks or water stains to the source.
5. Now that you’ve located the leak, let’s fix it. If the problem is a vent or a shingle, you’ll want to replace the part and give it a healthy dose of roofing cement to plug those leaks. A trowel is your tool of choice for this job.
6. If your problem is due to rusted metal, then you can use a quality metal paint to prevent further corrosion from water or extreme heat. However, this is patchwork – severely rusted metal should ideally be replaced. Your roof is not the place to save a few bucks.
7. Empty that bucket inside your front door, ditch the raincoat during family dinner and revel in a job well done. You’ve fixed your leaking roof, your Hawaii house is a home yet again and you are the envy of all the neighbors.
8. If you can’t do Step #7, then call a professional Hawaii roofer! ☺