One of the reasons it's important to check your roof closely every few years is so you can find caulked areas that have worked loose. While shingles make up the bulk of your roof, there are other parts like rubber boots, metal flashing, and sealant that can wear down and start leaking.
Replacing worn-out caulk is an easy roofing repair, but the tricky part can be tracking down the source of the roof leak. Here's a look at where caulk and other sealants are used on your roof and signs the sealants are bad and need to be replaced.
Where Caulk Is Used On Your Roof
Caulk, roofing cement, and other sealants are used when making roofing repairs and to seal flashing and skylights. When your roof starts leaking, the roofer may check over the shingles first and then look for other obvious signs, such as cracks in rubber boots or holes in metal flashing.
The roofer will also check around flashing and skylights for signs of caulk that has worn away. The roofer may also look at areas of previous roof repairs that used roofing cement or other sealants to repair cracks in shingles or to hold flashing in place.
When To Suspect Your Roof Has Bad Sealants
If your roof is leaking and you can't find any damaged shingles, it's time to consider if bad caulk is the reason. Finding the problem with sealants isn't easy since water can leak through a gap caused by loose sealant and roll down the roof before it starts leaking in the attic.
However, the roofer can examine the sealants to look for cracks, missing sealant, and loose sealant. Your roofer may even find areas with bad sealant that haven't started leaking yet.
How To Replace Bad Caulk
Replacing bad sealant involves scraping off all the old caulk or other sealant so the new sealant can be put on. The flashing around your chimney may not use very much sealant, but there are usually a few small areas that need it to keep rain from rolling behind the flashing and starting a roof leak.
Once the old caulk is removed, the area is cleaned off so new caulk can be put in the gap. The roofer might also apply new caulk over nail holes in the metal flashing to prevent them from leaking. If shingles have been repaired previously using sealant to fill cracks, the roofer might decide to replace the shingles rather than add more sealant, just to make sure there is no threat of a roof leak in the future.
The roofer might also check the deck area under the missing caulk to make sure the deck doesn't have any water damage from a long-term leak. If the deck is rotted, it may have to be repaired too.
For more information about roofing repair, contact a local roofing company.