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Patching roof leak on asphalt shingle

 
Posts: 15
Location: Deer Isle, Maine usa
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Hey! I have a leak coming down my wall under some circumstances. I thought it was a skylight, but now it looks like maybe some flashing issue? I gooped really well around the skylight earlier and I still get water on the wall below it. On the roof, which is nearly flat, there is some flashing that may need to be taped and gooped...may be the problem. Any suggestions on the pros and cons of the various goops available? They really run the gamut in price. Rubber vs tar wannabes, etc. I'd take a picture but my 'puter skills are so limited. How to put it up here? I'll see if I can enlist some help with that. By the way, I'm so grateful to have a roof in any case!
 
master steward
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You have my heartfelt sympathy.  Roof leaks, for me, are one of the most frustrating experiences it is possible to have.   The problem is that water can migrate from source of the leak only to appear many feet away.  Sorry, I have no ideas to the best product in your case.  Much will depend upon the source of the leak.
 
Rocket Scientist
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Sorry, I have no particular advice on what types of goop to use, but... asphalt shingles, on a "nearly flat" roof? That sounds like problems waiting to happen. How old is the roof? Is the skylight the same age? Flashing could well be a source of leaks depending on the details.

When you get a photo saved to your phone or computer, going to the "Post Reply" link will show "Options" and "Attachments" buttons at the bottom. Select Attachments, "upload a file", and navigate to where your photos are stored. Then select what you want, add a caption if you want, and Submit the post.
 
gardener
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I agree with Glenn.
Asphalt is much better suited for 3 in 12 pitched roofs and greater. Is it at least wide (3') asphalt roll on roofing?
You could be chasing a leak for a while if you just patch. If not a huge roof you could could coat the entire roof with a coat of rubberized roof sealer applied with a roller.
 
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Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
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Hi,  If you are sure of where the leek is comming from you might look into Eternabond tape.  Will outlast the current roof. The company is also into sustainability.
 
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try a high-quality rubberized sealant on the flashing. It's better for flat roofs and lasts longer than tar-based products. A photo of the issue would help, but focusing on the flashing is a good start.
 
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jajel Anthony wrote:try a high-quality rubberized sealant on the flashing. It's better for flat roofs and lasts longer than tar-based products. A photo of the issue would help, but focusing on the flashing is a good start.



Corny late night infomercials aside, I gotta give it up for Flex tape and all their products.   2 cans of their spray paint cost about $30 but it gets deep into cracks nooks and crannies and it really does a good job.
 
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People have tendency to pile on more and more "stuff" to fix things, often especially water leaks. Eventually, that will not end well. There is only one real solution. Strip away everything with which you attempted to fix the problem, replace the any wood that you didn't know had already rotted, then seal up the area correctly. There're tons of YouTube videos that explain the proper methods. And remember, water tends to run downhill.
 
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Location: Northern Colorado (Zone: 3b/4a)
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I only know two people with flat roofs. My parent's neighbor had a contractor build a proper hipped roof built on top of their house, because they were fighting with it almost every spring for years. The other guy is a retired dentist, and he had a company that redoes RV roofs come put some sort of Urethane, or PVC on his whole roof. He did that 10-15 years ago, and the last time I was over at his house a few months ago he said he had never had a problem with it since. I doubt you'll ever be able to completely seal a flatish roof completely with asphalt tarp.
 
pollinator
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Sometimes people seal up the low side too.
Then water can't get away.
 
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