Whether you’ve let a long-standing leak turn into a bonafide hole in your roof or that recent storm has you looking for quick ways to patch it, you’ll need to know how to repair a hole in your roof before it gets any worse. After all, the longer you let that hole sit, the more chances that rain and other debris may work their way in and damage other parts of your home, including your internal structure, electrical wires, piping and even the ceilings and walls in your home.
That’s why we suggest that anyone with a hole in the roof to repair the issue as quickly as possible — but we understand that it’s not always feasible to call a professional out at the first sign of damage. However, there are some things that you can do on your own to repair that hole in the roof, or at least mitigate the damage until you can get a proper fix in place. But if there’s an upcoming storm and you’re wondering whether that DIY fix is good enough, you might need to call a professional in sooner rather than later.
Common Causes of a Hole in the Roof
One of the most common culprits of roof damage is from neighboring trees. If your roof is surrounded by trees and heavy branches that can break off during storms or high winds, any day could end up being a problem for your roof if one of those heavy limbs breaks off and falls on your roof. In addition to a hole in the roof that you’d need to repair, trees can cause all sorts of roof damage.
But it doesn’t have to be an act of God that creates a hole in your roof. Even nails and other fixtures can cause leaking that can eventually lead to a hole in the roof, which is something to keep in mind if you’re removing that old satellite dish — the empty holes where the attachment screws went are decidedly not waterproof!
Other damaged seals, rust or rot can also take hold, creating a hole in the roof that needs repairing after too long. In fact, even old repairs can end up inadvertently creating a hole in your roof, which is much more likely if you’re handling your roof repairs yourself instead of calling in the professionals.
The Dangers of a Hole in Your Roof
You may be tempted to leave that hole in your roof if you’re not seeing any damage in your living areas or the attic, but that would be a mistake. The tiniest hole can grow much, much bigger before too long, and by the time you notice it inside it could be too late. Rain and moisture can rot wood and damage just about anything inside your home — and it will if given the opportunity!
A hole in the roof is also a health hazard because rain and moisture can lead to mildew and mold, both of which are toxic to your health. If anyone in your household suffers from asthma or another respiratory issue — or they have a compromised immune system — you could be exposing them to toxic substances all because you neglected to repair that hole in the roof.
Lastly, a hole in the roof also invites in critters and other animals that may decide to use your attic as a hangout or as a home. We’ve seen squirrels, mice and raccoons all take up residence inside attics and dilapidated roofs, and if left unchecked they can end up in the living spaces inside your home.
When Does That Hole in the Roof Need Repair?
While we’d always suggest that a hole in the roof is repaired as soon as the problem is discovered, here are some warning signs of a roof that needs repair.
If you notice any water dripping from the attic ceiling, it’s typically a clear indication of a hole in the roof. But don’t think that the location of the drip is where the hole is. Water can travel from one end of your roof to the other before it hits the attic ceiling, giving you little indication of where the water’s coming from or where it might end up.
Any damp walls, ceilings or visible stains on either are also indicators of a hole in the roof. Whether they are moist to the touch or you have visible, dried stains, you’ll need a roof repair before long, particularly if you’re noticing any bulging or peeling paint.
If you can get into the attic and you see any visible light coming from your roof, you’ll need to repair that hole in the roof. Visible light means that water can also get through, so even if it’s slight, a small leak can cause a serious issue before long.
Additionally, any cracked or missing shingles on your roof can indicate a hole or another problem.
Should You Repair That Hole in Your Roof?
Sure, you might be able to hack something together to repair that hole in your roof — but should you? Roof repairs are dangerous because you’re often 20 to 30+ feet in the air, and you can’t really trust the roof under your feet if you’ve got a hole in it; the underlying structure could be compromised or damaged in some way.
But with a small enough hole, some DIY knowledge and a friend or two to help, you may be able to patch that hole before it becomes a real problem. Aside from picking a nice sunny day to work, you’ll also need a roofing ladder, some extra shingles and the fasteners you need to put it all in place.
That said, once you complete your patch, it’s still a good idea to call in a professional. You may have stopped the hole from growing bigger, but who knows what’s going on inside your attic. If there’s extensive enough damage, you could be risking the integrity of your entire roof itself, and that’s one of the most expensive costs you can have as a homeowner. Furthermore, most roofs are only intended to last a decade or two, so you may be on schedule for a roof replacement anyway.
When in doubt, it’s better to get the solid advice of a roofing professional. They can help repair that hole in your roof and ensure that the rest of your roof is good for the remainder of the season. Just contact us and we’ll come out and give you a free roofing estimate.