If you have a leak in your roof, you may assume that the problem is due to shingles that are damaged or deteriorated. However, it could actually be due to a problem with your flashing. Here is what you need to know about identifying flashing and making any necessary repairs.
Locate The Leak
If you see water coming into your home, you can use this to figure out roughly where the leak could be. Measure how many feet the leak is occurring from one of your home's walls. Then measure out this distance to find out approximately where the lowest point of the roof leak could be. You'll know for sure that the leak is located higher up on the roof's slope than this location, but not any lower.
It's a good idea to look at places where flashing material is used and not forming a good seal with your roof. It could be something as simple as the flashing material pulling away from the roof, or flashing material that has completely deteriorated. If you can clearly see damage cause to the flashing material, you know that is the source of the leak.
Repair The Leak
Some flashing damage is quite easy to repair. If it's a piece of metal that has pulled away from the roof, the easiest way to fix it will be to use roofing cement to hold the flashing against the side of your home once again. It will create a solid barrier that won't let water behind it, keeping the roof deck beneath this section of the roof dry.
Other parts of your roof can be more complicated. More specifically, if you have a flashing rain collar around a pipe that is broken. The steps for repairing this type of flashing will actually require removing all of the shingles around the collar so that it is completely exposed. You can then remove the old rain collar, slide a new one over the vent where the old one used to lie, and install new shingles back on the roof to replace the ones that you removed. You'll have a new piece of metal flashing installed to prevent water from getting underneath it again.
Roof work can be quite dangerous if you are not comfortable walking on your home's roof. If you're not up to doing this task on your own, contact a professional roofing contractor to handle it for you.