I recently helped a homeowner fix a leak at her newly purchased home. Days after moving in she discovered a leak in a rear bathroom, and immediately called someone to help her.
Unfortunately, the handyman she hired to fix the leak didn’t do what he needed to. The leak was fairly easy to diagnose: the homes previous owner had told her of a box vent that had been recently stepped on (with no explanation on why people were on the roof), and water was now getting past the box vent.
The handyman didn’t fix the problem, though.
We have all seen the commercial with the pitchman showing his great spray rubber that can be used to fix roof leaks, gutter leaks…he even sprays it on a screen door mounted to the bottom of a row boat to show how it seals.
While that sort of product may work well with some roofing materials such as metal or plastic, I would never recommend using it to fix a leak. In fact, the whole premise isn’t about fixing the leak…it’s about hiding the leak.
Often the best way to fix a leak is to replace the leaking part of the roof. It is easier and cheaper to replace a pipe boot or box vent once than to have someone come out every year to again remedy a leak. Do it right the first time, and you will be better in the long run.
In our homeowner’s case, all it took was a few shingles, a new box vent, and an hour to properly fix the leak. Easy and done.