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Are There Any Temporary Fixes to a Small Leak on a Screen House With Asphalt Roofing?

A screened structure such as a backyard screened house or an enclosed patio allows you to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about mosquitoes and other nuisances. Weather shouldn't be a nuisance either, but when your screened house's asphalt roof is failing, leaks may disrupt your activities and enjoyment. A low-cost do-it-yourself temporary fix works until you can get the roof repaired.
  1. Tracing the Drip

    • Asphalt shingles are the most common roof coverings for residences. Often, an outbuilding such as a shed, garage or screen house will have the same shingles installed as the main house roof. There are many reasons a shingled roof will leak, and identifying the correct one may prove difficult. The place where the water drips from inside may be a distance away from where the water is entering the roof on the exterior.

    Nails and Flashing

    • Fortunately the size of most screened structures is small, which makes it easy to closely examine the roof. Look for nails that may have popped out, allowing water to directly drain inside. If you find one or more, replace the nails and add a dab of urethane roof coating over the nail. If the roof has a vent, then check the flashing, which is the metal under the shingles at fixtures, edges and valleys. If the flashing is rusted or broken it will eventually need replacement, but painting a 1/4-inch-thick coat of urethane roof coating around the area should seal it off.

    Replacing Shingles

    • If wind has ripped one or more shingles off, replacing them will hold a small leak at bay until the roof is re-covered. A local roofing company can give you a shingle or two leftover from a similar-color roof. It may not be perfectly matched, but for a temporary fix on a screen house, the appearance is not as important as sealing off the hole. Lift up the surrounding shingles, put the new one in place and nail it down. You can add a thin layer of roof coating under the new and surrounding shingles to help hold them down and seal any holes.

    Complete Coating

    • If the roof is old and the asphalt is curling up along the shingles edges, the leak might be coming from anywhere. Coating the entire roof with urethane roof coating is not going to gain style points for best-looking roof, but it will seal out any moisture and leaks until you can have the entire roof replaced. Use a coating that meets the American Society for Testing and Materials D 6083 standard and swab it on thickly with a large brush, being sure to cover the spaces between the shingles.