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Roof Repair: Why Not to Use Tar to Patch Your Roof or Chimney Lead

Roof Repair: Why Not to Use Tar to Patch Your Roof or Chimney Lead

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare; it’s raining and there is water leaking inside your home. Roof repair and roof replacement can seem like an invasive and expensive dilemma, causing many homeowners to want to simply patch the leak with a bucket of tar. After all, they make roofing tars that can be applied even when the roof itself is wet, right? Unfortunately, this can cause more problems than it actually solves, particularly over the lifespan of the roof.

Roof Repairs with Tar

If you climb up on your roof to discover the source of the leak and find one of a few things:

  • Missing caulk around your flashing
  • Missing or rusting chimney lead
  • Missing, cracked, or broken shingles

You may be tempted to “patch” these problem areas with tar. After all, if the rest of the roof looks like it’s in good condition, you may think that you’re saving money by tarring the roof.

Unfortunately, what you are doing is putting a band-aid on an open wound. And while band-aids can be useful, they are also temporary. Over a fairly short period of time, the tar on your roof is going to begin to dry and crack. These cracks will now open up your roof to the same leak you had originally, only now you have an additional problem.

While you may have been able to replace a missing or broken shingle or piece of chimney lead easily before, now you have a mess of dried, cracking tar on your roof. Removing this tar is the only way you’re going to be able to make a long-lasting repair that doesn’t let the rain back in within a few months or years. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to remove this tar without damaging and removing the surrounding shingles or flashing. So now instead of a minor repair, you have a much more expensive and invasive repair to make. Not to mention the fact that instead of having only the initial water – and water damage – from the first leak, you now have additional moisture and potential water damage inside your home from the second leak.

Another issue with this type of temporary repair is that you may not be fixing the entire problem. While you may have an isolated incident that lead to a broken or missing shingle, sometimes this can be a sign that you have other damaged or weakened areas elsewhere on your roof. Simply slapping some tar on there, instead of having a professional come out to assess could mean that you’re leaving other damaged areas open to the elements as well.

Getting Roof Repairs Right

Having your roof repaired correctly the first time can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road. If the cost of the roof repair is truly bothering you, consider making your own temporary repair by tacking a tarp over the roof, or cutting up some sheet metal into shingles and using these to patch the roof. These less expensive methods can often tide you over until you can have the roof repairs that are truly needed to get the job done.

Don’t settle for the shortcut of patching your roof with tar; handle your roof repairs the right way each and every time and protect your home for the long term.


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5/5

We were very impressed with Dave Will who responded quickly to our roof leak and did a thorough repair job. You are fortunate to have him on your team. Thumbs up with the work! 🙂

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