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Most roofs will last several years, but sometimes develop a leak long before the entire roof needs replacing. Leaks are normally a result of localized damage, such as cracked or missing shingles. This damage is usually weather related. The hardest part with this kind of damage is finding it.
Shingle roofs are usually easy to fix. Look for damaged, curled, or missing shingles. Check around the chimney and vents for breaks in the flashing and other such gaps. Seal any openings with proper roofing caulking.
Curled shingles can be flattened and reattached with asphalt roof cement or a specialized compound for use with a caulking gun. In warm weather, you can easily straighten the curled shingle. If the weather is cold, you may need to buy a few new shingles if there aren’t any left from the original installation.
To reattach the shingle, apply roof cement generously to the bottom. Press the shingle firmly into place. Move carefully to the next area to be repaired. If shingles are torn, rotten, or missing, they should be replaced. Any shingle that lifts off the roof easily is probably rotten and it should be replaced.
Unfortunately, if you find a large area of rotten shingles, you may need a whole new roof. If so, consider calling a professional roofer.