Roofing felt has a long waterproofing history, adopted by most reputable organizations with well-established recognition worldwide. Not only does the felt paper provide adequate protection for your home, but it also serves as the final layer of your roofing material. Felt paper, also called tar paper, can sometimes tear up and wear out of place, which can be frustrating, especially if you can’t lay your hands on a verifiable DIY method.
The methods we provide for repairing your roofing felt don’t require expertise, and the steps are straightforward to follow. We want to point out that most technicians or roofing contractors will tell you that roofing felt isn’t required if you use shingles on your roof. Nevertheless, a layer of felt is necessary in case a shingle gets blown away by a storm.
Starting with a repair of a leak, let’s dive into the methods used and what you’ll need to do to repair a roof felt from the inside of your home.
Locating The Leakages in the Roof
It’s effortless to localize the leakage on your roof during rainy days. All you need to do is wait until you start noticing the droplets that tap off of your ceiling. Spotting the drop-off sounds pretty easy from the ceiling, but finding the leakage on the sheathing beyond your ceiling would require a little more than looking up at your ceiling.
Alternatively, you can use a ladder to get on your roof if you don’t have an attic. Look uphill to see if there’s any roof penetration. Those items that project through your roof are primarily responsible for the leaks you often find in your home. These may include chimneys, roof vents, dormers, and plumbing. These areas will most probably be the reason for the leaks, and that’s an excellent place to start looking.
Another essential thing to note before you engage in this project is that you’ll need an extra hand and a garden hose. Soak around the suspected areas of the leak with the hose in every direction around your roof penetration, and wait for your co-worker’s signal when they start seeing drips appear on the ceiling.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.
To achieve better results, let your hose run for several minutes in one area before moving to the next area on your roof. Always call out to your assistant to notify you if they start seeing water forming on the ceiling from inside. If no water is forming on the ceiling, begin removing shingles from the suspected areas of your roof, and you’ll be able to track the leak down to its source in your ceiling bed.
You’ll find stained or discolored felt paper around the area of leakage. In some cases, the water would show up on your ceiling a little farther from the leakage point if your ceiling has a plastic vapor barrier between the drywall and the attic insulation. Push down the insulation and look for stained patches on the plastic. If, at this stage, you still can’t locate a stained spot, look for shiners on the underside of your roof.
A shiner is a nail that missed the framing members when the carpenter nailed the roof sheathing to the rafters, and it constitutes a hidden source of leakage. The nail will appear white due to condensed moisture that escapes from the underlying room into the attic. This frost action on the nail will melt down when temperatures rise and automatically drip to your ceiling.
The first area you’d want to find yourself in is the attic. Find access to your attic and look out for molded spots, black or brown stains on your attic floor – your ceiling. Before you take any further action, you’ll need to have the following items with you:
- A roof and gutter sealant
- A roll of pelt that matches one requires a fix.
- A spirit level
- A chord
- A pencil
- two tiny nails
- Knife or scissors
Sealing Your Torn Roofing Felt
You don’t need to buy most of these items for the job. Purchasing a few of them, on the other hand, will be worth every penny when you fix the problem with your roof using these simple methods.
- Start by marking the stained points on your ceiling. Fit one nail at the center of the point and attach one end of your chord to the nail.
- Stretch the chord to the top of the roof. Don’t incline the chord at any angle as you move it upwards; else, you will miss the mark.
- Attach the second nail after ensuring that your chord makes a straight line between the marked point on the ceiling and the suspected leakage point on your roofing felt. Apply some tension to the chord.
- Use the spirit level to ensure that the chord stays at the angle to your attic floor.
- Draw a large circle or square around the area of leakage. The larger, the better.
- Measure your circle’s diameter or square area and cut a piece of the newly bought felt to size. Precision doesn’t matter, but it should be large enough to cover the space around your circle or square.
- Spray the circled portion of your roofing felt with the sealant, and allow it to dry according to the directions given by the product manufacturer.
- Spread the new felt around the sprayed area and smooth your thumb over it to ensure that it has no gaps in between.
- Repeat the same process in all the areas with stained spots on your attic floor.
Fixing Your Roofing Felt
The solution to frosty nails is straightforward. Fix the nail with side-cutting pliers to stop the frosting. It is especially the case when you’ve spent hours trying to localize the leakage spot and suspect the frosty nails to be the source of the leakage.
Sometimes, the plumbing vent boots may have cracks or broken seams, whether they’re made of plastic or metal. The best option is to replace the cracked boot with a new one, but if there are missing or pulled nails at the boot base that’s in good shape, replace the nails with rubber-washer screws often used in metallic roofing systems.
When you remove the shingles to replace the boots or screws, be careful not to mess them up for the sake of purchasing new shingles. You can always reuse the same shingles if you pull them out carefully. You can use unique adhesive products, such as Evercryl Emergency Roof Repair Cartridge, which can be used in wet conditions.
A more straightforward method of repairing your felt paper is by patching it. After you’ve localized the leakage point, the next thing will be to cut the felt a few inches away from the spot and apply your adhesive around the edges of the hole you’ve made. Cut a larger felt paper, apply your adhesive on the surface that will stick around the hole, and fix it to cover the hole. Press down on the felt for a few minutes and allow it to dry.
FAQ On How to Repair the Roof Felt From Inside
1. Can a hole in a roof felt cause so much damage to the entire roof?
Not only will it cause damage to your roof, but it may also destroy some of your household appliances.
2. Is a roof required?
It may not be necessary if you use shingles, but for the sake of avoiding water from leaking into your rooms, it is necessary as it serves as a water repellant.
3. Is it necessary to change the whole roof felt on a roof if there are multiple holes in it?
No. All you have to do is find the holes and patch the torn areas of your roof’s felt.