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Top of their class: The best roof sealants

A ceiling drip can be a stressful sight. It is vital that you select a roof sealant that is specially formulated to withstand harsh weather conditions so you can rest assured it will protect your roof. Elements such as rain, ice, and sunlight can wreak havoc on exterior roof joints and surfaces. In this guide, we explain how to find leaks and properly seal them.

The best roof sealant for mild to moderate damage

Finding the source of a roof leak can be challenging, but it is vital. Roof sealant is the best solution for small- to mid-sized applications for diverting water or plugging holes and cracks; large damaged areas may require a more complex repair.

First, assess where the leak is located in your home. Remember, water may travel from a different location depending on the architecture. Once you have an idea of where the leak is coming from, the safest option is to go up into your attic space. Look for black areas or mold because they are typically strong indicators of water leaks. Go outside and check the shingles/roofing in that area. In flat sections of roof, keep an eye out for misplaced shingles, standing water, mold buildup, or rotting sections. The most common type of roof leak is caused by an object that penetrates the roof, such as your chimney, roof vents, or anything else that passes directly through the roof.

Small gaps and holes caused by objects penetrating the roof can be repaired easily with Loctite PL Roof and Flashing Polyurethane Sealant.

Roof repair with caulk

After you have identified the source of a small leak, you can begin filling it with roof caulk. For larger repairs, you can use the sealant on new joints and materials as needed. Before application, ensure that the joint you wish to apply sealant to is dry, clean, and free of any debris. It should also be structurally sound. Although the sealant is flexible, it is not intended to serve as an adhesive. If you need to bond wood on the roof, consider using Loctite PL 510 Wood and Panel.

Steps for repairing a roof leak with caulk are as follows:

  1. Gather the required tools – You will need a razorblade, gloves, a caulking gun, and sealant.
  2. Ensure the area is in good condition and not rotting – Replace all rotting wood with new material.
  3. Identify the problem – Look for tears and cracks in existing sealant, because this is normally the cause of most roof leaks.
  4. Clean the area – Ensure that the area is free of old caulk, moisture, loose particles, asphalt, tar, paint, wax, and rust. To remove the old compound, use a razor blade and acetone spray. Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  5. Surface preparation – While Loctite PL Roof and Flashing Polyurethane Sealant is generally considered a non-priming sealant, special circumstances or substrates (copper, galvanized and stainless steel) may require a primer. Where incidental water immersion may occur, priming is required. Apply the primer with a brush and allow it to dry for 30 minutes; only a small layer is typically required. The primer and sealant must be applied on the same day.
  6. Application – It is important to apply the sealant with a steady pressure, forcing it into the joint. Protect open products and tools from direct sunlight for the best results. Use together with a backer rod for joints deeper than ½ inch. The depth of the sealant should be half the width of the joint. The maximum depth is ½ inch, and the minimum is ¼ inch. Loctite PL Roof and Flashing Polyurethane Sealant will harden within 24 hours, is functional within 3 days, and will fully cure in 7 days.
     

Safety tip: Before conducting any roof repair, make sure you are properly secured with a harness and have a safety spotter.

Choosing a roof sealant: Finding the right product

Selecting the right sealant for the job is critical. Over time, structures shift and flex, which means it’s important to have a roof seal that can do the same. Loctite PL Roof and Flashing Polyurethane Sealant is specially formulated to flex and move with your roof, so it will not tear or rip. On top of that, it is made to stand strong in harsh weather conditions and provide long-term protection. This makes it the ideal sealant for heavy duty outdoor sealing.

For general seals around the home, Loctite PL Heavy Duty Sealant can take on the majority of jobs. With a 5 times stretch seal and a limited lifetime warranty, it is a great multipurpose sealant that works on both interiors and exteriors and wood.

You are wondering if a silicone based roof sealer might do the trick as well? The answer is no. Silicone caulks are a good choice for indoor projects that require sealing.