Roofing cement is a black tar-like roof repair material that adheres to almost any surface (including you) and creates a waterproof seal that is resistant to cracking or wear. It can be applied from a can with a trowel or a tube with a sealing gun. Popular applications include:
Roof edges and abutments
When water enters your home through the roof, it doesn't always travel in a straight line from the source of the leak. It may travel a circuitous route along ceiling joists and other hidden pathways. Because the edges of your roof and borders around abutments such as chimneys and protruding pipes are exposed to wind-driven rain from all directions, a leak may form along these vulnerable areas.
However, the exact location of the leak may not be readily apparent because of the tendency of water to wander, so roofing cement can be used to seal the entire length of the roof's edge as well as the borders surrounding abutments to be sure that the leak is sealed.
Applying roofing cement to edges and borders around abutments
If you decide to apply roofing cement to a large area, you will need to apply it with a trowel. Before application, the area should be swept clean of dirt, debris and asphalt granules that accumulate as tiles become worn.
Flashing, the thin metal trim that is installed around chimneys and on roof edges, should be secured with roofing nails if it has been been loosened by wind and driving rain.
Use work gloves when you apply roofing cement, because it sticks to everything it touches. It would also be wise to wear clothes to which you have no sentimental attachment, because there is a great possibility that your clothes will get stained.
Roofing cement also has a noxious odor, so don't place the can directly under your face during application.
Warnings aside, it is relatively easy to apply. Just spread it evenly at a one-eighth inch thickness. It is very thick but smooth, and will stick immediately. When working around the roof edges, try not to get the cement on your rain gutters. It won't damage them, but it will stain them.
When sealing the flashing around your chimney, cover all the edges of the flashing. It is not necessary to apply roofing cement to the flashing itself, just around the sides. Pay special attention to the bottom part of the flashing that is connected to the roof, and look for edges that may be bent or curled away from the surface of the roof.
Magic in a tube for nail holes
If your roof tiles appear sound, look for missing or protruding nails that may have popped out of their holes because of temperature changes on the roof's surface. Hammer in any protruding nails and replace any that are missing. Use a caulking gun with a tube of roofing cement to place a small amount over the secured nail. This will hold the nail in place and seal the hole if it has expanded and can no longer hold the nail securely.
When you are finished, or taking a break, don't forget to remove your gloves before touching anything. Roofing cement loves to spread the magic. Contact a company like Affordable Roof Care for more information.