Roofing Leaky roof, but I cant figure out well., wooden shingles, upper slope

Roofing Leaky roof, but I cant figure out well., wooden shingles, upper slope



Thank you for the quick response.

I misspoke about shingles — they are 3-tab sheets? Not wooden shingles or anything like that.

And the entire roof was redone five years ago, all new 3-tabs put up.

The lower roof is fairly flat, not much of a slope. Enuff where if you put a ball down it would roll off. But not enough where you have to be careful how you walked on it.

But the upper part is pretty sloped.

All the 3-tabs look great. Nothing is falling off or looks broken or misplaced. The main area of the roof — both halves — looks great and professional.

Because of us ripping out the inside ceiling (now it’s just the actual wood of the roof from the inside) just on the lower half. we can see the trail of the water running DOWN the roof from the upper portion.

If we continued to rip out the inside ceiling, I supposed we’d find the leaks. Thats what we did on the lower part. Exposing the ceiling showed where the 3-4 holes were. From there, we were able to go up on the outside of the roof and apply that black wet-patch tar stuff and it stopped the leaks.

The leak, or leaks, are on the upper slope. Then they are draining down the roof (under the 3-tabs, but ontop of the wood part of the ceiling) until finding a hole (I guess?) in the lower half, where they finally drip down to my floor. Thats what appears to be happening.

But I’d hope that there would be an easier way than continuing to tear out my inside ceiling.

SO that part on the side, with the metal thing, you don’t think water would come in that and then drain down inside (under the 3-tabs) until it found a hole to come through?

I did discover two small cracks around the sealent (sp) part thats around a large pipe I have close to the top of the roof. It’s sealed pretty good around it, except for two obvious small cracks.

So from your suggestion, on that side thing that straddles the top and the side of the roof. would it be better to just put 3-tabs on the very end of the roof, leaving 2 inches overhang like you said. Just put those right on top of the existing ones?

I will take some pictures soon. Can’t right now. I’m in Southeast Alaska and it’s pouring rain like crazy, 30 mile per hour winds.

Oh yea, that’s another thing, not sure if it matters.

We routinely get 30-40 mile per hour winds, and 4-5 times this year we’ve had 50-60 mph and even up to 80 mph one night.

Sometimes during heavy rain, there is NO leak at all, or very little. Other times, it pours in a constant stream down 4-5 spots.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help.

The text above is a follow-up to.


I’m a pure amatuer, so I apologize in advance for not knowing the proper terms.

One side of my roof slopes down like a normal roof, then the prior owner added a room, so there the "angle" goes from an upside down V to a straighter (less angled) roof.

On the lower roof (the flatter portion) there was about 10 leaks.

We ripped out that portion of the inside ceiling and detected a couple of the leaks and wetpatched the outside 3-tab shingles and removed a couple nails that they left in.

BUT there is still 4-5 leaks. I have NO IDEA where they are coming from, other than it’s the more angled part of the upper roof. I can see this from the inside ceiling part — you can see where the leak travels down. BUT I don’t want to keep ripping out portions of my inner ceiling to find where the leak starts.

Does all that make sense.

People tell me that the obvious spot is the top of the roof (the top of the upside V). That he probably didn’t put those shingles in correctly. BUT I’ve checked them over and over and it looks exactly like it’s supposed to.

Roofing Leaky roof, but I cant figure out well., wooden shingles, upper slope

So I can’t find the leaks. All I can find is where the water creeps down underneath the shingle and ontop of the wood and them eventually comes out on my lower section.

One suspect area is the outside part on one side. There is a metal strip that covers the edge of the side of the roof. I would assume that you would put that piece on the roof and then have the outer shingle overlay on the top of it? So like 1/4th of an inch of shingle hung out past the roof? Instead, he cut it so it’s even. The metal thing is like 2 inches on each side, and the shingle just buts up against it. It looks like water could leak in between the two? In some spaced, the metal thing is actually on top of the shingle.

Should I wetpatch the spot between the two? Or maybe add a row of shingles down the side where that’s at, and have it sit on TOP of that metal thing?

I just bought this house and put 20 grand down. So I’m hoping to be able to fix this, without having to get a loan to get a new roof! Before I pay the money it costs in a small town in Alaska to re-roof it, I wanna make sure there are no small things I can do to try and solve my problem!

Thank you.


If I got it straight, your leaks are in the upper roof and not the lower roof. The lower roof has a lower slope and you can’t put shingles on low slopes or they will leak so I don’t know what your slope is on the lower but you’re saying the water is coming from the upper slope. The peak of the roof gets the least amount of water so any leaks there would be small leaks. Also they usually drip straight down into the house and not down the roof first. The edge shingles should go over the edge by about one inch but this would be a leak only along the edge of the house. Are the shingles too old and just failing? Pictures would help a lot to see what’s there.


A ball might roll down the lower slope but that doesn’t mean it is enough slope for shingles. You need about 9 degrees as a minimum slope and even then you need special procedures up to about 20 degrees. After 20 you can do shingles in the normal way. You do have shingles. That’s what 3-tabs are — Asphalt Shingles. Wood ones are called shakes.

But your leak is on the top slope so you don’t have to worry about any low slopes for now.

Normally you do not have to rip the inside ceiling as a good roofer would know how to spot the leak. You’re just stuck with that method since you don’t know what to look for.

Yes, some water can come in the sides but it would only be a leak along that side edge. The water would not flow horizontally into the building.

If you have a leak inside you will know that the problem is vertically in line with that going straight up the roof. You do not have to go sideways looking for the leak. The water might flow a few inches sideways but basically it’s in line.

The fact that you have the pipe sealed means that someone did not know how to do roofing. Nothing gets sealed on a roof. When done right it just doesn’t leak. If he sealed it he may have left things vulnerable.

You can’t install a row of shingles along the side edge. Shingl;es must be weaved together or they’ll leak. They’d have to be weaved with the old roof. It’s not something you’ll be able to do on your own. It’s a tricky task.

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