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Repair a Leaking Roof on Your Screened Porch in 4 Steps

Alexandra Frost
Written by Alexandra Frost
Updated October 26, 2021
Blue two-story house with screened-in wrap around porch

Ursula Page - stock.adobe.com

Don’t let a little leak scare you off your porch—learn how to handle repairs like a pro

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A screened porch is the perfect place to hang out year-round. It enables you to enjoy nature without all the bugs and weather elements—until you feel drops on your head and realize you have a leak in the roof. If it’s a small leak and you’re an advanced DIYer, you might be able to repair it on your own. But if you don’t want to handle porch roof repair yourself or have a more extensive issue, you’ll need the help of a certified roofer.

Difficulty: Advanced 4/5  Time: 3–5 hours depending on the extent of the problemTools and materials needed: 

  • An extension ladder

  • A helper

  • A fall protection kit

  • Two-by-four lumbar strips to brace your feet

  • Crowbar

  • Chalkline

  • Flathead shovel

  • Hammer

  • Roofing nails

  • Extra shingles

  • Sealant

  • Tarp

  • Utility knife

  • Aluminum drip edge

  • Flashing

  • Plywood

How to Repair a Minor Screen Porch Roof Leak

Screened-in porch with large wood beams

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The first step of porch roof repair is to identify why your roof is leaking. You can do this by observing the portion of the roof that is leaking, and spend some time trying to diagnose what issue might be causing the leak. 

Remember, if you don’t have experience working on a roof, using a ladder, or handling repairs of this nature, this is best left to a roof repair professional in your area to ensure your safety and a quality repair.

1. Safely Climb Onto the Roof to Examine the Problem

… The keyword being “safely.” Use a steady ladder, and place it near the lowest part of your roof. 

Ask a helper to hold the ladder for you, and to observe you the whole time you are walking on the roof. They can also help hand you the 2-by-4s that you can secure around the roof by nailing a few of them around the edge to maintain your footing. 

You can also opt for a harness as part of a fall protection kit. If your roof is relatively flat, and you aren’t attempting this project on a wet day, you will have more traction.

2. Check Out the Roof and Area Surrounding the Leak

Walk to the spot that you think the leak might be coming from, inspecting the shingles, and the siding on your house nearby. If you are missing a piece of siding, it can appear like you have a roof leak, but it’s simply water moving down from the hole in the siding. 

You should also inspect multiple aspects while you are looking at the issue, including:

  • The gutters

  • Bent or cracked flashing

  • Broken or missing shingles

  • Cracked vent booting

  • Ice build-up

  • Sealing around your chimneys and skylights

3. Determine the Extent of the Damage and the Necessary Materials

This is where you need to make a decision—is it pretty obvious what’s going on, and seems like something you will be able to fix, such as a missing shingle or an obviously damaged material? Or, is it more complex, such as a widespread issue like major roof damage, or even a situation where you aren’t really sure what’s wrong? 

If you aren’t completely sure, and don’t feel confident attempting porch roof repair, you should call a roofer promptly so the leak doesn’t worsen with time. If you want to attempt a fix first, you should purchase the necessary materials for your particular issue. Make sure to match the shingles you’re replacing to the color and type you already have.

Other extensive issues that warrant a professional consultation include:

  • Widespread storm damage as a result of hail, high wind, or fallen trees. Many roofing companies, in this case, will work with your insurance company to repair or replace the entire roof.

  • Your roof is old and shingles are warped or damaged, causing leaks. In this case, you may want to consider obtaining multiple quotes and comparing them for a roof replacement.

  • Your original roof was improperly installed, and needs to be replaced or have major repairs to ensure it is functioning properly.

4. Make the Screened Porch Roof Repair

Use the same safety techniques to get back onto your roof, using your helper to get materials to you once you are up. Don’t attempt climbing on a roof without a helper, appropriate equipment, and knowledge of how to keep yourself safe during your repair.

Make the necessary small repairs, such as the following:

  • Repair metal flashing, which channels water away from the edges and seams of your roof, and can rust or otherwise get damaged over time. Flashing costs around $20, making it a minor repair. 

  • Replace damaged shingles, especially if you’ve recently had a major storm that may have blown some away or damaged them with hail or falling trees. Shingle repair can be done for around $30 in materials, including a hammer, nails, prybar, and shingles sealant. 

  • Change your vent boot, which is vent piping that keeps water and debris from entering your roof, made of rubber, for about $20. You will loosen the nearby shingles to free the vent boot, and use a knife to cut away caulking from the vent before installing the new one. 

  • Clean your gutter while you’re up there. You can use your hands (with gloves) or a small rake or shovel to remove wet and decaying leaves and debris from the gutter. If the leaves are dry, and you have a leaf blower, you can stand on your ladder or roof and blow the leaves from it as well (carefully, with the help of a partner). This is one of the most affordable options, as it doesn’t cost anything to check on your gutters, unlike other roof repair costs.

In the end, there’s no shame in getting a contractor to check to make sure you are on the right track.  Incorrectly fixing a water leak or another porch roof repair can cause further damage, or to allow mold to grow in your otherwise beautiful porch.

Cost to DIY Porch Roof Leak Repair vs. Hire a Pro

It’s worth comparing the cost of hiring a professional roofer to repair your leak, versus attempting a more complex (and possibly dangerous) DIY project yourself. 

You need to consider the cost of roof repair materials and tools, and a contractor’s labor fees, and how that stacks up to what it would cost you personally in time and materials as well. These totals can vary based on the extent of the repair, and also on the area in which you are hiring a contractor.

Smaller repairs might cost you just a few bucks and an hour of your time, especially if you are only repairing a single shingle or fixing a very small leak. On the other hand, typical small roof repairs average $150 to $400, depending on the size of the roof and extent of the damage. Roof contractors typically cost $45 to $75 per hour, depending on the area and their qualifications. So, if you are confident in what you are doing, you can save a few hundred dollars by repairing a small leak yourself for up to $120, or you can hire a professional.

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