How to Fix a Valley Leak on a Shingled Roof

Construction & Contractors Blog

If your roof leaks, check the roof valley. Roof valleys are sloped sections of the roof that discard run-off water. Leaks occur because of poorly placed nails, missing shingles, or old shingles.

Fixing a valley leak involves removing shingles and installing flashing. It is possible to fix the leak yourself regardless of your DIY roofing skills. Here are tips to fix a leaky roof valley on shingled roofs.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • extension ladder or scaffold
  • safety harness
  • broom
  • tape measure
  • utility knife
  • hammer
  • pry bar
  • roofing caulk and caulk gun
  • roofing nails
  • sheet metal cutters
  • roof flashing
  • replacement shingles

Set an extension ladder near the leaking valley on flat ground. Use a scaffold for two-story houses. For extra safety, tie a safety harness opposite the leaky area to support yourself.

Ensure the roof is safe to walk on, and sweep off debris that may cause water backup. The shingles and underlayment should be cut in a straight line. Trim shingles that stick out with a utility knife.

Remove Shingles

Start removing shingles on the upper end of the valley, and work your way down.Place the flat end of the pry bar under the adjacent shingle above the shingle you want to remove, and lift the corner.

Remove the nails of the shingles with the claw end of the hammer, and pull off the shingles and flashing. Repeat the process for eight inches of shingles on both sides of the valley.

Install the Flashing

Measure the old flashing, or use the old flashing as a template for trimming the new flashing, if possible. Trim the flashing to size with the sheet metal cutters.

Set the new flashing in place; positioning the center raised portion aligned with the valley center. Trim both sides of the flashing, so they line up with the roof edges. Drive in the nails using the hammer; spacing them a foot apart. Caulk around the flashing edges.

Replace Shingles

Try to reuse good shingles and replace damaged shingles. Begin nailing shingles at the lower end of the roof valley. Hammer four nails about one inch from the top and sides.

Ensure the bottom edge of the replacement shingles align with the bottom edges of the shingles below them. Cut the inner ends of the shingles about one inch from the raised middle of the flashing with the utility knife. Continue laying the rest of the shingle in the same manner; trimming at the end of rows as needed.

Fixing a roof valley leak prevents further roof damage. If you don't trust your skill, or the roof is badly damaged, contact a roofer like Nelson Contracting, LLC.

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