I have a covered patio area attached to my house, it is approximately 28ft long x 14 feet wide, and slopes in the short direction. This roof meets the house about 2ft below the eaves of the main house roof, and is 3-tab asphalt shingles over plywood (assuming 1/2"). The roof framing is 2x6, 16" OC. Due to a lack of general maintenance, plus the age of this roofing, there are numerous leaks all over. The pitch of the roof is pretty shallow, it only drops about 2 to 2.5ft over 14ft slope.

As a patio, this doesn't really matter, but I'd like to use the area as a workshop and don't want anything to get leaked on. Because it's difficult to figure out where the leaks are, and I don't want to find more leaks "the hard way", I'm looking for a repair solution that I can apply to the entire roof surface that will last for 2 to 4 years until I can replace the workshop with a larger / separate structure.

I'm not a roofer by any means, but I'm a competent DIYer so I'd entertain anything that doesn't require me to buy a bunch of additional tools.

  • What kind of roofing is on it now? How does it tie in to the existing roof? Jan 5 '17 at 18:18
  • Sorry, forgot to put that in. I edited the question with the construction of the roof.
    – cathode
    Jan 5 '17 at 18:21
  • Might help to have pictures. The most likely source of leaks is where the patio roof is scabbed onto the existing structure. Partly because this is the place hardest to make watertight. Partly because there are not many good ways to make a watertight joint even when the job is better budgetted than a patio roof. Partly because when water intrudes at the high point of a roof the underside will tend to leak all over the place as water runs downhill inside the structure. Anyway, the repair for a poorly constructed roof is a well constructed one, not magic fixit in a bucket. Good luck.
    – user23752
    Jan 5 '17 at 19:27

Your roof is much to shallow (about 2/12) for asphalt shingles which need about a 4/12 pitch. You need to tear those off and replace with with a membrane or "torch down" roof surface, or possible standing seam steel.

If it's been leaking for any length of time, expect to replace decking, and possibly rafters as well due to rot.

  • Is there a membrane roofing that can go over the existing asphalt shingles? I'd like to avoid having to do a lot of demolition work right now.
    – cathode
    Jan 5 '17 at 18:52
  • 1
    If you wanted to make it a once-a-year fix until you do it right, you can get asphalt membrane in rolls for relatively cheap. As noted, this slope is way too shallow for this to be good in the long term, but as an easy/hack fix, it would suffice. Jan 5 '17 at 19:19
  • Like I said in the question, it only needs to last 2-4 years until the entire structure is torn down and replaced. Would rolled roofing work? I think it's been leaking only this season, so a few months at most. I did not see any leaks last year.
    – cathode
    Jan 5 '17 at 19:52
  • If you want a really cheap solution for 2 years or so, throw a tarp over whatever you need to keep dry inside. Jan 5 '17 at 21:31
  • As much as I dislike the cost of what you suggest, you are correct @CoAstroGeek. I've decided to go with ribbed steel panels (not quite standing seam, but close). I think they are rated for use on roofs as shallow as 2/12, and I'm somewhere between 2/12 and 3/12 (I didn't measure exactly before posting the question)
    – cathode
    Jan 6 '17 at 17:16

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