Help - Hole In Roof

In 2004 I hired a roofing company to find why my roof was leaking so bad that my ceiling in the front room was caving in. They replaced the roofing on my garage (which was only 3 yrs old). On and off it still leaked and decided to tear the damaged ceiling down. This is what I found! What would be the easiest and cheapest way of repairing the rotted wood? Some say to use sheet metal. If so – how would I do it? How much of the shingles do I need to take off? Please Help!!

Also my parents have a metal roof that needs scraped and painted. What would be the easiest way of scraping the old paint since power washers can not be used?


hello hunter,
well first of all, you got shimshamed on the shingle repair.
forget about patchin will metal.
it looks like you need to replace about a sheet of plywood.

as far as the parents metal roof.
why cant you pressure wash it? you should be able to, and then just paint

good luck.


I concur with gweedo.

You would be better off removing the damaged wood roof deck and replacing it with new plywood of the same thickness. As for how many shingles you will have to replace, I can’t tell you based on the photo. However, I can tell you that when replacing wood roof deck you want to span a minimum of three roof joists. So, assuming the roof framing is 16" on center, we are talking about a sheet of plywood that is at least 32" wide. Now, the more narrow the strip (32" x 16" vs. 32" x 24", 36" or 48") is the less rigid and suitable it becomes. Personally, I wouldn’t go any less than 32" x 24" and actually would prefer a larger repair area. Still, the larger the repair the more it will cost.

And like gweedo, I’m not sure why you are saying your parent’s metal roof can not be pressure washed. Is the roof a standing seam, double-locked standing seam, R-panel, etc.? Depending on the type of metal roof and the system used to seam the panels, you may not want to power wash. If you can’t do that you may want to look at using a wire brush to remove loose paint, and then neutralize any rust with a product like Rust Foe. You could also look into sand blasting, but that may end up being too messy and costly.

Thanks Guys!! Oh I know I was “takenâ€

1st - It looks like you have no choice but to repair the roof around the valley.

2nd - Shingles do not have to be removed all the way to the ridge, but you need to identify the leak source before you decide how much roof needs to be removed.

3rd - Yes, shingles can be re-used if not damaged during removal, but depending on how long they’ve been in place this could be tricky, especially if you aren’t a roofer. My one suggestion is to remove the shingles with a shingle-bar in the early morning before the sun has started to heat up the shingles. Still, you will probably loose/damage some of the shingles regardless.

4th - I’d be curious to know what type of material other than shingles are in the valley.

5th - Yes, you would be well advised to sand before adding more mud to your ceiling, but it doesn’t have to be a perfect finished-sanding. It just needs to be smooth enough to allow you to add another application of mud. Are these just skim coat applications? If you are using the mud as filler, be sure to apply a tape or mesh, and understand the thicker the application the more apt it is to shrink and crack.

Dang – NOW I understand how much I “don’t knowâ€

all i can say is you got a demensional shingle and a black one.
good luck on gettin those shingles apart to repair a small section of wood.
you may have to tear off an entire side, to fix that one peace of wood,
because the shingles are stuck together to were you cant get them apart
in order to tie the new ones back into them.
its hard for me to do, i couldnt imagin a mear mortal human tryin to do it.

if you can paint it you can pressure wash it. hello.

good luck.


You seem to be on the right track with regard to your drywall work. When I say skim coat, I mean you are basically adding a very thin layer of mud over an area to smooth it out. When talking about filler, if you have a small hole or some minor water damage you can fill-in the missing gypsum with mud and mesh. As for the crack in your ceiling, yes you will want to use tape in that area installed in an application of mud, then covered with couple more applications of mud that are feathered out so you don’t see a hump in the ceiling. Sand the repair down with a fine sandpaper, and paint when finished. You should know, if the crack was caused by settling of the house it is quite possible the crack will re-manifest itself.

There may be someone here that can give you better advice. I installed drywall over the summer out of high school, and I do all my own drywall work at home. Still, there is a lot about drywall I do not know or remember. For instance, depending on the lighting from a window, you want to feather your mud a certain direction to eliminate shadows along the joint. I just can’t remember which way you want to feather it.

Ain’t that the truth. :mrgreen: I’m hoping for their sake the shingles aren’t that well fused together just yet. However, if they are then you are right about lots of shingles needing to come off. Then again, you already knew you were right, didn’t you!

Thanks everyone for all your help and suggestions!! Now that I “thinkâ€

I need more info! After tearing off the shingles on the garage – I found that I wasn’t “seeingâ€

Now that you’ve torn off the shingles, you will not be able to perform a valid watertest with a garden hose. Chances are the roof is going to leak in several areas.

I suspect water was leaking into the house around the metal, but the source of the leak may very well be located further up slope. I suggest you check around any penetrations like soil stacks, vents, chimneys, etc., that may be up slope. Seeing how it shows up in the valley, it is also quite possible there is a deficiency in the valley itself.

As for the metal, you really need to remove the metal and patch the hole in your roof deck with new plywood that matches the existing plywood in thickness. Doing this, of course, will require that you remove more shingles so a new piece of plywood can be installed. After installation of plywood you will want to install new felt underlayment, which needs to be lapped under the felt above the hole, and over felt beneath the hole. Then of course, you need to install new shingles.

your f#$%ed.

again anybody workin outta ohio that can help miss linda.


ive never seen gweedo respond like that. but, you probably shouldnt have pulled those shingles off linda, woman or man. looking at the picture, i have to ask… does the leak line up with the hump in the caps on the picture? looks like a dormer creeping out the other side? New roofs rarely ever leak in the field. Now that you’ve got it ripped open you got some of the roof done for a roofer. Its not rocket science and I’m not a chauvenist, I just don’t believe you can get it done without EVER having seen a shingle repair done. As gweedo says, we have nightmare days pulling these things apart sometimes and we do it every day. Not to mention, finding leaks is an art form of sorts, at least if your good at it. Anyone can guess. Ive been called to roof leaks where I showed up and the homeowner dumped a five gallon bucket of tar in a valley and didnt get it, then it cost them more for me to fix the valley than it cost for me to put on the piece of moulding under the soffit that the contractor who built the addition forgot to do…

A couple of additional photos might not hurt either. I can’t say we’ll be able to locate the leak based on photos, but it could help us direct you as to what you should be looking at. So, if you can I would take an overview photo of the area from the roof from a couple angles.

yeah, what Cerb said. And try to draw a circle on the picture where the area is leaking could help too (exterior).

You can’t use the garden hose now that you’ve opened it, but you can look for water stains or wet areas and try to trace them up or sideways on the roof. We often repair leaks in tile roofs by pretty much the same procedure you’re using: removing tile until we find the cause then installing new underlayment and putting the tile back.