How to Fix a Leaking Roof from the Inside


A leaking roof is a cause for concern for any homeowner. It can lead to significant damage to your property if not addressed promptly. Learn about how to fix a leaking roof from the inside, from initial identification of the issue to the final fix, and all the steps in between.

Identifying the Leak

Recognizing the Symptoms

The first step to fixing a leaking roof from the inside is recognizing the signs. Water stains on ceilings or walls, dripping sounds, mold, and mildew are all potential indicators. Damp insulation in the attic or dark spots on the decking are also telltale signs. If you notice any of these, it’s time to act.

Inspecting the Inside of Your House

Once you’ve identified that you have a leak, locate the source. This can often be done by visually examining the ceiling and walls for wet spots or water stains. Trace these upwards to their highest point, which will typically be directly above the source of the leak.

Inspecting from the Attic

If you have an attic, this can be an excellent place to start your search for the leak. Look for signs of water damage, such as wet insulation or dark spots on the decking.

Locating the Leak Source

Inspecting the Roof from Outside

If you can’t locate the leak from the inside, you may need to inspect the roof from outside. Look for missing or damaged shingles, roof sagging, or signs of water damage. Also, check the flashing around roof vents, chimneys, and skylights to ensure they are properly sealed.

Conducting a Water Test

If you’re still struggling to find the source, a water test can help. This involves spraying water in different areas of the roof while someone inside the house checks for signs of water entering the property.

Temporary Measures to Deal with the Leak

Diverting the Water

If you’re dealing with a leak in the middle of a heavy downpour, you may need to implement temporary measures to prevent further damage. This could involve using a nail to create a drainage path, placing a bucket under the leak, or using tar paper or plastic sheeting as a temporary patch.

Making a Temporary Roof Patch

To make a temporary roof patch, you’ll need roofing tar, a putty knife, and a piece of plywood or plastic roof covering. Locate the source of the leak, remove any debris or loose shingles, and spread the roofing tar over the leaking area. Cover the tar with the plywood or plastic, pressing down firmly to create a seal.

Fixing the Leak

Cleaning the Area

Before you start fixing a leaking roof from the inside, clean the area thoroughly. This will involve removing any loose or damaged material and applying roofing cement to the damaged area.

Applying the Patch

Once you’ve cleaned the area, apply roofing cement and use a putty knife to spread it evenly. Cover the cement with a piece of aluminum flashing, pressing down firmly to create a seal. Secure the flashing with roofing nails or screws, making sure to cover the edges of the flashing with roofing cement to prevent water from seeping in.

Replacing Damaged Shingles or Flashing

If the leak is caused by damaged shingles or flashing, you’ll need to replace them. Remove the damaged material and replace it with a new piece, ensuring to seal the edges with roofing cement.

Preventing Future Leaks

Regular Roof Inspection

Regular inspection of your roof can help prevent future leaks. Check your roof regularly for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles or flashing, and repair any damage promptly.

Proper Maintenance

Keeping your roof clean and free from debris can also help prevent leaks. Pay attention to roof vents and other potential problem areas, ensuring they are properly sealed.

Considering a Roof Replacement

If your roof is old or showing signs of wear and tear, consider a roof replacement. This can be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

Get a Professional Roofing Service

It’s always best to consult with a professional roofing service. Roofing professionals have the experience, tools, and safety training to effectively address and repair roof leaks. A temporary fix is just that – temporary. A professional repair or roof replacement is the best way to ensure your home stays safe and dry in the long run.

Fixing a leaking roof from the inside can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and know-how, it is doable. However, remember it is always advisable to contact a professional roofing service if you’re uncomfortable undertaking the repairs yourself.

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