What to Do When Your Roof Starts Leaking:

A Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s face it: most of us would rather not think about what we’d do if our roof started to leak. But, in life, it’s important to be prepared – and that includes being ready to tackle those annoying leaks if (or when) they happen. So, if you’re wondering what you should do if your roof starts leaking, we’ve got you covered.

Our step-by-step guide will provide all the information you need to patch up the problem quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s a minor leak or a major one, you’ll find out exactly what to do when your roof starts leaking.

Armed with the right knowledge, you’ll be able to get your roof back in top shape without breaking a sweat. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this leaky business: let’s learn what to do when your roof starts leaking!


Quick Overview of Key Question

Depending on the severity of the leak, you may need to patch up specific shingles or repair/replace an entire section of your roof. It is also important to locate and address the underlying cause of the leak before attempting any roof repairs.

What to Do When You Have a Leaking Roof

When a roof begins to leak, it can be a daunting endeavor. It is important to act quickly and take the necessary steps to address the issue before more extensive damage can occur. There are a few different measures that must be taken to properly handle a leaking roof.

First and foremost, stop the water from coming in immediately by placing buckets directly underneath the source of the leak. This will help prevent further damage should additional rain or snow come in. If possible, place tarps over damaged sections of roofing to help keep further water out until a professional roofer can be dispatched to repair it. Additionally, if leaks are present for an extended period of time, internal cleaning such as vacuuming up any puddles or dried residue may be necessary.

Next, assess the cause of the leak and identify any potential issues with the roof that can lead to other problems down the line. For example, if there is evidence of moss or algae buildup on the shingles or tiles around the area of the leak this indicates poor upkeep which could mean there is exposed wood elsewhere that has started rotting.

If flashing needs to be replaced near chimneys or vent stacks this is also a telltale sign that water has been entering and working its way into more vulnerable spots in your roof structure over time. Every detail must be considered when assessing a leaking roof because every hole, no matter how small, weakens the integrity of your structure and reduces its energy efficiency.

checking for leaks

Now that you have addressed the immediate issue and done some assessment and identification of what’s causing it, it’s time to move on to making sure this problem doesn’t happen again and repair any potential long-term consequences that may have arisen from weather damage or poor maintenance. In the next section we will discuss strategies for implementing a lasting solution for a leaking roof once the problem has been identified.


  • Studies have shown that water infiltration through a roof is the main cause of damage and deterioration in residential homes.
  • An estimated 1 in 4 homeowners will experience a roof leak each year.
  • According to the National Roof Deck Contractor Association, preventing roof leaks by performing regular maintenance can extend the life of a roof between 12-15 years.

Assessment and Identification of the Problem

Identifying and assessing the source of a roof leak is critical to effectively resolving the issue. Homeowners should quickly attempt to locate where the leak is originating, how long it has been present, and what caused it in order to make an informed decision on how best to remedy the situation.

Relying on professional help can be beneficial in situations where the homeowner may not have extensive experience with roof repairs. Consideration should be given to all available information about potential problems and preventive solutions if not already addressed. A comprehensive inspection of the roof decking, vents, and gutters should be done by a qualified contractor to properly determine the extent of damage if necessary.

For homeowners who prefer DIY repairs, there are numerous resources that provide examples of familiar and common repair methods along with tools, both basic and specialized, needed for successful repairs. Keep in mind that some materials and techniques may be beyond the scope of a novice and require professional assistance. Additionally, check your local building codes for requirements specific to your area relative to renovations or construction involving roofs.

Leaks should never be ignored or taken lightly as they can easily result in structural damage or compromise other parts of your home such as electrical systems. Proper assessment and identification of the problem is key to making sure that your repair job lasts for years to come. Now that you have determined the cause of the water intrusion, let’s look at ways you can repair this leak yourself in our next section about DIY Roof Repairs.

DIY Roof Repairs

When your roof starts to leak, the first question homeowners ask themselves is usually “Can I do this myself?” The answer depends on the severity of the damage, the age and condition of the roof, and any safety risks. When considering DIY roof repair, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully to make sure you’re making an informed decision.

On one hand, performing DIY repairs can save time and money. This can allow homeowners to manage damage as soon as it appears and makes repairs more affordable than hiring a professional contractor.

With videos and tutorials so readily available online, homeowners no longer have to rely on their own experience or outside instruction to complete a job correctly.

That said, attending day courses or working alongside experienced professionals is still highly recommended for safety reasons. Pricey tools are not necessary either; basic roofing tool kits are often enough to make minor repairs.

DIY roof repairs

On the other hand, these projects aren’t recommended for every homeowner due to severe risks involved. It may not be safe or cost effective in certain situations when dealing with large-scale damages like extensive wood rot or significant structural defects.

Also, lack of detailed knowledge of proper installation techniques could void warranties.

Depending on the complexity of the job at hand – from patching up a few shingles to replacing entire sections of flashing – inexperienced homeowners may find tackling difficult repairs out of their reach.

In conclusion, homeowners should assess their DIY capabilities carefully before deciding if performing roof repairs themselves is a viable option. While there are potential savings involved, it’s necessary for each driver to decide for himself/herself whether such a project is worth taking on independently.

Now that we have discussed DIY roof repairs, our next section will cover what proper tools and materials are needed when tackling this project yourself.

Must-Know Points

DIY roof repairs can be a cost and time-efficient option, however, homeowners should assess their abilities carefully before deciding to pursue such a project independently.

It is recommended for safety reasons that people attend day courses or work alongside experienced professionals, and depending on the complexity of the job, DIY repairs may not be in reach due to lack of detailed knowledge and potential risks. The next section will cover what tools and materials are necessary for DIY roof repair.

Proper Tools and Materials Needed

When your roof starts leaking, the first step is to gather the materials needed for roof repair. It’s important to have proper tools and materials that are suited for the job so you can make permanent repairs and avoid having to do them again in the future.

DIY roofing tools

In general, you should have a scraper, cleaning solution, rags or sponges, gloves, protective goggles and a container to collect debris. Depending on the unique product used on your roof, you may need additional items like sealants, patching kits, caulk guns and caulking compounds.

If waterproofing is involved, it’s best to use products specifically designed for that purpose. For example, asphalt-saturated felt serves as an effective waterproof barrier when properly installed.

Self-adhesive modified bitumen membranes provide superior waterproofing capabilities and protect against extreme weather conditions. In some cases, you may also want to invest in specialized tools such as special saws or drills for cutting materials and fastening them into place properly.

While most of these tools and materials can be purchased at a local home improvement store or online retailer, obtaining professional advice about products suitable for your individual situation is always recommended. Many hardware stores provide expert advice on the most suitable products that match your needs and budget.

To ensure successful repairs with lasting results, using the proper tools and materials is essential. Now that we established which supplies are needed for the job, let’s move on to discussing professional roof repair services in the next section.

Professional Roof Repair Services

When a roof starts leaking, it could be due to minor issues such as broken shingles or improper installation or much more serious issues like structural damage or old age. Unless you are an experienced inspection and repair expert, it is best to contact professional roof repair services

if the issue is at all uncertain. When selecting a professional for the job, ensure that you hire a reputable contractor who has experience dealing with similar jobs and preferably specialises in residential roofs.

In addition to years of experience, a reliable contractor should carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Furthermore, they should be able to demonstrate positive customer feedback from former clients. Request licensed professionals and ask for proof of their credentials before work begins.

Although hired professionals may cost upwards of £500, depending on the extent of the repair needed, they will locate and fix the source of the leak correctly and permanently.

Cheap solutions are not always effective and can cost more in the long run as they often require frequent repairs and replacements compared to professionally undertaken jobs.

On the other hand, do not go overboard on unnecessary extras – avoid any premature upgrades that are not required at the moment but could be taken up later during scheduled maintenance services, if needed.

For reliable services at an appropriate price point when it comes to repairing your leaking roof, hiring a professional is highly recommended rather than attempting it yourself. With that said, however, prevention is still better than cure; read on to find out how you can guard your home against further damage from leaking roofs in future.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

When it comes to roof leaks, it pays to be proactive. While it is hard to tell if your roof is ever going to develop a leak without professional help, there are some preventative measures you can take in order to reduce the probability of a disaster.

For starters, hire professionals such as roofers and plumbing contractors for regular maintenance on your home’s roof. They will be able to assess its condition and inform you of any damage that might potentially lead to a leak.

Moreover, having them inspect the attic and other parts of your house affected by the roof will help you detect signs of weariness much faster.

Additionally, if you have metals at home (e.g. stainless steel or aluminum), they should not come into contact with wood as this might cause corrosion over time and eventually end up damaging the integrity of the roof. Another factor worth mentioning is trees — trim them regularly in order to avoid tree branches rubbing against the surface of your rooftop and causing tears or punctures.

On the other hand, some argue that investing too heavily in preventive measures may never pay off due to the nature of roofs — after all, normal wear and tear often make it impossible for homeowners to stop a leak from occurring in the future.

However, these same people usually agree that when it comes to avoiding an issue with the roof, becoming familiar with preventative steps will always be beneficial in the long run.

In conclusion, understanding how best to protect your home from potential water damage is essential — no matter how unlikely a leak may seem. This brings us neatly onto our next section: “Wrapping Up: What Should You Do When Your Roof is Leaking?”

Wrapping Up: What Should You Do When Your Roof is Leaking?

When your roof starts to leak, the first thing to do is assess the situation and decide either to repair or replace the roof. Repairing a leaking roof may involve re-sealing joints, replacing shingles, filling cracks, caulking or using some other method depending on the severity of the issue. In addition, it might be necessary to clean outLeaks may also indicate deeper underlying issues with home structure or age of the roof.

On one hand, having your roof repaired by a professional can ensure that any repairs made are done properly and will last long-term; however, this can be costly and may not be worth it in the case of an older roof nearing its end of life.

When your roof starts to leak, the first thing to do is assess the situation and decide either to repair or replace the roof. Repairing a leaking roof may involve re-sealing joints, replacing shingles, filling cracks, caulking or using some other method depending on the severity of the issue. In addition, it might be necessary to clean outLeaks may also indicate deeper underlying issues with home structure or age of the roof.

fixing your own roof

On one hand, having your roof repaired by a professional can ensure that any repairs made are done properly and will last long-term; however, this can be costly and may not be worth it in the case of an older roof nearing its end of life.

On the other hand, homeowners can try to fix their own roofs to save money. However, this should only be done if they have experience with roof repairs and know exactly how to properly fill in a crack or seal a joint.

If done incorrectly, this could lead to further damage or even an entire roof replacement down the line. If a homeowner chooses the DIY route for a repair job, thorough research about proper techniques and methods is recommended before taking any further action.

If deciding to replace a roof entirely due to an immediate fear of collapse from old age or from damage from a storm, then hiring a trustworthy and qualified contractor is essential as they will provide high quality service that meets local building regulations.

There are many different types of materials available when replacing a roof such as asphalt shingle, metal, tiles and more – so make sure discuss your options thoroughly with your chosen contractor.

In conclusion, there are two paths you can take when dealing with a leaking roof: repairing or replacing it yourself or hiring professionals. The best solution depends on your expertise level, budget constraints, and other factors related to your home’s structure – so consider all your options before making this important decision!

Responses to Common Questions with Explananations

What steps can I take to prevent a roof leak in the future?

1. Inspect your roof regularly to check for weak spots or potential areas of damage. Look out for things like cracked or missing shingles, loose fittings, gaps around vents and skylights, and any other signs of wear and tear that could lead to a roof leak.

2. Ensure that the gutters and downspouts are kept clean so that water can flow freely away from the roof and foundation. Neglecting these two features can also cause water accumulation on the roof, leading to damage over time.

3. Check for tree limbs or other debris overhanging the roofline; Trim them back if necessary, so that water does not accumulate in one area and begin to weaken the material.

4. Ensure that all areas around flashing (metal pieces used where different materials meet) are sealed properly and that it doesn’t become corroded over time, as this can be a common source of leaks.

5. Consider having a professional come inspect your roof every few years to detect any potential issues before they become serious problems that require costly repairs.

How can I identify the source of the leak quickly?

dentifying the source of the leak quickly is key to mitigating the damage it can cause. Here are a few steps that can help you identify the source of the roof leak:

1. Begin by inspecting your roof from both the inside and outside. Look for signs of discoloration, damp spots, and other indicators that suggest water coming in from an area. It’s important to note that this might be difficult work if you have multiple layers of shingles or a metal roof.

2. If possible, use a garden hose to test potential areas where leaks may be coming from while standing outside on the ground. Make sure to also check around chimney stacks and skylights, as these are common areas for water infiltration.

3. Carefully inspect attic insulation for water damage or any visible wet spots. This is an important step since water can seep through small cracks in your roof and migrate through the attic before making its way down into your home.

4. Lastly, contact a professional roofer if you are unable to locate the source of the leak yourself. They can provide an experienced eye and specialized tools to assess your roof and pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from.

What are some common causes of roof leaks?

Common causes of roof leaks can include broken tiles or shingles, ice dams, deteriorated flashing and sealant around joints and vents, poor installation, cracks in the roof deck, and missing fasteners.

Broken tiles and shingles can occur due to age, severe weather conditions, or inadequate construction. Ice dams can form when piles of snow on a roof melt and refreeze along eaves, forming a blockage which forces water up under shingles or tiles.

Flashing is strips of metal or plastic used to fill gap between roofing materials and wall surfaces, so when these deteriorate or shrink over time they can expose the underside of your roof to the elements thus leading to leaks.

Poor installation practices such as installers not properly sealing penetrations with tar or caulk can leave areas vulnerable to water infiltration. Cracks in the roof deck typically occur due to expansion and contraction from temperature changes over time that aren’t taken into account during installation.

Lastly missing fasteners is an easy one to overlook but if screws become loose over time they can’t do their job in holding down your tiles properly.