ABC Roofing and Waterproofing Contractors

How to Repair a Roof Leak

For many property owners, their home is their biggest investment and a leaking roof can cause significant damage to this investment. A leaky roof can lead to a wide range of damages, some of which can even harm the structural integrity of your house. Therefore, getting rid of them as soon as possible should be the first priority of any homeowner.

Most roof leaks fall under the category of basic roofing repairs that can be fixed easily. You can either use DIY repairing methods or call a professional roofing contractor depending upon the extent of damage. Otherwise, they can lead to damages such as

  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Weakening of roof support
  • Damage to the ceiling and attic
  • Damage to the insulation
  • Deterioration of indoor air quality
  • Risk of short circuits

Swiftly repairing all the leaks can protect you from all these damages and their expensive repairs. In this article, we’re going to break down all the steps involved in a leak repair job with a simple step-by-step guide.

Identifying the Leak Source

The very first step in curing your roof’s leak is identifying its leak source. You need to do a proper diagnosis of your roof to find the exact source of the leak before you start the repair job. Finding out the source of the leak is not as difficult as it sounds. You can walk around your building’s exterior and notice any signs of damage to the shingles or flashings.

You can also head to your attic with a flashlight and look for water stains or mold growth. Remember water travels downwards so start inspecting your roof from the top and move towards the bottom.

Most commonly leaks occur at the valleys or at the section where the debris is collected. Flashing at the skylights and chimneys or places under the gutters are very prone to leakages.

Even without venturing onto your roof, leaks can often be identified inside your home. Watch for signs like water stains on ceilings, drips or dampness near fireplaces, and even wet spots on the attic’s roof decking (accessible by removing some insulation if necessary). These clues, especially if concentrated in a specific area, can help pinpoint the leak’s origin.

Safety Equipment

Roof repairs are best left to professionals, especially for multi-story homes or steeply pitched roofs. These projects can be dangerous without experience. However, if you’re determined to tackle a small leak on a low-slope roof yourself, prioritize safety. Use proper fall protection and have a helper on hand to assist you. Always check the ladder before climbing on it.

Besides, you must have access to all the safety equipment including

  • Sturdy footwear: Wear shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls. Avoid smooth-soled shoes or sandals.
  • Fall protection: This is crucial! Use a properly fitting safety harness with a shock-absorbing lanyard securely anchored to a solid roof structure.
  • Head protection: Wear a hard hat to protect yourself from falling debris or tools.
  • Eye protection: Safety glasses or goggles shield your eyes from dust, particles, and flying debris.
  • Work gloves: Protect your hands from cuts and scrapes with work gloves that provide a good grip.

Repairing The Leak

After all the safety measures are taken, now it’s time to fix the leak.

  1. Shingles Repair

Shingles are one of the most versatile, affordable, and durable roofing materials but excessive wear and tear due to harsh weather can take a toll. Damaged shingles are the most common cause of a roof leak. Therefore, always make sure to fix them up as soon as possible. The following steps are included in the shingle repair process

  • Identify the damaged shingles
  • Pry up carefully
  • Install the new shingle
  • Nail it to the roof properly
  • Add a layer of roof cement under the edges for better adherence
  • Flashing Repair

Roof flashings are materials that roofers use to waterproof the areas that are prone to leaks and water damage. There is a wide range of flashings that are used in different areas of the roof. These areas are around the chimneys, skylights, vents, and where the roof meets the wall. Over time, flashing can become damaged or corroded which allows leaks to occur.

  • Other Leak Sources

Other than shingles and flashing, there are other places on your roof where leaks might occur.  Among them are:

  • Valleys: If debris accumulates there or the joints between two roof pieces are not correctly sealed, there is a chance that water will collect there and leak.
  • Pipes and vents: To stop leaks around the entry sites, pipes, and vents that pierce the roof need to be properly flashed and sealed.
  • Chimneys and skylights: Poor installation techniques or deterioration around these features can lead to leaks that enter the house from the ground up.

When to Call a Professional

Although repairing roof leaks is not a challenging task. However, in certain situations, contacting a professional roofing contractor is the best option. These scenarios include

  1. Safety Concerns

Unless you have a single-story home with a low pitch roof you should always hire a professional to do the repair job. Working on your roof can be a risky business if you have no prior experience. If the leak source is located near a power line and involves excessive damage, prioritizing safety and contacting a professional is the best choice.

  • Extensive Damage

If the damage has exaggerated beyond a certain limit and has damaged the structural integrity of the roof, calling a professional is the best choice. A professional can assess all the damages thoroughly and suggest the proper repair.

  • Steep Roof Pitch

Roof with steep pitches is always hard to work on. If you have no prior experience of fixing a roof leak, then prefer to call a professional to do the job.


An untreated roof leak is a surefire way to end badly.  It may result in more water damage, the growth of mold, structural problems, and even electrical risks.  You may avoid these issues and ultimately save yourself money and worry by quickly fixing the leak.  Remember, don’t hesitate to hire a professional roofer for a secure and long-lasting solution if the repairs appear complicated or you’re not sure you can handle them yourself.  Maintaining a high-quality roof is essential for keeping your home safe.

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