How to Fix a Leaky Roof

It’s never a good experience to look up at your home’s ceiling and see one of the telltale signs that you have a leaky roof. After all, a leaky roof is not something you should ignore. Instead, you need to take quick steps to fix the leak before bigger damage is done to your home. 

And what are the telltale signs of a leaky roof? Well, do you feel water falling on your head? But seriously, you may have a leak in your roof if you notice one of the following in your home: 

  • You notice a water stain on your ceiling. 
  • You have a drip coming from your ceiling. 
  • You notice a mossy or moldy exterior wall. 
  • You have water spots under your roofline on your exterior walls. 

If you’ve noticed one of these things and identified where the leak was coming from, the good news is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional roofer to do the repair job. A leaky roof is a household issue that a homeowner can fix themselves relatively easily in just a few steps. 

The first thing you need to do is find where the leak is coming from. Whether it’s the fault of your shingles, roof damage, flashing or any other culprit, you’re going to need a different strategy to mend it. Below, we cover the most common reasons your roof is leaking and how to fix it: 

Plumbing Vent Boots and Roofing Boots 

If water is entering your home from one of these two areas, you need to first, look for cracks in the base of the rubber flashing or see if there are broken seams if the flashing is metal. Then replace the vent boot if necessary and secure the boot to the base of the roof.  

Old Holes 

If your house has been around awhile, the chances that there are old mounting holes in your roof are pretty good.  

To repair these, you will need to patch the nail or screw holes by: 

  • Slipping a piece of roof flashing under the shingle. 
  • Secure the shingle in place with caulk or roof cement. 

Step Flashing 

This isn’t some sort of cool new dance the kids are doing so don’t worry. If a piece of step flashing has become loose over time or has rusted through, water can creep in behind it and into your house. If you find this is the case, you’ll need to:  

  • Loosen the shingle and siding to remove the step flashing. 
  • Push new flashing into place and secure it with roofing cement. 

Dormers or Walls 

Dormers and walls give plenty of opportunity for water to come into your home as well. If you notice that it isn’t so much your roof that’s leaking as it is your dormer or wall, simply: 

  • Scrape out any cracked or dry caulking that isn’t doing its job of sealing the adjoining surfaces.  
  • If you’re dealing with dormers, replace any missing or rotting siding above the step flashing. 
  • Recaulk the corner flashing if any areas have hardened caulk. 

As you begin to investigate the cause of your leak, there is one word of caution: Don’t think that caulk is going to solve all your problems. We know that was more than one word, but you get the point. It might seem like a dab of caulk will patch it up, but it will be a temporary fix at best. Always look for the underlying issue with the roof that is making it leak so you can fix the problem from the ground up.   

Ready to tackle your leaky roof repair project? Northside Tool Rental has everything you need to get the job done right the first time. Contact one of our team of experts today to discuss what tools we have available for rent that will make your roof repair a snap.