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how to fix a roof leak repairing rooftop
how to fix a roof leak repairing rooftop

How to Fix a Roof Leak in 5 Easy Steps [Homeowners Guide]

Some things in life are unfortunate but true. You have to eat your vegetables. Getting enough sleep really does make you feel better. And, at some point in your homeowner journey, you will deal with a roof leak.

Roof leaks may be common, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating. If you suspect that you may have a roof leak, you likely have a lot of questions. Mainly, wondering how to fix a roof leak.

  • Why is my roof leaking?
  • How is a roof repaired?
  • Can I fix my own leaky roof?

The good news? We’ve got answers to all of those questions and more. If you want to know how to fix a roof leak, we have the information you need to find and fix the leak.

What Causes a Roof Leak?

When you find a roof leak in your home, you might wonder what caused it in the first place. While you won’t always be able to identify exactly what caused your roof leak, there are some situations that make your roof more vulnerable to leaks. Here are some of the top ones.

  • Hail Damage – Hail-damaged shingles are one of the top culprits for roof leaks. The impact from hail can often cause dents in your shingles that can lead to roof leaks.
  • Blown-Off Shingles – If you have an older roof or live in an area with high winds, you may deal with blown-off shingles from time to time. If you leave those shingles without replacing them, you could be looking at a roof leak in the future.
  • Cold Temperatures – Brr! When it gets cold out, you naturally turn on your home’s heating system. However, if your attic is not properly insulated, warm air can escape from your home and melt any snow that may be on your roof. At the best, this can lead to condensation that can cause water damage to your ceilings and personal belongings. More troublingly, you may find that your roof develops an ice dam.
  • Moss Growth – While moss on your roof may look pretty and rustic, it is bad news for your roof system. Moss growth is typically a sign of excess moisture on your roof. Additionally, moss can make your roof system less effective over time leading to water damage.

Signs of a Roof Leak

brown stain on a white ceiling due to a roof leak

Do you suspect that you have a roof leak but aren’t 100% sure? Luckily, there are lots of telltale signs that you can look for to help you determine whether or not you are dealing with a leaking roof.

  • Mold and Mildew Smell – Is there a musty, wet odor coming from your home? Particularly from the attic? You might be dealing with a roof leak. If water is leaking into your home, it can pool and create excess moisture that leads to mold growth.
  • Damaged Personal Items – There’s nothing quite like going up to your attic to collect your holiday decorations only to find that they are water stained and ruined. This can be a sign that you have a leaking roof.
  • Frozen Shiners – Do you know what a shiner is? No, we’re not talking about a black eye. Shiners are roofing nails that have been nailed through the sheathing. Once in a while, though, you may find that these nails are covered in frost or ice. This may be indicative of the fact that your roof is leaking.
  • Stains – When you have a roof leak in your attic, you may find that the lower levels of your home start to develop yellow and brown stains on the ceilings and walls. These are water stains and should be taken seriously.

5 Steps on How to Fix a Roof Leak

Let’s stop beating around the bush and get to it! If you’re looking to tackle your own roof leak repair, these are the steps you’ll want to follow for flawless results.

1) Locate Your Leak

It may seem obvious, but the first step when it comes time to fix a leaking roof is to locate the leak itself! You can use the signs above to help you locate exactly where the leak in your roof is. You may also have to climb up on the roof to find the leak. Remember to do this safely!

2) Identify the Problem

Once you’ve located where the leak is, you then need to discover what is causing the leak. For this, you’ll definitely have to get up on your roof. Carefully comb your roof for damaged flashing, missing shingles, or other signs of roofing damage. Once you have located the damaged area, remove the shingles and prep the area for repairs!

3) Examine the Roof Deck

close up of 2 sides of a roof showing the wooden underlayment next to the finished metal side

After you remove your asphalt shingles, you should take a moment to assess the underlayment and roof deck. If your leaky roof has been a longstanding problem, you may find that the layers of your roof have sustained significant damage. If this is the case, you may need to replace parts of your roof deck before you add new shingles. This means you will have to call in a professional, as replacing the roof deck is a serious undertaking. 

4) Replace Shingles

If the lower levels of your roof are in fine shape, you can move on to replacing the shingles. You’ll want to carefully cut your asphalt shingles to be the correct size. Once it has been properly sized, you can then fasten the shingle to the roof with roofing nails and a hammer. We recommend using a roofing adhesive to help secure your shingles.

5) Call a Roofing Contractor

If the leak persists, you should hire a reputable roofing company as soon as possible. A professional roofer will be able to diagnose the problem and fix it so that you can minimize the chance of roof damage.

Get Help With Your Roof Leak Today!

Have questions we haven’t answered? Let us help you out! At Melo Roofing, we are roofing experts and ready to help set you up with the safe, functional roof that your home deserves. Contact us today to receive a free quote on your roof leak repair!

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