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

roofer removing asphalt shingles after damage on the roof

Sometimes, everything is going right. You’re having a day where your hair falls just right, it’s a cozy rainy day, and you have nothing to do except snuggle up with a cup of cocoa and a good book. Then all of a sudden, you hear it.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Yup, that’s right. You’re dealing with a roof leak. Roof leaks come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one clear thing in common: they are very stressful.

The key to a roof leak is to act fast. That means you need to repair it and repair it now before your home starts to suffer from the side effects of water damage.

In today’s post, we’ll teach you:

  • How to identify the source of a roof leak ????
  • How to fix a roof leak ????
  • When to call a professional roofing contractor ☎️

Signs You May Have a Roof Leak

Okay, we get it. “Signs you may have a roof leak?” Isn’t a dripping ceiling obvious enough?

Not necessarily! Roof leaks can be sneaky, particularly if you live in a home that has an attic space. In fact, you could have a roof leak for many months before you ever notice there is a problem. That’s a lot of time for water damage to wreak havoc on your home. In order to prevent that, you’ll want to know the most common signs of a roof leak so that you can catch it early on!

  • Water Puddles – We’ll start with the obvious. If you are finding pools of water on the floor, especially in areas that are far away from appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, there is a good chance that the water is coming from your ceiling.
  • Ceiling Stain – Are you noticing yellow and brown patches forming on your walls and ceiling? This is usually caused by water seeping through the layers of your home. It is important to get this looked at immediately, as water may be pooling in areas that you can’t see and causing a fire hazard.
  • Mildew Smell – Is your home smelling musty, no matter how many windows you open? This could be caused by mold and mildew. Mold grows best in a damp environment and could be caused by a leak somewhere in your home. While mildew is not typically harmful to your health, it can affect your respiratory wellness and the overall smell of your home.
  • Damaged Personal Items – Have you ever gone up to your attic in search of holiday decor and found boxes that have clearly been water damaged? It’s a clear sign that your roof is leaking.
  • Frozen Shiners – Shiners are the nails that are used to attach your roof’s shingles. Occasionally, these shiners will poke through your attic ceiling. While this is generally not a cause for concern, you may notice, as the weather cools, that these shiners accumulate ice and frost. This could be a sign that you have a roof leak, and it is a good idea to call on a professional ASAP.

Can You Do a DIY Roof Leak Repair?

water leaking signs after a roof damage

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post while searching through Google, we’re willing to bet that you are considering tackling this roof repair on your own. But can roof leaks really be effectively repaired with DIY spirit and a little elbow grease? It depends.

There are many different types of roofs on the market, and each of them requires specific installation and repair methods. Some roofing materials, such as metal or slate, require specialized tools that the average homeowner just won’t have access to.

If you are determined to fix a leaking roof on your own, we recommend starting with an asphalt shingle roof. Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material used on U.S. homes, and they are also the most DIY friendly, as they are relatively easy to replace.

How to Fix a Roof Leak In 5 Steps

Ready to get started repairing your leaky roof? Follow these steps to create a roof that is as good as new!

1) Locate the Leak

The first step to repairing the leak is locating the source. Sometimes this can be easy, while other times, it can pose a definite challenge. A good tip is to search your roof for missing, cracked, or dented shingles. All of these could be a source of your problem.

The simplest solution is to find the point on your roof that is directly above the leaking area inside of your home. Still, struggling? You can take a garden hose and spray your roof, to try and recreate the effect of rainfall. This can help you spot the exact point where water is entering your home.

2) Gather Supplies

Before beginning your repairs, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper supplies, including:

  • New shingles
  • Hammer
  • Caulk gun
  • Roof sealant
  • Flat bar
  • Utility knife
  • Safety gear, including a roofing harness.

3) Remove Damaged Shingles

You’ll want to start by carefully climbing onto your roof. Using your flat bar, carefully pry the damaged shingles up from the roof. Most shingles have roughly eight nails in them. You’ll want to attach the notched head of your pry bar to the nail and use a hammer to drive the pry bar underneath the shingle.

Once the shingle is removed, it is a good idea to check out the state of the underlayment and existing roof deck. Most of the time, replacing the shingles will fix the problem, but if the damage is too severe, you will need to call on a professional roofing company. It is possible that you may need to do a full roof replacement.

4) Attach New Shingles

Once the old shingles have been removed, you can slide the new shingle into place. Make sure that it is properly aligned before nailing it into place. You’ll want to place the nails just above the adhesive line.

5) Apply Sealant

Lastly, apply a bead of sealant beneath the edges of the surrounding shingles. This will help to keep water out from areas where you don’t want it. It’s also a good idea to search for exposed nail heads and apply a coat of sealant to them, as well.

When to Call in a Professional

professional worker repairing the damage roof leak caused

While we support homeowners who want to care for their own properties, we also think it’s worth noting that the safest option is always to hire a professional roofer to assist you with your roof repairs.

Repairing a roof always comes with inherent risk. After all, you are working at a significant height. If you feel even a little bit unsure about your ability to work safely, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Additionally, hiring a roofing contractor can help give you peace of mind. Professional roofers know all about roof leak repairs and can help you to find solutions that last. A DIY roofing repair can actually create more problems for you if it isn’t done correctly. Improperly installed shingles can allow more water to damage your roof and require a roof deck patch down the line.

Roof Maintenance Tips

Want to continue to keep your roof leak free in the future? It all comes down to proper maintenance. Here are our best tips to keep your shingles in great shape!

  • Clean Your Roof – It’s natural for leaves, twigs, and other debris to build up on your roof in the course of a year. And while it may not look like that much of a problem, it can majorly impact the flow of water off of your roof. Oftentimes, this debris can act as a sort of dam, causing water to pool on your roof. Making sure to regularly clean off your roof will help to maintain its longevity.
  • Don’t Forget the Gutters – The same basic principle applies to your gutters! We recommend cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year to promote water flow and avoid ice dams. It also may be a good idea to invest in gutter guards in order to keep debris out of your gutters in the first place. 
  • Trim Trees – Hail storms aren’t the only thing that can cause impact damage to your shingles. Falling tree branches can also cause a lot of damage! It’s a good idea to regularly trim the branches that hang above your roof line to avoid hurting your shingles.
  • Schedule a Roof Inspection – A professional roof inspection is the best way to catch roofing issues in the early stages. We recommend talking to your local contractor and scheduling an annual roof inspection to help nip problems in the bud.

Work With the Best

When it comes to caring for your roof, no one does it better than Anchor Point Roofing! With years of expertise under our belt and the best customer service in the industry, you can count on us to help fix your leaking roof correctly and efficiently. Contact us today to receive a free quote on your roofing project!

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