How To Find And Fix A Roof Leak (The Right Way)

Finding a roof leak can be frustrating. You might notice water on the ceiling of your home or see evidence that there’s been a leak in your attic. Either way, if you’re here, then it means that you want to know how to find a roof leak and fix it before it gets out of hand. Fortunately, we’re here to help you do just that!

The hardest part about fixing a roof leak is often finding the source of it! Even the tiniest leak can cause the biggest problem, so knowing the signs and how to pinpoint the issue can save you a ton of time and money by catching and fixing it early.

Here are Some Signs You Might Have a Roof Leak:

Signs of a roof leak are not always obvious and could also be a symptom of another issue. However, if you see any of these signs, take action right away to prevent further damage or mold growth in your home’s interior.

Signs of leaks in your home’s interior:

  • Water stains on your ceiling or attic floor
  • Cracks in the paint or drywall of your interior walls
  • Wet spots/stains around HVAC vents, roof vents, or the chimney
  • Signs of mold growth in the attic
  • Exposed nails in the attic ceiling (with signs of water streaks or frost)
how to find a roof leak with ceiling damage

Signs of leaks on your home’s exterior:

  • Cracked, loose, or missing shingles
  • Mold on your home’s exterior near flashing or where the roof meets your siding
  • Rusted or damaged flashing
  • Clogged gutters or downspouts
  • You get ice dams every winter
  • Hail or storm damage on your shingles
missing shingles

This list is long, but they are all key indicators of a roof leak and if you see them, act fast. So here’s what to do next.

What to Do if You Spot Signs of a Roof Leak

The most important thing is to try and pinpoint where the leak is occurring and seal it off as much as possible to prevent further damage.

Follow Water Spots to the Attic/Roof

If you notice water stains on your ceiling, you can attempt to find the source of the leak up in the attic. Some leaks may be completely obvious, and you can see exactly where the water or air is coming in. Others, not so much.

Water can leak into your roof in one area, then flow down beams or surfaces until it eventually hits your attic floor. These are much more complicated to locate and require the keen eye and expertise of a professional roofer.

Tarp the Area if Safe to Do So

If it is safe to do so, you can cover the area with a tarp or plastic sheeting. This will help prevent further damage and hold any water back while you find and repair the leak! This can be especially necessary if you’ve received roof damage during severe weather.

tarp roof

Make Small Repairs to Remedy the Leak

The next step is to make minor, strategic repairs where you can. For example, if the leak turns out to be a loose or missing shingle, consider replacing it and then adding an extra layer of waterproof tar paper underneath (this will help prevent future leaks).

If you notice any cracked flashing around vents or chimneys, inspect them for holes and repair as necessary to prevent further leaks. Caulking the area or replacing the worn or damaged flashing can be an easy step to at least temporarily prevent further leaks from happening.

If you notice any standing water around your roof or ceiling, use a shop vac and some fans to dry the area. Drying these leaks as soon as possible is the only way to prevent mold growth, so acting fast is critical. Then, use caulk or sealant to seal off the leak and prevent it from letting water in until you can get a professional repair of your roof.

Get a Professional Roofing Inspection

Finally, if you cannot find or fix the leak yourself, it might be time to call in a professional roofing contractor. A good roofer will have all of the tools and expertise needed to locate your leak quickly and get it fixed right away!

roof inspection

Fixing your own roof leak can be a tricky job, especially for the inexperienced. We always recommend hiring a professional to handle the job, even if it’s as small as one broken shingle. They can ensure the repair fixes the issue and doesn’t just buy you time. Our professional roofers are on-hand to help you repair or replace your roof should a leak ever occur. Simply reach out to us on our website, and we will schedule your inspection and get you an accurate repair estimate. We’re here to help!

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