A roof leak is a pesky inconvenience most homeowners experience in their lifetime. A leak may start with just a few drops of water at first, but it can become a serious issue if ignored. Small leaks can easily be fixed with a few DIY tips. 

Knowing how to repair a roof leak will help you save money and time. You won’t have to call a roofing contractor anytime you experience a small leak, and you shouldn’t ignore the leak. Doing so will lead to rotting building materials and mold growth. Eventually, you’ll spend more money on mold remediation and restoration.

Follow the tips below on how to repair a roof leak, so you can avoid spending more money than you really should.

Locate the Leak

The first step in how to repair a roof leak is locating the source. This can be done in a variety of ways. The first is going to the attic during the day when the sun is out. Examine the attic to see if there is any sunlight piercing through the roof. This is a sign of a hole in the roof.

While in the attic, you can look for any water damage from the leak. How does your insulation look? Is there rotting wood? Do you smell mildew? Answering these questions can give you an idea of how bad the leak is and about how long it has existed.

how to repair a roof leak attic

If you are unable to find sunlight peaking through your attic, the next step is to simulate the leak. You’ll need a partner to perform this examination. One of you should get onto the roof with a water hose, and the other should be located where the leak occurs. 

The person on the roof should spray water onto the roof, starting low and working their way up. It is up to the person inside to let them know when they are starting to see the leak appear. This method will take some time, and you may have to remove shingles or roofing to locate the leak.

Identify the Problem

Once you know the area in which the leak is located, it’s time to determine the cause of the leak. This will help you learn how to repair a roof leak. A leak can originate from anywhere on your roof, but there are a handful of common locations. Below, you can find common areas that may be the origin of your leak:

  • Roof flashing
  • Chimney flashing
  • Vent boots
  • Cracked or missing shingles
  • Missing siding or trim

These issues are common causes of leaks. When it comes to missing siding or trim, rain blown around by rain can reach those exposed areas. Siding and trim around your windows could be the entry point, so be sure to check those areas as well.

chimney flashing how to fix a roof leak

Repair the Roof Leak

Once you identify the culprit, you can finally start repairing the leak. The process on how to repair a roof leak varies, but once you know the issue, you are in the home stretch. The steps you take to repair the leak will vary depending on the cause. 

Roof or Chimney Flashing: flashing covers your roof’s most vulnerable parts at the joints, so you must ensure a proper application. Flashing is typically made from metal, plastic, or composite material. Determine the type of flashing you have and replace it properly.

Vent Boots: your boot may be severely damaged or loose or missing hardware. These problems allow water to seep through and create a leak. You’ll need to replace the boot or the missing hardware. Missing hardware can be solved with proper screws and washers to prevent water from entering. If the boot needs replaced entirely, then consult your local hardware store for details about the right boot.

Cracked or Missing Shingles: Cracked shingles occur in extreme temperatures, while strong winds cause missing shingles. In either case, you can replace the shingles by purchasing the right type at your local hardware store. Be sure to consult shingle installation instructions to complete the process correctly.

cracked shingles how to fix a roof leak

Missing Siding or Trim: Replacing trim or siding can serve to be more complicated than the other issues on this list. Finding the right type of trim and siding that matches your home is paramount. Take samples of the material to a local hardware store to find the right type. Then, fasten the new siding and trim to your home using the proper methods. You may use caulking to fill in a few gaps but do not rely on it as it will not last forever.

You Know How to Repair a Roof Leak Now

Knowing how to repair a roof leak yourself will help you save money and time. If you are experiencing a roof leak, have it sealed as soon as possible. Are you unable to locate the leak or perform the repairs yourself? That is not a problem. Call Golden City Remodeling to perform the roof repair you need. Our residential roofing services are available with free estimates, so give us a call today at (310) 361-3271.