How to Fix a Roof Leak in Your Home

Leaky roofs are a problem for any homeowner, but they’re especially bad for Florida homes, which have to stand up to hurricane-force winds and heavy rains. And whether normal wear and tear or a major storm does the damage, you’ll want to fix a roof leak as soon as you know it’s there.

We’re John Hogan Roofing, and we’ve been your go-to Florida roof repair experts for over 25 years. We’ve fixed more than a few leaky roofs in our time, and we want to share our experience with you so that you know exactly what to do when your roof starts leaking. But let’s start with reviewing how you can be sure whether or not you’ve got a roof leak.

Signs of a Leaky Roof

Signs of a leaky roof

Sometimes roof leaks are easy to spot. When your ceiling tarts dripping water onto the floor, you’ll probably suspect a roof leak right away.

But identifying roof leaks isn’t always so simple. In fact, many roof leaks show signs that you might not recognize as a roofing issue. These hidden signs of a leaking roof include:

  • Mold on exterior walls of your home. This indicates that water has been leaking for a while and has had time to encourage mold growth.
  • Water spots on your walls. This could also be from a burst pipe, but roof leaks can also cause water to collect in your walls and create stains.
  • Missing shingles. If you suspect a leak, you can look at your roof and see if you have missing or damaged shingles. If you’re missing shingles and seeing other signs of water damage, there’s a good chance a roof leak is the culprit!
  • Unidentifiable musty smells. Sometimes a leaking roof doesn’t even leave a stain! Instead, a musty smell that you can’t get rid of could indicate that water is making its way into your home through your roof.

If you notice one or more of these signs of a leaky roof, then you need to take action right away. But before you can fix a roof leak in your home, you first need to identify the cause.

Identifying the Cause of a Roof Leak

Identifying the Cause of a Roof Leak

At this point, you’re probably pretty confident that you’re dealing with a roof leak. Now it’s time to figure out exactly where it’s coming from.

The best way to see where your leak is coming from is to follow the water damage. This seems easy when you have water staining your ceiling since you may assume the leak is directly above that. But sometimes things aren’t that simple.

If you notice mold or staining, grab a flashlight, go into your attic, and try to follow these issues to their source. Oftentimes, water will pool in the attic and create the stains that you see in your home, but the leak itself isn’t in the same spot as the stain or mold.

As you’re looking for the source of the leak, try to identify any dark or wet spots in your attic. Working this way, you should be able to follow the leak to its source.

Alternatively, there is another way to find a leak. Instead, you can go onto your roof with your hose and spray water on your roof until you see where the water is entering your home. Start where you think the leak may be, then allow the water to flow onto that area. You will also want to have a partner with a flashlight in your attic, since any water entering the attic will reflect the flashlight’s light.

Once you’ve figured out where the roof leak is coming from, you’ll want to take some measures to stop the damage before you explore your options to fix a roof leak in your home.

Protect Your Home from Roof Leaks

For most people, they’ll want to call professionals to come out and fix the roof leak. But it can take time for roofers to come to your home and fix the root problem with your roof. So to prevent more damage from happening in the interim, you’ll need to take some steps in the meantime.

Here are ways that you can prevent water damage while waiting for someone to fix a roof leak in your home.

Plastic Sheeting

To prevent further water damage, you’ll want to cover the source of the leak with plastic sheeting. Then, you should adhere the sheeting to your roof with either galvanized staples or by nailing it into place.

When doing this, make sure that all of the edges are tightly secured so that water can’t make it to the source of your leak. Applying a roofing adhesive around the edge (and giving it time to dry) is a great way to make sure you have a watertight seal.

Roof Sealant

If damaged shingles are causing your roof to leak, you can use roof sealant as a temporary measure to stop more water from getting in. You can also use sealant to protect gaps in flashing or along roof joints.

But when using sealant to temporarily seal a leak, you should make sure it has 24 hours to dry. Make sure to completely cover any cracks or separation, and your roof should be safe until the leak can be fixed!

Catch the Water

If these options aren’t available to you, that’s okay. Many homeowners aren’t totally comfortable working on their roofs. In this case, just put out some buckets to catch any water that falls. This won’t prevent any roof damage, but it will protect your floors until the leak can be fixed.

Should you decide to call professionals for help, tell them your situation. Roofers are always busy, but many roofing contractors will be happy to expedite your job to minimize the water damage to your structure.

How to Fix a Roof Leak in Your Home – Video

Should You Fix a Roof Leak by Yourself?

By the time you start to notice a roof leak, it has most likely already seeped through your roof’s underlayment and decking. And if you’re unlucky, it could have done even more structural damage. So while you may be fully capable of fixing a roof leak by yourself, fixing the water damage is another issue entirely. For that reason, it’s usually a good idea to call a professional to fix a roof leak in your home.

At John Hogan Roofing, we have mastered roof leak repairs. With 25 years of great service, we know that we can fix your leak and resolve any water damage to your home. This way, you can move forward without worrying about problems popping up again in a few months!

If you want to see what our expert roofers can do for you, reach out for a free roofing estimate. We know that speed is essential when it comes to fixing a roof leak, so we’ll work with you to make sure that your home is safe and protected.


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