Having a leaky roof is obviously a reason for concern, and it calls for immediate action. If you don’t want to deal with the consequences, then it is better to act fast and repair the roof. Even the smallest leaks can lead to much bigger and substantial problems, like mold, rotting, damaged ceilings, and much more.
It might lead to significantly higher costs over the long-term if left untreated, rather than just fixing it right away. It might not be easy to fix the leaking roof, especially if the leak is not easily accessible. Luckily, we have a good guide for you here. Let’s take a look at how to fix a leaking roof from the inside.
A leaking roof can be a problem in any weather condition, but it can be an especially big problem if you live in an area with heavy storms. Leaving a leak untreated can lead to a lot more damage than just the small hole in the roof, so time is of the essence with leaking roofs. There are steps you can take to fix the leak, and we will go over them here. Here is how to fix a leaking roof from the inside.
Finding Roof Leaks
Try to Find It When it is not Raining
Finding a leak when it is raining is practically impossible. So it makes sense to find it once it’s dry. The best idea is to start from the higher places of your house, and then move down gradually.
The way the water will travel is downwards. It might start high up, and the leak towards the bottom and make its way through the ceiling and down the wall. Maybe the water will travel several feet before we actually see the leak.
So a good idea would be to start in the higher areas, such as the roof. Try to look for roof penetrations to start with. That is exactly where most leaks start, and it is not uncommon to see an item penetrate your roof. It is quite rare to see leaks develop in open areas with uninterrupted shingles.
If you can’t find a leak in the roof, then search in other places. These include the chimney, your roof vents, dormers, or any similar device or space that projects through the roof. Although the most commonplace of leaks will be the roof, and sometimes, the leak will be quite easy to find, sometimes it will hide.
What to do if the Roof is Leaking Right Now?
If it is raining, you can go to the attic and pinpoint the exact location of the leak. Take a flashlight with you and a piece of chalk, so you will be able to mark the leak.
Search for damp spots on the underside of the roof, and start looking for a thin stream of water. Then, follow the leak all the way up until the wood is no longer wet. Search for possible entry points, such as the roof, vents, loose nails, and once you find the leak, mark it with the chalk.
Also, look for water running down the chimney, or for water running down the pipes. Mark any problems with the chalk.
Once it stops raining, examine the leak more closely, and start working towards the repair. Examine the exterior of the roof, and start repairing the leak.
I Can’t Find a Leak
Sometimes, the leak is too hard to find, but you can still do something to find it. For example, you can ask someone to help you with finding the leak. Ask them to go up the roof, and start soaking the roof with a hose. Start low, and move upwards as you try to find the leak.
Try soaking the downside of the chimney, and all vents on your roof. Then, one of you two should be inside of the house, looking for the leak to appear. If you can’t locate it, move upwards and try to find it again. Hopefully, you’ll find it this way.
How to Fix a Leaking Roof from the Inside
Of course, the first step is locating the leak, and then working towards the solution. At first, you can provide a temporary solution, which will still need to be fixed later on with a permanent solution. If you don’t own a ladder, for example, it is still possible to make temporary fixes.
Let’s take a look at how to fix a leaking roof from the inside.
Step 1: Locate the Leak
As we already discussed, finding the leak as quickly as possible is vital to prevent further damage. Go to your attic, and start finding the leak in the ways that we discussed above.
You might have to remove the insulation from the drywall in order to locate the leak. Once you find it, dry the plywood with a sponge or a similar object, and start controlling the leak.
Remember that the leak might be in the higher layers of the roof, even if you find the leak in your attic. Pinpoint the exact location of the leak with chalk. You will be able to trace the leak from the path that the water makes along the wall or the beam.
Step 2: Divert the Water
The next step is to collect the water that is leaking, and provide the way for the water to leak into a bucket or a similar object. Even if you aren’t able to provide a fix straight away, you can still collect the water to prevent further leaks.
An easy way to do this is by sticking a nail into the hole. This way, the water will divert from the nail, and leak towards a specific location.
Then, you will have to put a 5-gallon bucket underneath the leak to collect the water. Let the water collect, and make sure that the bucket is large enough for the water to collect.
Step 3: Repair the Leak
Once the area is already dry, you can start fixing the leak. If the area of the leak is already dry, then ignore step 2 and go straight to this step. Here is how to fix a leaking roof from the inside.
If the leak is because of a missing flashing, or if the flashing is in poor condition, then the fix might be to use sealants to fix the flashing. Although this is only a temporary fix, it can be effective for protecting you for some time. That goes especially for shingles, as you will need to fix them once and for all at some point.
A good short-term fix for shingles is to use masting or roofing cement, and do the following:
Use a flat bar to lift the shingle. It might require you to pry the nail a bit, but don’t forget to nail it down again.
Then, spread the sealant all over the leaking area. Spread the sealant with a trowel under the shingle.
The sealant should cover the broken area, and you should gently spread it so that it is relatively flat.
You can also, alternatively, use a spray-on silicone for a quick fix during the storm. It is an emergency fix. Once the storm is over, you will want to consult a professional to help you fix the shingle or the leak.
Ending thoughts on how to fix a leaking roof from the inside
So that is how to fix a leaking roof from the inside. It is geared more towards temporary solutions, and in the end, you will need to make a conclusive, permanent fix at some point. But still, it is important that you cover the leak at least for now, to stop further damage and to prevent further leaks from happening.