How To Fix Leaking Roof From The Inside


If you wonder about how to fix a leaking roof from the inside, understand that it is possible. It’s also quite possible that, without assistance from specialist roofers with professional repair knowledge, you could make it worse. That said, is it possible to fix a roof leak from indoors? The answer is, it is possible to try, and sometimes succeed. First, read all the information below and consider the steps to take:

Fixing a Leaking Roof From Inside your Home

  1.   Locate the problem. You see a sign of a roof leak, such as a stain on the ceiling, so you have a general idea where the water is ending up. With that knowledge, head up into the attic (or crawl space for homes without attics) and locate the leak and potential cause. 
  2.   Redirect water flow if possible. Leaks rarely just come from a roof hole and drip water straight down to the location you noticed it indoors. Water often seeps from a trouble spot, and then flows along rafters, support beams or other structural items and end up far from where you imagined.

In this instance, you should get to the source point and try to redirect the water so it flows straight down – and hopefully into a waiting bucket. This should instantly reduce the damage you first noticed indoors. To redirect, consider sticking a nail into the hole at the head point of the leak flow. This should cause the water to follow the nail, and ultimately drip off its end straight down with gravity. 

  1.   Temporarily seal. If you accomplish the steps above, get right at trying to do a temp seal right where you think the leak source is. You might be able to use simple caulk. Some suggest using roofing tar with a roof shingle or small thin plywood. Do whatever it takes to stem the flow to at least allow time to get at the next steps.
  2.   Inspect more carefully, mark sources of leaking. Use chalk or crayon, to help identify all trouble spots as you progress. Use a flashlight or smart phone lighting app to see better, and look for an identifiable hole, or even darkened areas indicating moisture (or even worse, mold). It might be wise to use a measuring tape against a set feature like a chimney, to help locate the spot once precipitation subsides.

Once clear skies return, you could use the measurement you logged and locate the leak on top of the roof. While there you could try carefully applying roofing tar to further stop future leaks.

5.    Let it dry, if possible, before attempting more long-lasting sealing actions. Once dry, your roof’s underside can be patched with caulk, or larger patching items using a wide putty knife.

Do’s (and Don’ts) for Fixing a Leaky Roof from Inside

  • Be very careful with weight while inside the attic or into crawl space. You may have to remove insulation, and carefully sponge away standing water before proceeding. Use plywood to lay across attic floor beams to hold tools or a bucket collecting water – putting pressure on a wet spot could cause a fall-through.
  • If you use roofing tar or caulking, be generous with applications. Who sees the underside of your roof, anyway? Spread wide and well, to ensure holes are plugged – and doing so might plug unseen problems also.
  • Try to make timely decisions. Don’t hesitate to get out onto the roof outside if it’s too hard to identify or plug the leak indoors. Up top, use a tarp or plastic covering to protect as much of the roof as you can. Carefully secure coverings with rope or weights.

Final Words on Indoor Roof Leak Patching

It is possible to do it yourself and fix a leaking roof from the inside of your home or business property. In the end it could save money from one-time repairs, or even push back that full re-roof you might need. However, it is prudent to be realistic, and not try to do or expect too much without at least advice from a roofing professional. If you cause more damage than was there in the first place, the cost could far exceed what it might have been had you called a roofing contractor first. Speak to us today about repairing roofs of all types including the pros and cons of a metal roof repair.

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