How to Fix a Leaking Roof From the Inside

Repairing a leaking roof is an outside job. But, sometimes, a quick repair needs to be done on the inside to stop the leak and prevent damage. A rainstorm can quickly turn a small leak into a disaster. If it is a small leak, you may be tempted to ignore it but doing so may cause more damage in the near future.

Some people might say that fixing the roof from the inside is impossible. While it’s not impossible, it does take some skill. However, fixing your roof from the inside is only meant to be a temporary fix until more permanent repairs can be completed.

We will take you through the steps to fix your roof from the inside until permanent repairs can be completed.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you start, make sure that you have everything you need to make the repairs. If you have water coming into your house, you won’t want to take the time to run back and forth for supplies. Here are the items that you may need:

  • Ladder
  • Caulking
  • Flashlight
  • Utility knife
  • Nails
  • Roofing tar
  • Putty knife
  • Rubber gloves
  • One or two 5 gallon buckets
  • Tarp or plastic sheeting
  • Sponge
  • Plywood
  • Silicone spray or sealant that you can apply to wet surfaces

Whatever items you don’t have, you can easily find them at a DYI center.

Step 2: Minimize Potential Damage in Your Living Space

If you notice that your ceiling has a bulge where it is leaking, it likely means that water has pooled in that area. If that’s the case, take the following steps:

  1. Remove any objects nearby
  2. Place some plastic sheeting on the floor and place a bucket directly underneath the leak.
  3. Put a small hole in the middle of the leak so the water can drain into the bucket.

Step 3: Locate the Leak in the Attic

After you have gathered your tools, you will need to locate the exact location of the leak. This task may be tricky for a couple of reasons. You will need to gain access to your attic. 

You will need to find where the water is leaking onto your ceiling. You will want to clean up any sitting water so it doesn’t continue to do damage to your sheetrock. Remove the insulation and gently wipe up the water with a sponge. Make sure the area is completely dry. Place a piece of plywood across the rafters, then place the bucket on the plywood so that any more water will drip into there while you find the source of the leak. You don’t want to put the bucket directly on a damp ceiling as it might break through the drywall. If you don’t have an extra 5-gallon bucket, you can use a piece of plastic sheeting to catch any remaining drips.

Trace the water path to where it is entering your roof (you may need a flashlight to help with this). This task may take time. Water doesn’t travel in a straight line so there may be some distance between the leak in your ceiling and the leak location on the roof deck.

Step 4: Divert the Water

Once you locate the actual location of the leak, you will need to divert the water. Put a nail in the hole so that the water will go in another direction. Place a bucket under the area where the water drains catch it.

If you don’t have a bucket, you can create a funnel. Cut a plastic water bottle in half. Take a water hose and attach it firmly to the mouth of the bottle. Run the other end of the hose out the nearest window or opening. Attach the wide part of the bottle underneath the leak with more duct tape. The water will then run down your funnel, through the house and outside of your house.

Step 5: Patch the Leak

Now that you have diverted the water, you can go ahead and patch your leak. If you have a silicone spray or wet-applied sealant, you can go ahead and apply those to the leak as a temporary fix.

If you don’t have those items, you will need to wait until the leaking area is dry. The roof patch needs to be applied in dry conditions so it will have time to cure.

First, take some marking chalk to circle the leak so that you can quickly identify the area when it comes time to make a more permanent fix.

Once your leaking point has dried, apply roofing tar to the whole. Make sure you use a liberal amount and use the putty knife to spread it around to cover the whole area. Next, apply caulking around the edges and use your fingers or putty knife to spread it evenly across the patched section.

Next Steps

Before leaving the attic, measure the distance from the leak to the outside wall. This step will give you a good idea of the leak location when you are on the roof. At that point, you can add more roof tar to the outside of your roof to complete your temporary patch job.

Once you patch your leak, you should be able to keep the inside of your house protected from rain or melting snow. However, while you prevented immediate damage, this is only a temporary repair. Sealants are only diverting the water, and if water has gotten under your shingles, it’s only a matter of time before a leak appears somewhere else in your roof deck. This issue can lead to rotting wood, mold, and mildew.

Contact Us for Roof Repairs

After your leak is temporarily fixed, you will need a professional contractor to come to assess the damage and make permanent repairs. Roofing Costs experts can help you with your roofing project.  They have an extensive network of professional roofing craftsmen and are trusted by homeowners across the UK. Contact them with your address and your project, and they will provide you with quotes from four contractors in your area for free and without obligation. If you don’t know where to start, Roofing Costs can help and guide your project. 

Roofing Costs help to save time in contacting each contractor individually. And with a rich portfolio of contractors, you can save hundreds or thousands of pounds on your project.

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