THIS is How to Repair a Roof Leak From the Inside

Finding yourself with a leaky roof can prove to be a very unsettling feeling, especially when you live in areas with brutal storms. In these types of situations, this is how you can repair a roof safely from the inside of your house!

The best way to fix a roof leak from the inside is by using tar to seal up the hole. Finding and patching other problem areas that can give you issues in the future is recommended. With metal-like material, you will also need to create a separate piece of metal and attach it to the roof.

First, we will preface on things you will need to know before you get started on your roofing project. Then we will teach you the most multifaceted step (locating the leak) and then we will let you know the best ways to mend any type of roof!

Before Getting Started

The processes that we will describe to you below are not completely permanent from the inside. It is a great way to fix your leak so it will not affect your home, but using tar or any similar material is only a quick fix for the bigger issue, and you will need to readdress the situation every year or so. Source

If you are looking for a permanent solution, it is best to see a professional. The typical cost to repair a leaky roof is roughly 750 dollars, depending on the type of material your fence is and the size of the project. If you are looking for a solution that can still last a long time and is very cost-effective, you can still easily seal the holes in the way listed below. Source

Whenever you are dealing with roof leaks or cracks, it is best to get a roofing inspection just so you can be sure there are no other structural or foundational issues surrounding the leak. A typical roof inspection is on average around $200. Source

Common Causes Of Roof Leaks

The biggest culprit for roof leaks has got to be shingles. Shingles are a covering that makes up the foundation, look, and stability of your roof. Shingles are durable at first, but they tend to wear off over time which makes the material more vulnerable to bad weather conditions. The average lifespan of shingles is around 15-50 years. Source

Shingles can affect your roof when they are cracked or missing. Shingles should come with a weather rating. The less durable it is, the more likely it is to deal with issues like leaks. Even intense wind can knock of shingles if the shingles aren’t strong enough. Source

Other issues that lead to leaky roofs may also include:

  • Broken Flashing. Flashing is a metal-like material similar to weather ducts that you put near the top of your roof to redirect the water elsewhere. In these cases, flashing is very easy to fix using adhesives and/or sealants.
  • Gaps. Especially with wood roofing, the material can swell and/or warp, which can cause gaps in between the flashing (the metal material that redirects your water from your roof). Source

Best Weather-Resistant Roofs

Roofs that are the most resistant towards leaks and tears within their foundation are those that are labeled as “weather resistant.”

Here are the five best options for you and your home from an accomplished roofing company.

  • Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles– Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles is America’s most popular weather-resistant roof because of their inexpensive price, the variety of shapes and colors, the low maintenance to install and take care of, and the ease to maintain the product. Fiberglass asphalt shingles are surrounded by layers of asphalt and coated with minerals which makes them last a lot longer. Source
  • Cement “S” Tiles- Cement S Tiles are made with concrete and cement, which makes the material extremely durable (as you can imagine). The tiles give off the look of a regularly tiled roof that lasts a lot longer. However, the tiles are very heavy to manage and install.
  • Metal- Using metal roofing has grown to be more of a popular option for those especially living within winter weather conditions, due to its durability and ability to keep cold or hot weather out. However, the material does tend to expand or lessen based on the weather, which can cause leaks at times.
  • Clay- Clay is growing to be a popular, trendy option nowadays. Clay tiles can make your house a lot cooler in hotter climates and are very environmentally friendly. On the other hand, clay has proven to be very heavy and it needs a lot of support to sustain itself.
  • Slate- Slate is very environmentally friendly and can also the best waterproofing and leak-proof option out there. The material though is dying off and is extremely hard to find, which is making it insanely expensive. Source

How To Locate Your Leak

Locating where your leak is on your roof can prove to be the most complicated first step in providing a solution.

Each solution will vary depending on the structure of your home, but here is a place to start:

  • Place a bucket right where you spotted the leak. Look directly up, and use a measuring tape or a long stick to accurately identify where the leak is at.
  • If you haven’t already, search your attic. While you are inside, use proper safety materials (such as a dust mask and gloves) to safely move past any insulation to clearly find the leak.
  • Have someone go outside and spray a hose near the area where the leak might be. Go near where you think the leak would be and look for any water!
  • You can measure the location from the highest point to the water damage. Then, have the other person measure from the ridgeline of the roof down the same distance. That is where your leak would be. Source

Repair Your Roof With Tar

  1. Wait till a nice, clear day when the tar can settle in without any weather complications.
  2. Use a piece of marking circle to draw a circle around the leak to best identify the leak when it will need to be addressed again.
  3. “Doing the leak sealing requires pressing roofing tar on a piece of shingle or plywood. With the help of a knife, apply any of these materials to the leaking point. Please make sure the targets round the leaked patch, so it sticks firmly in place. To achieve maximum results, you can use a scraper to cover the entire leaking point and surround it with the caulking and ensure it evenly spreads.” Source
  4. Check the roof from the outside as well to make sure that it is set in place correctly and that there aren’t any loose screws or wear and tear surrounding your roof. Source

How To Repair Metal Roofs

Repairing cracks within a metal or any other similar material is a little bit more of a multi-faceted process. These steps, taken directly from a home exterior blogger, are a great way to start.

  1. “Clean the Repair Area. Clean the metal-free from any sort of dirt or mold by using any sort of heavy-duty cleaner.
  2. Scuff the Metal: Use a wire brush to scuff around the area in which you are replacing the metal.
  3. Measure the Repair Area and Cut a Patch: The sheet metal patch should overlap onto the metal panel at least 2 inches past the edges of the damaged area. After the sheet metal patch has been cut and fit to size, round the corners of the patch with a file or emery cloth to prevent any sharp corners from becoming a catching spot for snow or ice. Once the patch has been measured, place it over the hole being repaired. Take a pencil and outline the patch onto the roofing. Remove the patch and examine the outline to make sure the patch will overlap by at least 2 inches in all directions past the edges of the damaged area.
  4. Install the Repair Patch: Apply a color-matched urethane sealant to the surface of the metal panel being repaired, staying just inside the marked pencil line. Apply the sealant liberally in the area, so that there are no gaps or voids at the leading edge of the patch. Press the patch into place over the damaged area. The sealant should squeeze out from the edge of the patch along all sides. If there are areas where the sealant is not oozing, these are areas where moisture may later penetrate under the patch, causing a deterioration of the patch. Apply a little more sealant here to eliminate any gaps. 
  5. Variation: Holes in Raised Roofing SeamsIf the hole or damage to the roof is in the raised seam between panels rather than in the flat area of a panel, patch it with an asphalt-impregnated glass-membrane fabric over the damaged portion of the seam itself. On raised-seam roofs, the individual panels must be allowed to move along the seams, so never attach a metal patch that is anchored to both roofing panels over the seam. Instead, repair the damage to the seam with narrow strips of membrane fabric confined to the raised seam section. The patching strip should overlap the damaged area by at least 2 inches. Over the top of the patching strip, apply a coating of urethane sealant, then another patching strip. Done correctly, both roofing panels will still be able to move independently.
  6. Secure the Patch: Once the patch has been pressed in place, attach it to the surface of the metal roof panel, using pan-head sheet metal screws. Space the screws every 3 to 4 inches around the perimeter of the patch. The screws should be applied within 1 inch of the edges of the patch so that they apply uniform pressure to the edges and the sealant beneath the patch. The screws should be only long enough to secure the patch to the underlying roofing panel. Never screw the patch down through the roofing panels and into the roof decking or rafters. As necessary after the patch has been attached, retool any sealant that is bleeding from the edge of the patch, using a putty knife. This will ensure that the sealant properly seals the edges of the patch and prevents moisture from penetrating. Let the roofing sealant dry as directed by the product instructions. It may take a day or more to the skin over but up to one week to cure fully.” Source

Ricky Kesler

With all of the projects I've done over the years, you'd think that I work on my house full-time. But I actually enjoy other things like spending time outdoors and time with my family.

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