While hiring a professional roofer is always the preferred method of fixing a leaky roof, interior repairs can temporarily remedy the situation.

Roofing work is hazardous. You have to climb a ladder and walk on a probably wet roof if you notice the leak after a rainy day. For roofers and savvy homeowners alike, maybe patching the roof is the only option for now. 

So today, we’ll go through how to find the source of the leak in your roof and repair it from the inside.

Signs of a Roof Leak

If your home is damaged from a storm, it’s possible it is going to cause a leak. But not every leak looks or acts the same. So homeowners need to be aware of all the potential signs of a roof leak so they can act fast to repair it.

It can be challenging to pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from to the untrained eye, but knowing what to look for will help you take action quickly.

signs of a roof leak are water stains on the ceiling in the corner

Water Spots on the Ceiling 

One of the most common signs of a roof leak is water spots on your ceiling. This is a sign of an immediate leak that needs fast action. The longer the water sits and pools, the more damage it will do to your home.

If water is running down the walls, this could be a sign that your roof is leaking near the edge. If you see this happening, it’s essential to address the problem right away, as this type of leak can seep through all floors of your home—damaging insulation, framing, and drywall.

Damaged or Missing Shingles

Your roof’s shingles take the brunt of severe weather and are the first protection against the elements. So, of course, they can be damaged during hail and wind storms, but with suitable materials and a decent roof, they can withstand a lot. But if you notice any missing, loose, or dented shingles, you need to get those repaired right away.

Although damaged shingles may not have caused an immediate leak in the roof, if left alone, it can cause a slow leak that affects more than just your roof.

damaged or loose shingles can cause roof leaks

Granules in Your Gutters

Asphalt shingles have small granules as their first protective layer. When hail or large debris hits your roof during a storm, those granules can come loose and fall off. This granule loss can be a big culprit to roof leaks. It can happen over time or immediately in the case of large hailstones. Either way, once those are gone, it exposes the underlayers of your shingles, causing leaks.

Wet Roof Deck

If a severe storm swept through your area, it could be a good idea to check both your roof’s exterior and interior. If you can, head up to the attic with a flashlight and check for any wet spots on the ceiling or roof decking underside.

This can show signs of water leaks from immediate cracked or damaged shingles. Catching it before it drips to the attic floor or your ceilings is vital to mitigating further water damage.

Cracked or Discolored Shingles

If you can safely inspect your roof, keep an eye out for any cracked or discolored shingles. This could be an indication of a future leak. Hail damage can look like polka dots on your shingles so that any discoloration can be the first sign of granule loss or dents.

Large Debris on the Roof

If there is a lot of debris on your roof, it can signify that there was recent storm damage. This large debris can also cause roof leaks by denting or breaking shingles. So don’t ignore it and believe it’s just a mess to clean up—be sure to inspect the roof underneath the debris.

Soggy or Flat Insulation

A roof leak can get your insulation wet which severely diminishes its ability to actually insulate your attic and home. If your insulation looks less-than-fluffy, it’s either old and needs to be replaced, or you have a new roof leak.

debris on the roof can indicate it may have been damaged during a storm

Roof Repair Tools and Materials

Once you’ve confirmed you have a roof leak to repair, you will need a few specific tools to get the job done.

  • Safety goggles (always protect your eyes!)
  • Gloves
  • Caulking gun + caulk
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Utility knife
  • A large bucket
  • Tar roof patch
  • Scraper

How to Repair Your Roof Leak From the Inside

Savvy homeowners can make a few minor repairs of roof leaks on the interior of their home to buy time until the leak is repaired by a professional.

However, it’s important to be mindful and careful of DIY repairs, as they can sometimes void warranties or cause further damage if done by an inexperienced person. So here are a few steps to (successfully) repair your roof leak from the inside.

1 – Divert or Capture the Incoming Water

The first thing to do is stop any further water damage. If you see a visible drip, you can easily place a large 5-gallon bucket underneath to capture those drips in the meantime.

You can also use a tarp to lay down over an area to protect your floor or insulation from getting wet. This step is crucial if there is rain in the forecast, which will continue letting water into your roof leak. Keep a close eye on it to ensure your bucket or tarp is not overflowing, defeating the purpose.

worker examining an attic to fix roof leak from the inside

2 – Pinpoint the Exact Location of the Leak

Once the immediate leak has stopped and you can see the area is dry, go ahead and pinpoint the leak. You can do this in a few ways.

  • Use a flashlight to search for a dark, damp spot.
  • Run your hand along the roof decking to feel for any soft or wet areas.
  • If it’s a significant leak, sometimes you will be able to hear the dripping noise from inside the attic.
  • Take a peek at the outside of your roof to see if you can spot the damaged shingles. Figure out its placement in the attic and check that area.

Once you find the leak, circle it with some washable chalk, so you don’t have to find it again during your repair.

3 – Patch the Leak

Your tar roof patch will not stay on a wet surface, so make sure the area is dry before you begin. Use a blowdryer for a few minutes to dry the area if you need to.

Similar to patching drywall, you’ll want to take your roof patch and spread it liberally over the leak. Spread it evenly and cleanly. Once you believe the area is fully covered, use caulk to seal around the edges and near the leak itself. This is added protection and will allow you to rest easy until your roof is professionally repaired.

Getting Your Roof Leak Repaired For Good

The one proper way to get your roof leak fixed is to have the damaged shingles replaced by a professional roof. Impact Roofing can be the resolution to your problem.With over 30 years of roofing experience, we can tackle any leak—big or small. Our thorough inspections can pinpoint the issue and get it fixed as quickly as we came. If the leak is caused by an aging roof, we may suggest a total replacement. In that case, we do offer financing options for qualified homeowners, so you don’t have to wait to get the roof you deserve. Contact us today for all of your roofing needs.