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How to Stop Roof Leaks

Water usually leaks in through broken, worn or missing shingles; places where nails have pulled loose; or through poorly sealed or corroded roof flashing near vents, chimneys or skylights—and along the junctions of roof planes. After water moves through the roofing, it runs along the roof rafters, the sheathing or the top of ceilings until it reaches a place where it can drip—invariably onto your beloved piece of furniture. Here, our roofing experts share how to stop roof leaks:

Step 1: Finding the Roof Leak

This might be the most important part of learning how to stop roof leaks. Find the exact location of the leak. Go into the attic with a flashlight and find where the water is dripping through your ceiling. If necessary, strip away wet insulation and sponge up any standing water. Then cover the area with something like plywood and place a bucket there to catch the water.

Then look up and try to follow the water trail to the leak in your roof. Water typically comes through the roof and flows down the walls of the attic until it drips onto the ceiling. If the hole is big enough, you might see light shining through it, so it helps to do this while it’s bright outside.

This is much easier to do while it’s raining because the water trail can dry up pretty quickly after a storm. If necessary, you can enlist the help of a friend to spray your roof with a hose while you are in the attic.

Step 2: Fixing the Roof Leak

Often, a leak is not something that needs to be “fixed,” but replaced completely. If your roof fits into that category, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at PJ Fitz for a free roof replacement estimate. Problems with roof flashing, plumbing vent boots or roof vents may necessitate a replacement of whatever part is damaged.

First, plug the leak from inside the attic. Trowel the tar over and into the leak, and then push the shingle on. Trowel the edges of the shingle with more tar. Then go onto the roof and use the tar to reinforce the undersides of the shingles around the leak.

Working on your rooftop is often dangerous and difficult. Unless you have the required tools, experience and confidence, this work should be left to the pros. Call 1-888-446-6492 now to speak with a PJ Fitzpatrick rep.

Tools & Materials

  • Roof shingles
  • Roofing tar
  • Putty knife
  • Ladder
  • Flashlight

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