How to Stop a Roof Leak

How to Stop a Roof Leak

A leaking roof is a serious problem. Your home’s roof plays a vital role in protecting the structure of the property, as well as the things inside it. Even small leaks can quickly progress to be big problems, so it’s vital you take steps to repair them as soon as you notice them. By taking the steps to repair a roof leak immediately, you may stop further damage, reducing the risk of you needing a full roof replacement or other structural work in the near future. 

My Roof Is Leaking: What Should I Do? 

If you notice your roof is leaking, act quickly to reduce any water build up and locate the leak. The most common issues that might cause leaks include: 

  • Damaged seals around chimneys or vents 
  • Ice dams caused by clogged gutters 
  • Damaged flashing 
  • Missing slates or shingles 

Storm damage is a common cause of roof leaks, but even those who live in areas with relatively mild weather may encounter issues eventually as the seals and flashing break down with exposure to the elements. Regular roof maintenance is important. Some issues, such as algae growth, aren’t damaging, but while cleaning your roof you may spot other issues and have the chance to treat them before they become serious. 

If the leak is caused by minor damage such as decayed seals, it should be easy to repair. Most roofing has a lifespan measured in decades. Slate roofs can be expected to last as long as 100 years with proper maintenance. If your roof is showing signs of damage or decay, it’s a good idea to have it inspected to confirm the damage is localized, and not a sign of a bigger problem. 

DIY vs Professional Repair 

It can be tempting to try to repair a roof leak yourself, especially if you’re a DIY enthusiast. This isn’t usually a good idea. Roofing materials are more delicate than they look, and attempting to conduct a repair with the wrong tools could make the situation worse by introducing new holes or fractures that could create even more leaks. 

In addition, working on a roof requires special safety material. Not only is there a risk of slipping and falling off the roof, there’s the question of whether the roof itself is strong enough to hold the weight of someone working on it. Professional roofing contractors use safety harnesses and devices to spread their weight over the roof, reducing the strain placed on any one spot. 

Rather than attempting to repair a leak yourself, the safest strategy is to perform a visual inspection of the roof from the outside, and from the attic if possible. Try to identify where the leak is, then use a bucket to catch the water from the leak. 

If you can’t trace the leak directly, but you can see water bubbling through your ceiling, punch a small hole in the center of the bulge to let the water drain through and relieve the pressure. This will prevent further damage while you wait for a roofing contractor to come and perform a proper repair. 

Choosing New, Energy-Efficient Roofing 

Upgrading your home’s roof could be a good long-term solution. A new roof could last decades and offer substantial energy savings. Contact us today to book a visit from the professional roofing contractors at Thompson Creek, and learn more about our reliable roofing options.