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How to Seal a Leaking Roof and Prevent Water Damage?

Being a homeowner, mastering the expertise on how to seal a leaking roof is crucial as leaky roofs cause a series of rapidly cascading issues to the exteriors and interiors of your houses, from waterlogged attics to ruined floors. It is also essential to grasp the required knowledge about how to repair a leaking roof as it is a labor-intensive task and everyone just can’t simply do it appropriately. Rather than asking for professional help, fixing the leaky roofs yourself proves to be an inexpensive, pocket-friendly approach.

Best Time to Roof Your House

The best and most favorable time to roof your house is that time of the year when the weather in your locality is the driest and warmest. Such weather conditions for laymen prove to be quite efficient as compared to the trained personnel of a roofing contractor that has the expertise to fix Streamlined Roofing Process issues at any time of the year.

Prerequisites to Seal & Repair a Leaking Roof

You need to follow some relevant safety guidelines and equip yourself with the necessary tools and apparatus to save your trips to hardware stores such as personal protective equipment (PPE), ladder, measuring tape, flashlight, flat pry bar, hammer, hook blade shingle cutter, utility knife, caulking gun, chalk line, circular saw, roofing nails, cement, and sealants.

Is It Costly to Repair a Roof Leak?

If you have appropriate information about how to seal a leaking roof and the tools required to perform the task, it becomes much easier to do as compared to the investments being done while hiring a professional for such mere issues. Black tar or bitumen pigmentation is the most common and widely utilized sealant to repair residential and commercial roofing leakage that is easily available in any hardware store, saving your finances and energy to search for these cost-effective materials.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Seal a Leaking Roof

In order to seal and repair either an external or internal leaky roof, it is recommended to follow and pay close attention to these sequential steps:

seal a leaking roof

1. Locate the Roof Leak

A hassle-free method is to start from the lowest point of your home where you can sense the signs of a roof leak, such as musty odors, bulges or cracks in the walls, moisture lock-up, or change of colors to brown, green, or grayish black that signifies the growth of molds.

Moving up to the highest points of your house such as ceilings, roofs, or attics, carefully look for the leakage using a ladder and flashlight to observe the hard-to-see places.

2. Check Roof Vents

The major places for roof leaks are roof vents; these include attic fans, turbines, plumbing soil stack pipes, and any element with metal flashing that extends above the vent line. If the leak stems from the roof vents, climb up the ladder and check the roof vents again. The next step is to look for cracked or dislodged nails that hold the roof.

3. Remove the Damaged Roof Vent

With the help of a pry bar, remove the nails holding the shingles to the vent. Now the shingles are pulled back which were covering the base of the vent. Rather than removing the shingles, it is advised to carefully get rid of the nails that were holding the vent to the roof deck.

4. Replacement of Roof Vents

Beneath the vent’s flashing, a thick layer of sealant or exterior cement should be applied; the task should not be done alone as you’ll need an assistant so he/she can roll back and separate the shingles as the vent slides.

5. Shingles Segregation

You ought to separate and remove the shingles to gain access to the damaged areas in case the roof deck is causing the leakage. To tear off old roof shingles, slide the pry bar under the shingles from the bottom upward toward the roof ridge. At the repair site, it is recommended to start the process just above the two shingles. Working downwards, the nails should be fastened loose to pull all the shingles away from that site.

6. Remove the Old Roofing Paper

Using a utility knife, a layer of roofing paper or synthetic underlayment is sliced off and used as a separator between the shingles and the roof sheathing or decking. While learning how to seal a leaking roof, it should be regularly advised to ensure the utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE) while performing each step to repair a leaking roof.

7. Mark the Target Site

Mark the target leakage site with the help of chalk. Using the nails as your guide, highlight the right and left sides down the roof rafters, and similarly, snap the chalk above and below the rafters where the target site is meant to be sealed and repaired.

8. Carve the Damaged Roof Sheath

Staying out of the marked area, grab a circular saw and slowly start carving the marked area. Be very careful while setting the saw blade in the thickness of the roofing deck.

9. Removing the Roof Deck

Pull out the nails with the help of a pry bar from the carved-out section of the roof sheathing. The damaged plywood will be pulled apart but do not discard it as it will be used in the next step.

10. Cut New Roof Deck Patch

To mark the dimensions for the required deck patch, use the cut-off section to get accurate, precise measurements. To ensure safety concerns, it is essential to take these measurements on the ground.

11. New Deck Patch Placement

The new deck patch is placed on the roof rafter as a replacement for the leaky roof. The patch is secured using 8D common nails.

12. Layering Roofing Paper

Working from downward to upwards, layers of roofing paper or underlayment are placed in an overlapping manner, maintaining a distance of at least four inches between each of them.

13. Shingles Placement

From left to right and starting at the lowest point of the roof, start placing the new shingles. Work until you reach the top row of the shingles by sliding and meshing them with the existing ones.

Shingles Placement


To conclude the process, remember that a temporary repair is just a short-term solution. While you can learn how to seal a leaking roof temporarily, it is critical to obtain expert help to fully repair the roof and prevent further damage. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Only Roofing because we’d be honored to be of your service as our trained professionals have the understanding and skills needed to assess the degree of the damage, ultimately building your homes with long-lasting durability.

Also Read: How to Fix a Leaking Roof from the Inside?