Roof Leak Repair Tips for Homeowners

leak along ceiling

When your roof leaks

It isn’t just because this is in “tornado alley”, but for homes in Oklahoma, roof repairs aren’t anything unusual.  In addition to being exposed all that tornadic weather can do, this state is also in the snowbelt and sunbelt. That means what we are just as likely to have several feet of snow on the roof as we are to having power UV rays beating down on the roof. 

No matter the weather, the roof is the first line of defense for a home. The roof protects us from the hail and high winds, the ice and snow, the rain and UV rays.  So, when there is a leaking roof, repairs are needed immediately, or maybe replacement. If your roof leaks in heavy rain, it is an obvious problem. But then, leaking roofs are not always noticeable, so how do you know if your roof is leaking?

Here are 7 of the most common ways to tell if you have a leaking roof and roof repairs or roof replacement are needed: 

  • Ceiling and/or walls have water spots and stains. 
  • You notice missing shingles on the roof.
  • You see shingles that are bent, cracked, or otherwise damaged on the roof. 
  • Flashing is damaged or missing. 
  • Rubber boots around  roof penetrations are damaged or missing.
  • The attic insulation is damp, mildewed, or wet. 
  • The underside of roof decking has water spots.

Once you have determined you have a leaking roof, the challenge is finding a roof leak. A roof leak isn’t right where the water is coming in usually. Water finds the path of least resistance, so while the roof may be leaking above the living room, but running down into a bedroom, or other scenarios of rooms.  So, how do you find where the leak is so that roof repairs can be made? 

Start in the attic to find a leak. If it is raining, this will be easy and fast. With a flashlight, you’ll see water reflections which will take you to the source. Now mark the area where obvious roof repair is needed with chalk or a marker. Then climb up on the roof with somebody staying in the attic to assist you. 

Have them tap on the area you just marked to help you locate that area on the rooftop. You can make temporary roof repairs while you’re up there if it is a small area.  Use roofing cement and a couple of shingles to cover the area. Or if you determine the leak is coming from one of the following areas, you may be able to make a temporary roof repair there or you may need professional roofing contractor services. 

If you didn’t find the source of the roof leak with that method, check these areas: :

  • Rubber boots and rubber seals around roof protrusions like electric, plumbing, exhaust fans, and vents. 
  • The ridge cap across the top of the roof.
  • The flashing around the chimney, dormers, in the valleys, etc. 
  • Damaged, loose, or missing shingles
  • Along the gutter runs and downspouts

Do you know what to do if your ceiling is leaking?

Once you realize you have a leaking ceiling, immediate action on your part is important so that further damage is avoided. First thing you need to do is contain the leak. How? 

  • Place a bucket or some type of container under the leak or where there is indication of a leak. This may be a bulging and/or discolored areas of the ceiling where water has pooled up. 
  • Position a board from inside that bucket/container to the leaking area. Now when you take the next step we’re going to tell you, the water will run down that board and into the bucket/container. 
  • Take a screwdriver and puncture the center of that bulging area.  This lets the pooling water out so that it isn’t spreading and takes the pressure of the rest of the ceiling. 

If you are confident of the leak’s location, how to patch a roof leak, and can safely do this, cover the area with a large plastic tarp. Then call a professional roofing contractor. If you aren’t able or comfortable doing this, then contact a professional roofing contractor immediately. The longer this leak is happening, the more damage it is causing. 

Is a leaking roof an emergency?

Maybe not immediately, but water is destructive.  The damage will escalate into a bigger leak and create an emergency.  The sooner you or a professional that knows how to fix a leaking roof get the roof repair done, the better. 

roof damage

How can you tell if a roof needs to be replaced?

Here are 7 warning signs that roof repairs are not going to work anymore, and roof replacement is the way to go: 

  1. Cupped or curled shingles.
  2. Granules missing, creating bald spots on the shingles. 
  3. Broken, cracked,  missing shingles.
  4. Your roof is twenty years old. 
  5. The roof simply is looking old, tired, and worn.
  6. New roofs are being installed throughout the neighborhood. 
  7. Dark streaks from algae, lichen, mildew, and moss.  

When you do call a roofing contractor for roof inspection and roof repair, advise them where you have found the leak, what type of roofing material you have on your home, the number of stories of your house, and if you have a flat roof. Leak repair for a flat roof is a different process and not all roofing contractors handle both. Call (405) 470-9115 today for your roof leak repair in Yukon and Oklahoma City, OK.