What to Do if Your Roof is Leaking

What to Do if Your Roof is Leaking

March 12, 2024

After a heavy storm, discovering a leak in your roof can be quite the cause for concern. Depending on the leak’s severity, a leaky roof can be a minor inconvenience or a major issue for your home or building. Leaks can cause more roofing issues over time, which is why it is important to act quickly when a leak is discovered. 

In this post, we’ll explain how to identify a roof leak in the first place and how to keep that leak from affecting the interior of your home or building. We’ll also help you find the source of your leak and explain a few temporary leak fixes. Here’s what to do if your roof is leaking!

How to Spot a Roof Leak

If you suspect your roof is leaking but aren’t sure, there are a few key signs to look for that can help you confirm the leak. Here are those signs.

  1. Water Stain On the Ceiling or Walls: Discoloration on your walls or ceiling is a tell-tale sign of a leaky roof. This happens when the water reaches these parts of your home or building. On lighter-colored surfaces, these stains usually appear brown or black.
  2. Dripping or Puddles: After rain or a severe storm, any dripping or puddles that appear during the storm or after can also indicate that your roof is leaking depending on their location. If a puddle appears on your floor, look for the area where the water is dripping from to help you find the leak.
  3. Mold or Mildew Growth: Moisture causes mold, especially in Oklahoma. If you have any mold-growth problems in your home or building that are concentrated in one spot, you may have a leak in that area.
  4. Musty or Damp Odors: Musty or damp smells after rain can indicate that water has found its way through your roof. If this water is stagnant or unable to drain or dry, it can produce unpleasant odors in your home or building.
  5. Visible Roof Damage: Visible damage after a storm is always an indicator that you need a thorough roof inspection and repair. In many cases, severe roof damage will cause leaks in the long run. If you can see damage to your roof, always get a professional inspection to prevent further roof issues like leaks.

How to Protect the Inside of Your Home or Building From a Leak

If water is entering your home or building, protecting your interior is essential while you wait to get your roof repaired. Luckily, there are steps you can take to do so and prevent any further damage from a leak.

  1. Move any Furniture, Valuables, and Electronics: Anything in the way of the leak that can be moved should be placed away from the leaking water. Things like furniture, rugs, equipment, computers, etc. should be kept away from the leak to keep them safe.
  2. Contain the Water: Depending on the amount of water leaking in, you can use things like 5-gallon buckets or an empty trash bin to collect the leaking water and prevent it from seeping into your floors or spreading water. Avoid any splashing by laying a tarp or some towels below the container collecting the water.
  3. Cover Nearby Surfaces: Tarps, plastic sheets, and towels can all be used to cover any floors, walls, or immovable objects near the leak. This can help prevent water from reaching these surfaces in case the leak gets worse or the container catching the water overflows.

How to Find the Source of a Roof Leak

Roof leaks can happen for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, a compromised roof structure or damage from a storm is the cause of leaks. Leaks can occur anywhere on your roof and can be difficult to track down.

Finding the source of the leak can help you keep it contained while you wait for repairs. Below are a few ways to locate a leak without the need to climb atop your roof.

Look for Visible Roof Damage

From your yard, take a look at your roof and see if you can locate any visibly damaged spots. If any damaged spots line up with leaks on the inside of your home or building, you’ve likely located the source of the leak.

Visible damage can look like anything from a few missing shingles to visible holes in your roof decking. A more severe storm will likely produce visible signs of damage, but don’t write off anything that may look minor on the surface. If you have any sort of leak or damage, call a professional roofing company. 

Check Your Attic

If you have an attic that is easy to access and move around in, you can go up and inspect it for any signs of leaking like collecting water or visible dripping. Use a flashlight to take a closer look at suspicious areas, and be sure to keep an eye out for mold or damp insulation.

In some cases, roof damage can also be seen from the attic. If you suspect you have found any severe damage and need repairs, call a roofing professional immediately to help you patch any holes and get the repairs you need.

Conduct a Water Test

If you can’t find the source of a leak without any rain, you can make the rain yourself! Have someone spray water on your roof using a garden hose. Go inside or into your attic and look around for areas that may be leaking.

This test may take a few tries to help you identify the source of the leak. Every leak is different, and some may need prolonged exposure to water to reveal themselves. Be sure to spray your entire roof and thoroughly inspect the inside of your home, building, or attic for any signs of leaking.

Temporary Ways to Fix a Leaking Roof

During severe weather seasons, roofing companies get busy and roofing emergencies become more frequent. You may have to wait a little longer than you’d like to get the repairs you need. Here are a few ways you can temporarily fix or protect your leaky roof while you wait to get it professionally fixed.

  1. Cover the Leaking Area With Tarp or Plastic Sheets: Tarp is a quick and relatively easy way to cover a leak in your roof. In some cases, you can cover your roof with a tarp or plastic without the need to climb atop it. Ensure you have enough tarp or plastic to cover the waking area and use a special adhesive to ensure it stays put.
  2. Patch Leaks from the Inside: If your leak is relatively small or coming from something like a roof vent or skylight, you can use special roofing repair kits or rubber patching material to keep a leak at bay while you wait. You should only patch a leak yourself if the leak is small and easy to access. If the damage is any worse than this, leave it to the professionals.
  3. Use a Sealant or Tar Tape: You can use special roofing sealants or tar tape to temporarily cover damaged areas on your roof. Ensure you choose a proper time to apply these fixes so that they have plenty of time to set and dry. You should only do this in areas that are easily accessible. Don’t climb on your roof!

What to Do If Your Roof is Leaking: Final Thoughts

Alongside all these tips and tricks, calling a roofing professional to help is the most important step! Be sure to get leaks fixed as promptly as possible to prevent any further damage, and don’t attempt any DIY repairs to avoid injury or roof damage.

If you’ve got a leaky roof in Oklahoma, call us at Statewide Roofing. We can help you find the leak, get it fixed, and ensure your roof is in top shape for the upcoming Oklahoma thunderstorm season. Check out our full range of commercial and residential roofing services, and reach out to us for a quote on our contact page.

Let's get started today

Call Statewide Roofing for a free quote for all your roofing and home improvement needs. We specialize in all kinds of roofing systems for both commercial and residential buildings. Browse of list of services by visiting our commercial and residential pages, and take a look at our portfolio for some example work and projects our team is proud of.

Let us know if you have any questions about us, our services, financing, repairs, or our process. Our team is here to answer any of your questions and get your the information you're looking for for any of your roofing needs. We're happy to help! For immediate assistance, give us a call to speak with one of our professionals and get started with Statewide.

The Owen's Corning roofing company Platinum preferred contractor certification badge