What to Do if Your Roof Starts Leaking | Big Easy Roof Repairs FREE Roofing Estimates
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What to Do if Your Roof Starts Leaking

Your roof is the first line of defense for your home, protecting it from the elements. But sometimes, despite your best efforts to maintain it, your roof can spring a leak. Whether it’s due to age, storm damage, or a lack of maintenance, a leaking roof can cause significant damage to your home if left unchecked. If you find yourself dealing with a leaky roof, here are some steps you can take to minimize the damage and get it repaired quickly.

1. Find the Source of the Leak

The first step in dealing with a leaky roof is to find the source of the problem. Water can travel a surprising distance from the point where it enters your home, so the location of the water stains on your ceiling may not be where the leak is actually occurring. 

Here are some tips for locating the source of the leak:

  • Check your attic: If you have access to your attic, go up and look for signs of moisture, such as water stains, damp insulation, or drips coming from the roof deck.
  • Inspect your roof: Carefully examine your roof, looking for missing or damaged shingles, cracked or warped flashing, or other signs of damage.
  • Check around openings: Pay particular attention to areas where your roof intersects with other parts of your home, such as chimneys, vents, or skylights, as these are common areas for leaks to occur.

2. Mitigate the Damage

Once you’ve located the source of the leak, it’s important to take steps to minimize the damage to your home. Here’s what you can do:

  • Catch the water: Place a bucket or other container under the leak to catch any dripping water. If the water is coming through the ceiling, you may need to puncture the drywall to allow the water to escape.
  • Protect your belongings: Move any furniture or other items away from the leak, or cover them with plastic sheeting to prevent water damage.
  • Dry the affected area: Use towels or a wet/dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible from the affected area. Set up fans or a dehumidifier to help dry out the space.

3. Repair the Roof

Once you’ve mitigated the damage, it’s time to repair the roof. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to make the repair yourself or you may need to call in a professional. Here are some common repairs you may need to make:

Replace damaged shingles

If you’ve identified missing or damaged shingles as the source of the leak, you’ll need to replace them. Remove the damaged shingles and replace them with new ones, being careful to seal them properly to prevent further leaks.

Fix flashing

Flashing is the material used to seal the joints where different parts of your roof meet. If your flashing is cracked or damaged, it can allow water to seep through. Replace any damaged flashing with new material.

Repair roof vents

If your roof has vents for ventilation, they can be a common source of leaks. Check the seals around the vents and replace any damaged or cracked seals.

4. Prevent Future Leaks

Once you’ve repaired your roof, it’s important to take steps to prevent future leaks. Here are some tips:

Keep your gutters clean

Clogged gutters can cause water to back up under your roof, leading to leaks. Clean your gutters regularly to prevent this from happening.

Trim overhanging branches

Overhanging branches can rub against your roof, causing damage that can lead to leaks. Keep trees trimmed back to prevent this from happening.

Inspect your roof regularly

roof checkingMake it a habit to inspect your roof at least once a year, preferably in the spring and fall, to catch any potential problems before they become major issues. Look for missing or damaged shingles, cracks or holes in your flashing and signs of wear and tear.

Address issues promptly

If you notice any issues during your roof inspection, don’t wait to address them. Prompt repairs can prevent small problems from turning into larger, more expensive issues.

Consider a professional inspection

If you’re not comfortable inspecting your roof yourself, or if you have an older roof that may be more prone to leaks, consider hiring a professional roofer to conduct a more thorough inspection.


A leaking roof is a serious problem that can cause damage to your home and belongings. If you notice a leak in your roof, it’s important to act quickly to contain the leak and prevent further damage. 

If the leak is large or widespread, or if you don’t feel comfortable making the repairs yourself, call a professional roofer. And remember, the best way to deal with a roof leak is to prevent it from happening in the first place by regularly inspecting your roof, keeping your gutters clean, and trimming overhanging branches.

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