Roof leaks are just one of the worst enemies Brampton homeowners have especially during the rainy and winter seasons. The humid continental climate in the region is far from forgiving. In addition, weak and damaged roofs will definitely cause immense damage to internal roofs and cause multiple entries of leakage into homes. Whether or not you have initial DIY experience, it pays to know how to effectively perform roof leak repair and save the longevity and performance of your roof.

Family Handyman has an excellent feature on finding and performing roof leak repair the best and most effective ways possible. Read everything below.

12 Roof Repair Tips: Find and Fix a Leaking Roof

You can stop leaks yourself-no experience necessary. We show you how to track down and fix the most common types of roof leaks. Most leaks take only minutes to repair.

Leaky Roof Overview

If you have water stains that extend across ceilings or run down walls, the cause is probably a leaky roof. Tracking down the leak is the hard part; the roof leak repair is usually pretty easy. We’ll show you some simple tricks for finding and repairing most of the common types of leaky roofs. But if you live in the Snow Belt and in the winter you have leaks only on warm or sunny days, you probably have ice dams. We won’t go into that roof leak repair in this story. Check out this article for more on preventing ice dams.

If you have a leaky roof, you’d better fix it immediately, even if it doesn’t bother you much or you’re getting a new roof next year. Even over a short time, small leaks can lead to big problems, such as mold, rotted framing and sheathing, destroyed insulation and damaged ceilings. The flashing leak that caused an expensive repair bill was obvious from the ceiling stains for over two years. If the homeowner had dealt with it right away, the damage and subsequent repairs would have been minimal.

How to Find Roof Leaks

When you’re trying to track down a leak, start by looking at the roof uphill from the stains. (Plus: here’s how to clean roof stains.) The first thing to look for is any roof penetrations. Items that penetrate the roof are by far the most common source of leaks. In fact, it’s rare for leaks to develop in open areas of uninterrupted shingles, even on older roofs. Penetrations can include plumbing and roof vents, chimneys, dormers or anything else that projects through the roof. They can be several feet above the leak or to the right or left of it.

If you have attic access, the easiest way to track down a leak is to go up there with a flashlight and look for the evidence. There will be water stains, black marks or mold. But if access is a problem or you have a vaulted ceiling, you’ll have to go up onto the roof and examine the suspect(s).

A Trick for Finding Difficult Leaks

If a leak is difficult to find, enlist a helper and go up on the roof with a garden hose. Start low, soaking the area just above where the leak appears in the house. Isolate areas when you run the hose. For example, soak the downhill side of a chimney first, then each side, then the top on both sides. Have your helper stay inside the house waiting for the drip to appear. Let the hose run for several minutes in one area before moving it up the roof a little farther. Tell your helper to yell when a drip becomes visible. You’ll be in the neighborhood of the leak. This process can take well over an hour, so be patient and don’t move the hose too soon. Buy your helper dinner. If running water doesn’t reveal the exact location of the leak, don’t be timid. Start removing shingles in the suspect area. With them removed, there’ll be evidence of the leak and you’ll be able to track it down right to the source. You’ll see discolored felt paper or water-stained or even rotted wood directly below and around a leaky roof.

Solution for a Small Leak (Read the complete guide here)

While the methods Family Handyman mentioned above are effective for leak location, knowing the common causes of roof leaks can speed up the process of roof leak repair. True enough, most contractors have an idea of all possible roof leak sources and areas to inspect.  However RoofingCalc has a good checklist of things that you should observe once you climb on top of your roof and turn some stones (or pry some shingles).

Top 10 Causes of Roof Leaks – How to Find and Fix Common Roof Leaks

They are the two most dreaded words in a homeowner’s vocabulary: a leaky roof. Water is the most insidious foe, eager to penetrate your home covering’s most vulnerable defenses. And once inside, the damage and destruction may be taking place far from the point of the initial attack, making the initial source of a roof leak difficult to identify.

handywoman on the roof The best homeowner defense is vigilance and fast action. Maybe a new roof is in the near future and it seems like a folly to bother with a leak. But even a small, out-of-the-way drip in a house that seems like nothing more than an inconvenience is a major repair bill waiting to happen!

Did you know? Roof leaks can ruin insulation, become a breeding ground for black mold, damage interior ceilings and walls, and rot the wooden framing.

So let’s look at the ten of the most common culprits in causing your roof to leak and what you can – and should – do about them (other than recruiting a bucket brigade):

1. Villain: Age

Roofing materials, especially asphalt shingles, get old and tired. Expansion and contraction with the change in temperatures cause aging roof protection to turn brittle and eventually crack. Years of harsh rays from direct sunlight can melt the tar that holds composition shingles together. Father Time has not lost a battle yet and when roofing materials run up against their life expectancy, it will be time to budget for a new roof at the first sign of a leak.

2. Villain: Brick Chimneys

Have you ever seen house ruins from 200 years ago? The chimney is often the only thing standing. While brick chimneys may seem indestructible, the mortar that binds the bricks together is nothing more than a hard-working mixture of water, sand and cement. Exposed to the weather elements, it can erode and crumble over time. Check the mud cap on top of the chimney for deterioration and inspect the mortared joints where the chimney enters the roof. If patches are required, it is a cheap and quick fix.

3. Villain: Flashing (Read more here)

It can be easy to perform roof leak repair in Brampton when the weather is calm and the storms have passed. However, what if the rains have continued to pour down with no signs of calming for more than three days? With no contractor to help you, what can you do?

The solution is to know how to perform roof leak repair even during the strongest of storms. Usually, you can get an hour or more in a day to perform these repairs. Tadlock Roofing has a great collection of procedures that can help you get rid of a roof leak even during a wild rainstorm.

How to Stop a Leaking Roof During a Storm

Luckily, there are a few easy measures you can take right now to prevent further damage and more costly repairs until one of our roofing experts is able to assess the problem:

First, you’ll want to prevent any further damage to the interior of the home by consolidating furniture and fabrics away from any affected areas. If the leak is causing a bulging spot in the ceiling, use a screwdriver or awl to poke a small hole near the center of the bulge, allowing the water to drain.

Next, you’ll need to identify the source of the leak:

(Note: If the water spots dry between storms, you are very likely facing a leaking roof whereas the presence of water regardless of weather conditions could be caused by a plumbing leak).

Equipped with a flashlight, bucket and any necessary protective gear, carefully enter the attic. You’ll now need to locate the spot where the ceiling is saturated by observing visible wet spots or areas of water-compacted insulation between roof joists.

Now you’ll need to trace the path back to the source of the leak — Remember that water will follow the easiest path, typically following rafters or structural beams.

Once you’ve identified the entry point of the water, use a small piece of plywood or scrap wood laid across multiple ceiling joists to place a bucket or small garbage can to catch the incoming water. Do not place the bucket directly on ceiling tiles or drywall as the added weight of the bucket as it fills could cause it to break through the already-saturated ceiling.

Additionally, look for any spots in the roof where daylight is shining through and insert a small dowel or straw in the hole to help easily spot the source of the leak from the exterior.

Once the bucket is placed, you can choose to temporarily patch the hole with a bit of roofing tar and some scrap materials. To do this, use a putty knife to fill the hole or crack thoroughly with roofing tar. Next, press a spare shingle or small piece of plywood firmly against the tar-filled hole to create a seal, applying more roofing tar around the outsides of the shingle or plywood to further seal the patch from incoming water. (Read more here)

True enough, these during-the-storm roof fixes are not long-term roofing solutions. However, they can help prevent further damage and improve the lifespan of your roof. Once the weather clears, make sure to have roofing professionals perform the proper roof leak repair you need to restore your roof to its full functional performance.

If you have yet to find a roofer near you, you can depend on Brampton Roofing to help with all your roof leak repair needs. We are a decades-experienced roofer with vast experience on both residential and commercial roofing services. Contact us today!