Imagine you’re all cuddled up and cozy in your home, with a warm coffee mug in one hand and your favorite novel in the other. The moment you take your first sip, there comes a fat drop of water, out of nowhere.
If it’s raining outside or it’s rained recently, you may think of only one possibility: a roof leak! But, don’t panic. We’re going to show you how to stop a roof leak in the rain.
To stop a rain roof leak, you’ll have to find the source and cause of the leakage. Once you’ve inspected the area, you’ll need your toolbox, mending solution, and plastic coverings to stop your roof from leaking.
If your roof directly faces the sky, you may have faced a situation like this before. To solve all your worries, here’s the ultimate guide to fixing roof leaks during rainy seasons!
How to Stop a Roof Leak in the Rain
You can stop a roof leak in two ways: fixing the interior roof or the exterior roof of your home. If it’s raining and you want a quick fix for the leak, fixing the interior roof is what you should do. Here’s how it works:
Fix the Interior Roof
Here’s a temporary fix for a roof leak.
If the leakage is heavy, you need to avoid the water from spreading everywhere on the roof. To do this, locate the crux of the leak. This is where the concentration of water should be the highest.
If you’re struggling to find the leak, drive a nail through the ceiling. This will provide the water an opening to flow through, and accumulate in one place. Then, place a bucket on the floor underneath to collect water.
If you don’t want to drill a hole in your ceiling, you can also use a plastic cover under the leak. If you have a spare car cover lying in the garage, that’ll work just fine!
Spread the cover right below the leak and attach the corners to nearby frames, lighting outlets, or nails. You can use nails to do this, or you can stick the ends of the cover to the ceiling with strong electric tape. Make sure the cover is waterproof so you can drain the water easily!
Once the area of the leak is dry enough, you can start sealing it. Grab some chalk, a flashlight, and find your way up in the attic or crawlspace, i.e., the space between the internal wooden plank layer and the exterior masonry roof.
Locate the damp, dark wooden area where the leak is coming from and mark it with chalk.
Use a roof patch or roofing tar to seal the area. Make sure that the water that the ceiling has dried out completely. Then, apply a generous amount of the mixture and use a scraper to evenly coat the layers of the roofing tar.
Afterward, use some caulking to cover up hairline cracks and tiny spots that may not have received enough roofing tar. You can use your fingers or a tool that’s proportionate to the size of the area you want to coat to achieve proper coverage.
All this being said, please keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix for a roof leak. While you may manage to stop water damage for some time, you’ll need to do a more thorough repair on your roof and ceiling.
Otherwise, the seepage that occurs across masonry, woodworks, and the steelworks of your roof may cause long-term damages to your roof!
So, once the condition on your roof is suitable enough for an exterior repair, here’s how you can go about it.
Repairing Roof Leaks Externally
When we talk about how to stop a roof leak in the rain, it’s essential to repair the roof from the outside of your home.
However, this procedure is a bit more complex. With a full-fledged repair, you’ll want more than just a bit of roof patch. To get started, here’s a list of all the equipment you’ll need:
A Toolbox Containing:
- Nuts and bolts
- Utility knife
- Tape measure
- Duct tape
- Safety gloves
- Polyethylene (PE) plastic
- Roof patch/tar
All set? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Wait for the Rain to Stop
We can’t stress this enough. Do not go on the roof while it’s still raining. It’s dangerous, and you’ll struggle while attempting to fix the leak.
If you’re going out after the rain or there’s a chance of bad weather, take adequate safety precautions. We recommend wearing rubber-soled shoes since the water could make the roof slippery.
Step 2: Cover the leak
You should arrange a protective covering to put over the leak so that your work doesn’t go to waste if it starts to pour. You can use a tarp covering for this purpose. Hold it down with metal eyelets at the seams. This way, the area will remain dry, and you can protect it from any water.
Step 3: Apply Roof Sealant
The next step is to apply your roofing tar. Make sure the area is dry before applying it. Then, spread a liberal amount of roof patch on the affected area, and ensure that you cover it well. Even out the layer with a scraper. You can apply multiple layers if the shaft is deep or there is a lot of damage.
Step 4: Attach Plywood or Shingles
High-quality plywood or a batch of shingles is important if you want to give the area lasting coverage. If you already have shingles on your roof, you may replace those in the affected area with new ones. However, if your roof is bare, you can do this job with a piece of plywood.
Use a sealant or cement to prep the area and push the shingle or plywood piece firmly against it. This will ensure that there are no leaky spaces or crevices left.
Step 5: Seal Joints
The joints at the edges of your house walls, chimney, plumbing, and doors are susceptible to cracks and holes. If you find any leaks near joints, make sure you fill them in with cement or sealant as well.
Step 6: Cover the Area
Once you’ve applied the roof patch, plywood, or shingle, let it sit and dry completely. If you’re expecting rainfall anytime soon, that may mean trouble for your freshly done DIY.
In case of rainy weather, take your PE plastic sheet, cut it out a yard or two larger than the area you want to cover, and tape it over. Since this plastic is waterproof, rainwater will simply roll off the top, and your roof will stay dry.
How to Prevent a Roof Leak in the Rain
Knowing how to stop a roof leak in the rain is not enough. Once you’ve been through the hassle of a roof repair, you might vow to never neglect your roof again. Here are some tips to help you prevent a roof leak in the first place.
- Always be careful with the condition of your roof. If you find any cracks or chips, get them repaired at your earliest convenience. Do not let their condition worsen.
- Use good quality plywood or shingle to prevent water from getting in.
- For your ceiling and roof, opt for paints that are waterproof and made with weather emulsion technology.
- Make sure there are multiple layers of roofing, including iron, cement, and wood. This will prevent frequent cracks and leaks.
Roof leaks can ruin romantic rainy nights. However, instead of biting your nails, you can fix the roof yourself. For a temporary fix, a plastic sheet or a tarp can do the job both inside and outside your home.
Once the rain has stopped, you can repair the roof on your own. As we like to say here at Homeholds, all you’ll need are essential tools, sealants, and either plywood or shingles. Now you know how to stop a roof leak in the rain!