What to Do If My Roof Is Leaking

Updated February 21, 2017

A leaking roof can cause a great deal of frustration, especially when the source of the leak is hard to detect. Those who must deal with a leaking roof should relocate or cover any personal belongings underneath the leak itself. If possible, hire a professional roofer to analyse and fix the problem. For those who cannot afford a professional, do-it-yourself methods exist.

The Tarp Solution

Tarp covering can be purchased at a variety of home improvement stores and acts as an inexpensive way to fix a leaking roof. The first step is to locate the actual source of the leak. Once the source has been identified, place the tarp covering over it and make sure it's securely in place. A tarp covering will prevent the leaking water from entering your home and damaging your items. A tarp will also prevent the roof itself from greater damage. A tarp cover is an ideal short-term solution to a leaking roof.

Smaller Leaks

For those with smaller leaks, applying a peel and stick solution can solve the problem. Peel and stick solutions consist of a rubber piece with a sticky adhesive already attached. Simply peel away the covering to reveal the sticky side. Locate the source of the leak and place the sticky side of the rubber piece over it. Apply firm pressure until the adhesive sticks in place. However, this solution is only recommended for smaller holes and cannot be used to cover larger pieces of a leaking roof.

Gravel And Tar Solution

In the event that your roof has multiple leaking patches, applying gravel and tar is the solution. As always, locate the areas of the roof that are causing the leaks. Water that gathers and sits after a rainstorm will cause these leaking patches to exist. Use a knife -- or similar tool -- to cut these patches out. After the patches have been removed, apply the tar. After the tar has been applied, add asphalt fabric over it and then add more tar over that. Place the cut out portions of the roof over the tar and add gravel. This method is only recommended for those who have some basic roofing experience under their belt.


Before investing time, money, and energy into trying to find the source of a roof leak, make sure the roof is the actual problem. For example, attic condensation can make it seem as if you have a roof leak. Attic condensation is caused by high levels of humidity. This high humidity can cause the underside of a roof to appear moist. Plaster can bubble within a chimney when the chimney crown cracks. The bubbled plaster may look like the sign of a roof leak.

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About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.