Roof Leak Repair: When to DIY vs. When to Hire a Pro Skip to content

Roof Leak Repair: When to DIY vs. When to Hire a Pro

how to repair a leaky roof

A roof is one of the most important parts of any house. That’s why it could be such a headache when you start experiencing problems with it. But the good news is that they’re also not hard to repair.

One of the most common roof issues that people encounter is roof leaks. The best course of action is to call a professional roofer to take care of the job. But there are also minor leaks that you can fix yourself.

Before we get into the steps on how to repair a roof leak, let’s first look into the things that usually cause a roof to leak.

Header image source: Unsplash

Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Broken Shingles

Shingles are affordable roofing materials that are made to last. But then again, they also undergo normal wear and tear.

Curled or broken shingles are a common cause of roof leaks. Water and moisture can easily get under curling shingles and cause leaks to appear in your home. With broken shingles, water and moisture usually get into the cracks and seep into your home.

Cracked Flashing

A roof flashing is installed in the areas where your roof surfaces meet. Its main purpose is to prevent water from getting under your roof and into your home.

As it ages over time, your roof flashing can start to experience cracks. And as you’ve probably guessed, water can easily get into these cracks and start causing leaks to appear all around your home.

Caulking or Loose Nails

Caulking works as a sealant for different types of surfaces. These are used on your roof to make sure that no moisture gets into the areas where a nail or fastener has been put in place.

But sometimes, the caulking comes off or causes a gap in your roof, which then becomes the reason for leaks.

Loose nails can also cause leaks in the same way. Nails or fasteners that haven’t been installed properly can also come off and become loose over time, causing water to get under them.

Dirty or Clogged Gutters

When there are extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or tornadoes, debris can get into your gutters and clog them. In some cases, strong winds also bring debris onto your gutters.

When the rainwater cannot easily flow off your roof and into your gutter, it will find another way. It can get into the cracks in your roof. Or it could also stay long enough on your roof to cause your roofing material to give out and cause bigger leaks and problems in your home.

How to Fix a Leaky Roof Yourself

Find the Leak

The first step to fixing a leaky roof is to find where the problem stems from. Remember where the leak is coming from. You don’t have to mark the exact spot where it is. Just have a clear idea of where it would be on your roof.

Inspect the Roof

After taking note of the location of the leak, go on your roof and inspect it. Check the area where you suspect the leak comes from and find out why it’s causing such a problem. If you have pipes, vents, or chimneys around that area, they’re most likely the cause of your leaky roof.

Remove the Damaged Roofing Material

If the problem isn’t too big, you can go ahead and take on the repair by yourself. Just make sure you understand how to go about it.

If your roof has shingles, remove the damaged shingles around the area. Or if you have pipes or vents, remove the shingles around them.

Seal the Cracks or Holes

Once you’ve removed the shingles, you have to seal the small cracks or holes where the water is getting in from. Use a caulking gun or any type of sealant to cover the problem areas and make sure they’re properly sealed.

Install the New Roofing Material

Once you’ve sealed the cracks or holes, it’s time to install the new roofing material. This works much easier with shingles as you’ll only have to think about the problem area and not the whole roof or panel.

Make sure everything is secure and properly installed to avoid further problems.

When to Hire a Professional Roofer

While you can DIY minor roof repairs, there are still instances where it’s better to call in a professional roofer to work on your roof. It’s important to fix roof leaks ASAP so that they don’t develop into bigger problems later on.

Annual Inspections

The key to a long-lasting roof is regular maintenance. Something as simple as having your roof inspected by a professional is already such a huge help.

Do this at least once a year to make sure your roof is in its best condition. Inspections done by professional roofers also help see possible problems that your roof might have and address them as needed.

Minor Repairs You Can’t DIY

As soon as you see a leak in your home, you should repair it immediately, no matter how small it is. But if you’re not well-versed in these kinds of repairs, it’s much better to hire a professional roofer to do the job.

This not only makes sure the issue is properly addressed but also prevents you from needing bigger and more costly repairs in the future.

Chimney or Gas Vent Problems

Repairing a chimney from leaking isn’t as easy as it sounds. A more major problem like this should always be handled by professionals.

This is all the more important to remember especially when you have problems with a gas vent. You’ll need the experts to work on your roof to make sure harmful gases like carbon monoxide don’t get into your home.


A re roofing job is also best left to the professionals. While you can DIY partial shingle reroofing, it wouldn’t be as easy with other types of roofing materials. The same applies to full reroofing or partial reroofing on a larger scale.

Roof Repairs

how to repair a leaky roof

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Roof repairs are a tricky thing to handle, especially if you don’t have a background in this type of handiwork. When in doubt about whether you can take on a roof repair by yourself or not, remember that it’s always safer to hire a professional roofer.

We at Fortress Roofing are always ready to help you with all your roofing concerns. Get in touch with us today so we can discuss your roofing problem and get to work on it as soon as possible.

To recap, here’s how to repair a roof leak by yourself:

  • Find out where the leak is coming from. Make sure you have a general idea of where it’s located on your roof.
  • Climb up your roof and inspect the area where you suspect the leak is coming from. Keep an eye out for small cracks or holes that could be causing the leak.
  • Remove the roofing material on the affected area. This is much easier with shingled roofs as you’d only need to remove the damaged or problem area.
  • Seal the cracks or holes with a sealant or caulking gun. Make sure you cover everything to avoid further problems.
  • Install the new roofing material once you’ve covered all the cracks or holes. Make sure that everything is secure and fastened or nailed properly.
  • If the problem is bigger than what you can handle, call a roofing professional immediately.

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