How To Fix A Leaking Roof From The Outside

How To Fix A Leaking Roof From The Outside

Leaks in your home roof are one of the major reasons for developing molds, mildews in your inner wall frame. The insulators get damaged, the frame gets loosened, and ultimately loses its durability. Besides, many other negative impacts happen due to a single leak in your roof.

It is good to know how to fix a leaking roof from the outside. Because, most of the time, controlling the damage from inside is not possible or can be a hassle. Fixing the leakproof is more easy and effective. It saves time and prevents interior damage caused by renovation.

To complete the process, the first and foremost thing is to get the required tools and understand the procedure very clearly. Because a slight misinterpretation of the fixing procedure may lead to permanent damage to the roof assembling.

Possible Reasons For Leaking Roof

We know that prevention is better than cure. If you know the common reasons for roof leaking then it is possible to repair the leak in the first place, it will save your money and home interior as well.

  • The age of the house and the roof
  • Damaged or broken slates and shingles of the roof
  • Formation of Ice dams
  • Improper insulation installation
  • Improper shingle adjustment
  • Poor underlayment installation
  • Miscalculated assembly of the frame, shingles, slates, underlayments
  • Damaged or poor sealing of the roof
  • Chimney crackings
  • Damages caused by natural phenomena such as tornadoes, trees, etc

How To Fix A Leaking Roof From The Outside

In this section, we shall learn about the processes of leak repairing of the roof from the outside. Though it can also be done from inside of the house. But, we shall focus on doing it from the outside for the following reasons: 

  • Easy to find the leak
  • Easy to repair
  • No need for disassembly
  • The reason for the leak can be known
  • No damage to the inner, insulators, or the interior furniture of the house
  • Damages of the gaskets, pipes.

Now we are discussing the method for fixing the leaking roof from outside:

1. Notice the Position of the Leak

Now, there can be two types of leak positions in your roof. The first type should have a direct connection with the roof leak and the point of the drippings. On the other hand, there can be a leak on your roof which finishes into a secondary point internally to cause the actual leakage. It is important to inspect and find out the exact source of leaks. 

Leak fixation should be done in bright daylight. You can climb up to the attic and manually search for the leaking following the path of the dripping. 

Normally, visual inspection is enough to find the leak. But during dry weather the watermarks, stains on the ceiling, or sheathing are not possible to be found. Now, in such cases, you can use the water test with the help of your family members or friends. Use the water spray on the entire roof and check for the space where the drippings are found.

You must check for the coincide point of the outdoor leakage on the roof and inner leakage from inside the house. If the two points of inner and outer leakage merge then it must be the actual point of leakage. Again, considering the inner and outer point of leakage doesn’t merge Then there must be an actual point of leakage on the roof that needs fixing from outside.

And, there should be an apparent and different position of leakage which causes the dripping. It can also be fixed from the outside. In such cases, the water travels from the defective sheathing to rafters and finally comes to the ceilings. The path can be observed to find out the exact leak posing on the roof.

2. Get The Required Fixing Tools

After you have successfully found the presence of the leak, you must get the tools or repair kits to fix it permanently. For example, curled-up shingles cause major leaks in extreme weather-based towns. Poor coating and nailing can lead the upper shingles to get loosened with time and shift from their specific patterned places.

In general, asphalt roofing cement, rubberized patch for the leak, roofing nailer and nail, caulk gun, and utility knife.

3. Fixing the Rolled-up or Ruptured Shingles

These shingles are formed due to poor coating using the cement and nailing as well. Besides, storms or tornadoes can also cause such types of problems. You can simply put some roofing cement through the caulk gun to put the shingle back in place. Besides, for additional safety use the roofing nailer to shoot through the shingles to firmly stick them in the place. 

4. Replacement of the Ruptured Shingles

Many times, the shingles get permanently damaged due to extreme impacts such as falling heavy objects through the storm. In such cases, the entire shingle must be replaced from the sheathing in the attic. You can use a utility knife and pry bar to pull off the nails along with the shingle. The residual cement should be completely removed.

Now, slide down the new piece of shingle in between the overlapping shingles. It can be done easily if you use the knife to round off the corners of the shingle. Finally, nail the shingles securely using a compatible roofing nailer and 2in of nails.

How to Prevent Your Roof from Leaking?

If you can prevent the roof from leaking, fixing the leakage would be necessary at all.

  • Properly ventilate the attic for consistent regulation of air-flow
  • Install compatible and strong underlayment papers before sheathing installation
  • Seal the shingles with a good amount of roof cement and strong adhesive compounds
  • Use strong and compatible nails having wide diameter and length up to 2 inches for shingle installation


Let’s get to learn from the questions generally asked by people regarding roof leakage.

How do you find a leak in an outside roof?

Leakage in the outer layer of the roof can be found by visual inspection. The trail of the watermarks, stains on the wood would lead you to the leak. Besides, you can use water spray to detect the dripping and locate the leakage positions.

What can I use to seal a leaking roof?

You can use compatible sealants for leak repairings. There are various types of sealants available in the marketplace. Make sure to buy the water-resistant and chemically inactive sealant. These sealants block the pathway and prevent leakage. Rubber or silicone-based sealants work the best to stop leakage.

How do I stop my roof from leaking in heavy rain?

During the daytime, inspect and find out the point source of the leakage. Take necessary measures to fix the leakage from outside the roof through the attic. Seal up, replace, nail the shingles and sheathing to stop the roof from leaking during heavy rain. It is better to seek a professional contractor to help permanently stop leaking.


Roof leaking should be stopped with an immediate response. Otherwise, it may lead to permanent damage to the roof. Moreover, if left untreated, the drippings from the roof may enter the house through the ceiling damaging the insulators. This may result in some serious damage if the ceiling possesses electrical wiring.

Roof leakage can be resolved following some easy steps. All you need to know is the process and how to fix a leaking roof from the outside. It will save your time and some bucks to be given away to contractors. But, it is always safer and effective to call professional roof workers to find out the leak and patch it for better results.

If you need an emergency roof repair in Birmingham, call Roofers Birmingham (205) 791-5070 to get free estimates without any further time waste.

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