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Can You Fix A Leaking Roof From The Inside?

Roof leaks can be difficult to diagnose. A variety of issues can cause roof leaks, and the roof cause of the leak may be difficult to detect to an untrained eye. Roof leaks must be repaired from the outside to ensure the leak is gone for good. 

However, you can repair a leaky roof temporarily from the inside, if you can determine where the leak is occurring from the underside of your roof.

Your roof is designed to shield you and your family from bad weather. However, age, the elements as well as wear and tear can destroy your roof, which can result in water seeping inside your house. 

If your roof begins to leak, it’s best to act quickly. If left unattended, a leaking roof can result in serious water damage which can cause mildew, wood rot and mold which endanger your families health and destroy your home’s structure. 

When your roof leaks, it poses a huge problem during all kinds of weather. But it is a much bigger emergency if there’s a heavy rainstorm.  Looking for high-quality, affordable roof repairs? Look no further! Top Glaze has you covered.

The heavy rainfall can quickly exploit what was a small hole and turn it into a much bigger problem inside your home.

Water will quickly seep into sheetrock walls causing it to crumble and soak into the insulation. Time is of the essence if you want to avoid costly damage to your home. 

Common Causes of Roof Leakage

Weather, such as high winds and hail, can damage your shingles either directly or by knocking overhanging tree branches against them. 

Shingles don’t last forever. They usually come with a warrantied period of 15 to 50 years. As they age, they are more prone to damage from the weather.

Misdiagnosing the cause of leaks leads to further damage. If the cause isn’t apparent, contact a professional. Depending on the cause of the damage, insurance will often cover the replacement. Insurance companies typically require a licensed professional to attend to the roof.

Missing Shingles

Shingles come with a wind rating, indicating the weather forces they can withstand. Even so, winds can still rip a shingle off, creating a perfect path for water to enter your home.

Cracked or Damaged Shingles

Overhanging branches or hail can break the material, regardless of the type. Keep trees trimmed and purchase ones with a high hail rating.


With age, wood swelling, and settling; gaps can form around flashing.

Broken or Worn Flashing 

When flashing fails, replace it along with any adhesives and sealants.

How to Fix a Leaking Roof From the Inside

Have you ever wondered how to fix a leaking roof from the inside or if a project like this is even possible? You may be in need of a temporary solution. We don’t recommend people get up on the roof themselves, leave that to the professionals, but to temporarily “fix” a roof from the inside here’s some tips:

Tools You Need to Fix a Leaking Roof From the Inside:

  • Caulking
  • Scraper
  • Flashlight
  • Utility Knife
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Nails
  • 20 litre Bucket
  • Roof Patch (Tar)

Fixing The Roof

Keep in mind that these methods are considered temporary fixes. The only permanent solution to a leaking roof is a roof repair or replacement that addresses the roof cause of the leak. But, depending on the age of your roof and the overall condition, this may help to buy you some time.

Finding Leaks

Finding exactly where the leak is coming from can be the most challenging part. One common cause of leaks in the home is that water has entered through the roof, and settled into a pool inside the ceiling. 

When this happens, your ceiling will become waterlogged and will start to bulge. The most important thing to do in this situation is to make a small puncture and let the water flow freely through the ceiling into a large bucket. 

You’re already going to need to repair the ceiling, so this will allow the water to drip down instead of pooling more and damaging a wider area.

Diverting The Water

It may not be possible to seal the cause of the leak right away, especially if it’s raining and wet. A roof patch will not hold in wet conditions until it’s had time to cure.

  1. You need to provide a path for the water to drain. The easiest way to do this is by sticking a nail into the hole. It will attract the water to it, and allow it to funnel in one direction.
  2. Place a large 20 litre bucket under the area to catch any water that drains. Make sure the bucket is large enough in case it fills quickly.
  3. Wait until the area is dry enough to seal the leaking area.

Fixing the Leak from the Attic

Once you’ve spotted the leak and found a way to get to it, you can patch it up temporarily with any durable material. 

A wooden plank or some spare shingling with roofing tar will do the trick.  Spread the adhesive material over the leak from the attic and hold your patch in place until it’s secure. Then, apply some more tar where the patch meets the roof to lock it in. 

Take good note of where the leak is from the inside so that you can find it more easily in the future.

Sealing The Leak

If the damaged area is already dry, you don’t need to use the above trick for diverting the water. You can go on to this next step of sealing the leak. If it has been raining, then you must wait for things to dry out before you can seal it.

  • Next, take a flashlight and shine it around to check for areas of dampness. These are usually easy to find because moisture causes darkness and mould.
  • Using marking chalk, draw a circle around the area that is problematic. This marking will help you to identify the problem when you make a more permanent repair.
  • The area must be dry enough for you to use the roof patch. Once you’ve found the leak, you can make a temporary leak patch from some plywood or shingle and some roofing tar. Use a putty knife to spread the tar into the leaking hole on the inside of your roof. Place the shingle or plywood onto the tar and spread more of the tar around the edges of your patch.
  • Once the roof patch has dried, use caulking to cover the edges and any holes that appear. You can use your finger to make sure you get the caulking spread around to the entire area.
  • Before you leave your attic, use a measuring tape to roughly map out where the leak is, so you can find it once the rain stops. After the rain has stopped and the sun is out, put on some rubber-soled shoes and use the same measurement to find the leaky area on the outside of your roof. You can add some more roofing tar to the area to complete your temporary patch.

For those who have wondered how to fix a leaking roof from the inside, you will see it’s fairly simple.

Rooftop Safety Tips

First and foremost if you’re not experienced or comfortable getting up on a roof then don’t do it. Leave it to the professsionals. But if you are experienced and comfortable and fancy a bit of DIY then make sure to follow these safety tips:

Don’t take risks

If you’re fearful of heights or have a particularly steep and/or high-up roof, or a roof made of slate or tile, it’s best to manage roof leaks as best you can from inside the house.

Fixing a roof leak isn’t worth the potential harm to yourself or damage to your roof if you’re not well prepared.

Wait for better weather

When you notice your roof leaking, the chances are high that it’s raining or has been raining heavily.

While it can be tempting to go check things out immediately, you should always wait until the weather clears up and is no longer rainy, windy, or showing signs of lightning. Not only is it much more dangerous in the wet, but you’ll be unable to fix anything if it’s too wet as the glue/roof tar we use to temporarily path things won’t work well on a wet area.

Use your ladder correctly

Make sure your ladder is in good condition and set on a firm and level surface. Your ladder should extend at least three rungs above the edge of your roof so that it can be easily accessed on the way down.

Have someone hold the bottom of your ladder while you ascend and descend to help keep the ladder stable. You can also apply tie-down straps from the gutter spikes to the ladder to reduce movement.

Avoid carrying anything up or down the ladder.

Wear the right gear

If you don’t have the right gear to go up on your roof, don’t even think about doing it as it would be extremely dangerous.

Any time you go on the roof, you need to wear solid shoes or boots with rubber soles and superior traction to help reduce slipping. 

If you intend to go up on the roof, a safety harness and proper knowledge on how to use it is also a must.

What can I do if I can’t find the leak?

If you can’t find the leak in your roof, then it’s best to call in an expert. At Top Glaze we’re available 24/7 for emergencies and we’ll be able to do a FREE professional inspection to help find the root cause of the leak.

Roof Plastic Is An Option

If you have experience with getting up on your roof and feel very safe doing so, then you may want to consider temporarily covering your roof with roof plastic to stop any water getting in.

You likely don’t keep roof plastic just hanging out in a closet. So, you’ll have to head to the hardware store or call for help. 

Plastic roof covering comes in around 1.2 metre rolls of polyethylene. Buy some and head home to get it placed on your roof. You’ll also need some 2.4 metre 2×4’s to act as anchors for your roof covering.

Cut The Plastic To Length

You’ll want to unroll the plastic with a little more length to run from the top of the roof (the ridge) to the edge of your roof (the eave). 

Don’t unfold your covering yet and cut it to length with a utility knife. You can use one of your 2×4’s as a guide to making the cut as straight as possible. 

Once it is cut to the length, you will unfold it to make a section that is long enough for your roof, and about 8 feet wide.

Attach The Cover To 2x4s

Roll one of the ends around a 2.4 metre 2×4 and use a utility staple gun to attach it to the wood. Take a second 2×4 and sandwich the plastic between them, then nail the 2×4’s together. Do the same thing on the other end of your plastic roof covering to finish preparing your cover.

Safety Comes First


It should go without saying that safety comes first. If there’s poor lightning, or if you don’t have the ability, the confidence or the right equipment to get this done, then you should be calling a local roof repair company to get this done for you professionally.


But if you really fancy yourself as a DIY expert and you’ve got rubber-soled shoes, a saw to cut the 2×4’s, a ladder, and some confidence to jump on your roof, take up your cover and set one pair of the 2×4’s over the ridge and then stretch the rest to go down to the eave.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re not too handy, we suggest that you leave it to the professionals and call us or another local roofing company. Besides, the only way to truly repair a leak is with professional materials and applications, roof tar and plastic covers can help briefly but they are just temporary fixes.

Tthat’s why we’re here to help. We’re Melbourne’s leading roofing company, we’ve been around since 1987 and since then we’ve carried out over 25,000 professional roof restorations, repairs, and replacements all around Meloburne and the Mornington Peninsula. If you’ve got an issue with your roof and you’d like a FREE roof inspection and no obligation quote feel free to give us a call on 1800 88 77 98 and one of our friendly roofing experts will be happy to assist you.


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