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What Is the Fastest Way To Fix a Leaking Roof?

What Is The Quickest Way To Repair A Roof That Leaks?

A leaking roof is a problem that can lead to a chain of home interior issues, from waterlogged attic insulation to ruined floors. Roof repair is vital in maintaining your house. The most immediate way to fix a leaking roof is to cover the area with a tarp. Most people do not consider it the most reliable and permanent fix, it is the fastest. The next best way is a little time-consuming and not for everyone. This technique is inexpensive and has a large return on investment if completed successfully.

Safety Considerations

Roof repair is a potentially hazardous task. It may be a safe project if done correctly. Always work with someone else present. Avoid falls by avoiding working on a wet, snowy, or ice-covered roof.

OSHA has a wide range of safety recommendations in its comprehensive guide for repairing roofs. Use hearing and eye protection, gloves, and a breathing mask to protect yourself against other hazards.

What Is the Fastest Way To Fix a Leaking Roof?Items Needed For Repairing Your Roof Quickly

When you are looking to repair the roof the materials you will need are specific to the type of roof you have. Most of the time composite shingles are being used, so you will need the following items:

Tools For Roof Repair

  • Flat pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Hook blade shingle cutter
  • Utility knife
  • Ladder
  • Flashlight
  • Caulking gun
  • Chalk line
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Personal protection devices

Materials For Roof Repair

  • Three-tab composite shingles
  • Roofing paper or synthetic underlayment
  • Roofing nails
  • 8d common nails
  • Roofing cement or exterior sealant
  • Roof vent (if replacing a damaged vent)
  • 7/16-inch exterior-grade plywood or OSB board (if fixing a damaged roof deck)

How To Quickly Fix Your Roof?

You now have the tools and materials needed to start your roof repair. The first thing you will need to do is find the leak. Check the attic for any water spots on the wood. These will be your reference points. Many times you have to just start replacing possible leaking areas. This is where using a professional can come in handy if you are needing to save money. This article can be of help.

Find The Leak

Start at the bottom of a roof leak, such as a ceiling stain. Work your way up, visually following a vertical line toward the top of the attic, using a ladder and flashlight. The leak might be several feet higher on the roofline, near to or close to the roof ridge.

  • The source of the leak may be stained black, brown, or yellow.
  • Many roof leaks are often started over by roof vents.
  • Roof vents may include attic fans, turbines, wastewater stack pipes, and any other component with metal flashing that extends above the roofline.

Alternatively, damaged plywood roof decking (also known as sheathing) could be the source of the leak.

Check Out The Roof Vents

If the leak originates from roof vents, inspect them again. The housing or boots may have fractured. The vents themselves might have fallen out of position.

  • Look for missing or lose nails that are keeping the vents in place on the roof.
  • If you find any of these problems, fix them immediately.

Remove Roof Vent That Is Damaged

Remove the damaged roof vent from the top of the roof. You will need to first remove the shingles from the vent.

  • Next, use a pry bar to pop out the nails that secure them.
  • Then by using a pry bar, pull back any shingles covering the base of the vent.
  • It helps if someone holds up the shingles for you as you pull them out.

Replace The Roof Vent

Apply a thick bead of roofing cement or exterior sealant to the bottom of the vent’s flashing. Have the assistant gently roll back and separate the shingles as you slide into the vent.

  • The lower section of the vent flashing should ride over the shingles to prevent leakage.
  • Nail down the vent at all corners and every 4 inches.
  • Cover the nails with cement or sealant.

What Is the Fastest Way To Fix a Leaking Roof?Remove The Old Roofing Shingles.

If the leak is coming from a damaged roof deck, you’ll need to remove shingles to get to the damaged region. Starting at the bottom and working your way up.

  • Then slide the pry bar under the shingles (toward the roof ridge).
  • Set about two rows of shingles above where you want to cut (this will give you a place to nail the new OSB or plywood).

Remove The Existing Roofing Paper

  • Roofing paper or synthetic underlayment will keep the shingles from attaching to the roofing deck.
  • With the utility knife, cut away any paper or underlayment.
  • Try to preserve as much of it as possible.

The Roof Deck Needs To Be Marked

  • Mark the roof deck by snapping chalk lines down the roof rafters on both the left and right sides of the broken roof deck.
  • Snap the line in the center of the rafters to ensure accuracy.
  • Follow existing nails as a guide to find the rafter center.

Damaged Roof Deck Needs To Be Removed

  • To cut the damaged portion of the roof deck, set the circular saw blade depth to 1/8 inch more than the thickness of the roofing deck.
  • To remove the damaged section of the roof deck, follow the chalk lines.
  • When cutting, be careful not to operate within the designated area.

Roof Deck Removal

  • Pull out nails from the cut-out portion of the roof deck with a pry bar.
  • Then, remove the damaged plywood but do not throw it away just yet.

Preparing New Roof Deck Patch

  • Use the damaged section of the roof deck as a guide to mark out the dimensions of the new roof deck patch.
  • This repair is best performed on the ground to minimize the risk of injury.

Installing The Roof Deck Patch

  • On the roof, place the roof deck patch and nail it into position on the rafters with common 8d nails.

Put Down Paper or Underlayment

  • Start At the bottom up, nail the roofing paper or underlayment to the roof shingles.
  • Be sure to nail it through the paper or underlayment and into the roof decking.
  • Use a pneumatic stapler to secure the paper or underlayment at 6-inch intervals on both sides of the repair area.

Laying the First Row of Shingles

Start with the bottom-most row and lay the first row of new shingles. The new shingles should be laid from left to right, overlapping existing shingles.

  • Along the top edge of each shingle, a bead of roof cement should be applied.
  • Nail down each row of shingles along the top edge, driving one nail per shingle.
  • Be sure not to drive the nails too close to the edge, as this can cause the shingles to crack.

Finishing The Shingles

Continue to work your way up the shingles, adding each row as you go. Slide the new shingles between the top row of old shingles and the existing ones, making sure that the new shingles have meshed together with the old ones.

  • Be sure to apply roofing cement along the top edge of each shingle as you work.
  • Once all of the new shingles are in place, finish by nailing down the top row of shingles.
  • Apply a generous bead of roof sealant or caulk around the base of the vent pipe to help prevent future leaks.

Checking Your Work

After you have finished the repairs, it is important to check your work to ensure that the leak has been fixed and that there are no weak spots that could lead to future leaks.

  • Start by checking the area around the vent pipe.
  • Make sure that the shingles are properly sealed around the base of the pipe and that there are no gaps.
  • Next, check the rest of the repair area to ensure that all of the shingles are properly sealed and that there are no loose nails or exposed areas.
  • If everything looks good, you can be confident that your repair has been successful and that your roof will be leak-free.

What Is the Fastest Way To Fix a Leaking Roof?When Should I Call In A Professional?

Roof Repair can be complex and labor-intensive. Roofs’ interwoven components must precisely coordinate to prevent leaks, and the work involves a lot of climbing and hauling.

  • Most homeowners do not know to repair roofs.
  • If you have misgivings about your ability to fix the leaky roof on a timely basis, call a roofing company or a general contractor.

Also, if you feel unsafe when working on a roof, call in a professional.


Roof repair can be a difficult and dangerous task. However, with the proper tools and techniques, it is possible to repair a roof and stop the leaks. If you are a person who is good with your hands and feel confident in your ability to repair the roof, then follow the steps above. You always need to remember the safety protocols when up on a roof. If you feel like you cannot repair the roof or feel unsafe, please call in a professional to help you.

If you are not confident in your ability to fix the roof, it is always best to call in a professional. A qualified professional will be able to help you fix the roof and make sure that it is done correctly the first time. This will save you time and money in the long run. It is always best to be safe than sorry when it comes to repairing a roof. Roofing companies or general contractors can help you fix the roof quickly and safely.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.