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How to Temporarily Fix a Leaking RoofHow to Temporarily Fix a Leaking Roof

If your roof develops a leak, there’s no time to waste. Allowing damp to spread can potentially do serious damage to your home. The ideal solution is to get a professional out straight away, but if that isn’t possible, there are temporary fixes available to an experienced and well-equipped DIYer.

How to Spot Signs of Leak

It’s vital to check your roof for damage after a storm or heavy rain. The best ways of doing this are either to examine it through binoculars from street level, or else to go into your roof space with no artificial lighting and look for pinpricks of light coming through.

More generally, though, you can keep your eyes open for signs of damp from a leaking roof. The most significant will be water stains on ceilings and internal walls. These are often ringed with brown, and the staining can lead to mould or mildew if not treated — and the leak fixed, of course.

Temporary Fix for Tile or Slate Roofs

If a tile or slate is broken, you can patch it with flashing tape until it can be replaced. However, this will involve working on the roof, which isn’t for the dilettante. Besides being an experienced DIYer, you’ll need a good-quality ladder, a specialist roof ladder and the means to tether your tools.

First of all, clean the area with a wire brush and apply flashing tape primer to the crack and the surrounding area. Then cut off a piece of flashing strip big enough to cover the cracked tile or slate and gently lift up the one above — in the case of a slate, this may need to be held up with a bolster chisel. Then peel the backing off the tape and press it into place.

Temporary Fix for a Flat Roof

If the felt on your flat roof is torn, it can let water through, but the tear can be patched with a new piece of felt. Lift up the edges of the tear and spray the surface below with sealant, which needs time to dry. Cut a patch and slide it under the torn section and spray sealant on the underside of the tear. When it’s dry, press it down and spray sealant on all the joints.

These are very much temporary measures, however. If your roof is leaking, the most important thing you can do is to book an appointment with a specialist roofing firm, who’ll replace your short-term fix with a more permanent repair. You’re very welcome to give us a call if you have any questions about your roof.


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