How to Fix a Leak on an Asphalt Roof

What You'll Need
Nails and roofing nails
Pry bar
Roof cement
Utility knife
Drywall saw
Drywall tape
Drywall screw

An asphalt roof is the most common type of roof for its affordability and durability. If you have noticed water spots on your walls or ceilings, you might have a leak in your roof. If you can identify the leak you can most likely fix it.

Step 1 - Marking the Leak

The first step in fixing the leak in your asphalt roof is finding the source of the leak. Using a drywall saw, remove the drywall or ceiling that is wet and affected by the leak. Cut out a square that covers the entire area of the water damage so it will be easier to patch up when you’re done fixing the leak. Clean up any remaining water that you find with a rag. Use a hammer and nails to mark the area that has been leaking so you can find it when you go outside and inspect the roof. You can also have a helper stand inside and knock on the roof where it is leaking, and you can listen for the knocking from the outside.

Step 2 - Finding the Source of the Leak

Once you go outside, you’ll want to find out what is wrong with your asphalt roof. Be careful when climbing on the ladder and climbing on your roof to inspect. If it is still wet out, you should wait until the weather is dry before you inspect the roof. Inspect the roof shingles, any ventilation, or any point where 2 surfaces meet. If you can’t identify the leak, you might need to call a professional. Once you discover the leak, you can fix it.

Step 3 - Repairing the Asphalt Roof Leak

If you need to replace a curled, missing or damaged shingle, you’ll need to carefully pull up the other shingles surrounding the bad shingle. Remove the roofing nails from the overlapping shingle, but be careful, you’ll need to reattach them after you replace the bad shingle. Carefully lift the good shingle, exposing the bad shingle. Remove the damaged shingle and dispose of it. Use a utility knife to scrape away old roofing cement. Put down new roofing cement, attach the new shingle with roofing nails, then replace the overlapping shingle.

Step 4 - Repair the Inside

If the area damaged by the leak in your wall or ceiling is large, you might need extra drywall to fill in the hole. Attach the piece of drywall with a drywall screw and secure the perimeter with drywall tape. Plaster over the area. If the leak or water damage has covered a smaller area, you’ll be alright just patching it up with a bit of plaster. When the plaster has dried, you can sand it down and repaint it.