How Do I Stop My Roof Leaking in Heavy Rain: 7 Key Tips

Roof leak during a rainstorm

Discovering a roof leak during a rainstorm can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare, leading to significant interior damage and costly repairs that you could have avoided. If you’re not a seasoned roofer, it might seem daunting to tackle this issue, but don’t worry. Although the best thing to do is hiring a roofing expert, there are a few DIY things that you can do to prevent major damages in your building. Here are seven practical steps you can follow to manage and stop a roof leak even when it’s raining, along with a few additional tips to keep your roof in top shape.

Identify the Leak Source

To effectively handle a leak, first determine the entry point of the water. Although it might definitely sound like a leak, sometimes it happens due to other problems like blocked gutters, pest damage, or compromised HVAC systems. Examine the tiles and drywall for misalignment or damage, which often indicates typical leak spots. Once you identify the leak source, you can temporarily fix it with a few simple steps.

Prepare the Area

Once you locate the leak, clear the space beneath it to prevent moisture accumulation. Dry the area with a mop, set up buckets to catch dripping water (like we always do), and use a suction hose if the leak is through an upper floor. Move or cover furniture and electronics to prevent further water damage.

Apply Roofing Tar

For a temporary fix from the inside, consider using roofing tar, especially effective on removable tiles. Remove the affected tiles, apply the tar directly to the inner roof, and reinforce the patch with a piece of shingle or plywood to ensure it stays in place. This is obviously a temporary precaution that should prevent water getting inside your building, but after the rain it must be treated immediately by an expert roofer to ensure that the integrity of your structure is safe and it will not happen again.

Use PE Plastic for Hidden Leaking Spots

If the leak’s source is elusive, cover the area with polyethylene (PE) plastic. This thick plastic sheeting should extend a few feet beyond the affected area to prevent further leakage. It is best to use especially when you can’t find the leaking source, or when it keeps leaking even after you have sealed the visible leaking source. Secure it with staples and nails to withstand the weather until a permanent repair can be made.

Roof repair experts in Rockaway.

Replace Damaged Shingles

Damaged shingles are a common cause of leaks and it’s the first thing that comes to mind when a roof starts to leak. If that’s the case, safely remove the worn shingles using proper tools and protective gear. Install new shingles using nails and seal them with roofing tar to prevent future leaks. If you can’t replace the shingles, try reinforcing the area with a covering material and call a roofing expert for a permanent repair.

Deploy Tarpaulins

In anticipation of a storm, covering the roof with tarpaulins can provide a quick, temporary leak prevention. A tarpaulin is a flexible and water-resistant material that provides excellent coverage during heavy rain. When you are expecting a storm, make sure to extend the tarp over the ridge and keep it in place with heavy stones or concrete blocks.

Seal Roof Joints

Leaks often occur at joints where different roof parts meet, such as around chimneys or in valleys. Ensure these areas are dry and clear of debris, then apply a roof sealant or cement to close any gaps. For a temporary precaution you can also apply tarp or another covering material along the joints.

Additional Tips: Although these tips can help you deal with unexpected leaking issues, it is always important to take early precautions in order to keep your roof in shape and have a piece of mind when the storm hits. Here are some additional tips on keeping your roof safe:

Regular Maintenance

Regularly inspect your roof for signs of wear or damage. Catching and addressing minor issues early can prevent serious leaks and extend the life of your roof.

Improve Drainage

Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clean and free of debris to improve water drainage from your roof. Poor drainage can lead to water accumulation and increased risk of leaks.

Check Insulation and Ventilation

Proper insulation and ventilation in your attic can prevent heat and moisture buildup that might otherwise compromise your roof’s integrity and lead to leaks.

Beautiful roof after being replaced by Boundless expert team.

Stop Your Roof Leak With Boundless Roofing

Boundless Roofing & Chimney in New Jersey offers unparalleled service in addressing all the roof leak issues outlined in this article. Whether you’re dealing with damaged shingles, blocked gutters, or joint leaks, our expert team is ready to provide swift and effective solutions. Fully accredited by both GAF and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Boundless Roofing & Chimney ensures top-quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction, making us a trusted choice for homeowners seeking reliable roof repair and maintenance services in New Jersey.


By following these steps and maintaining regular roof care, you can significantly reduce the risk of leaks and safeguard your home from the elements. Whether you’re facing an unexpected storm or maintaining your home for the season, these tips will help you keep your roof safe until Boundless Roofing & Chimney can come.


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