During times of heavy winter weather, including snow and ice, it can be difficult to repair roof leaks simply due to the danger that is involved in getting up on a ladder in the presence of snow and ice. Rather than putting yourself in danger, there is a quick, temporary fix you can perform until the weather breaks and you or a professional is able to get up on a ladder and make a permanent repair.
Locate the Leak
The first and most crucial step is locating the leak. This might seem like an obvious and easy step, but water can travel long distances, which means that the area of damage that you notice might not be the place that the leak originates. Start with a thorough inspection under the roof by looking in the attic and in the crawl space. Follow any paths of dark spots, bubbling paint or cracks to find the area that the leak originates from.
Once you find the area that is leaking, place a bucket under the area in order to catch the water. If the water is running down to other areas of your home, you can poke a small hole in the roof to force the water to come directly down into your bucket until you can repair the hole.
X Marks the Spot
Because you cannot repair damage while it is wet, you will need to wait until the area has completely dried. Rather than putting yourself through the trouble of remembering where the leak started, you can mark the spot with chalk or a marker, something obvious that you will notice right away. In a few days, check the area again to see if it is thoroughly dry.
Patch and Caulk
Once the area is thoroughly dry, use a patch and caulk to plug up the holes that you can find. You should first apply the patch and then use the caulk to fill in any remaining holes. Make sure that you thoroughly cover the hole with the patch and spread any caulk out as far as possible to ensure the elimination of all holes.
Of course, this is not a permanent fix for your roof. Once the weather breaks, it is important to have permanent repairs completed either on your own or by calling a professional to ensure that the leak is completely gone.