How to stop your roof leaking in heavy rain.

There’s nothing worse than discovering a leak in your roof after a rainstorm. And the damage it can do to interior walls and ceilings means you’re paying for repairs you could have avoided.

But when you’re not a roofing expert, where do you begin?

7 ways to stop your roof leaking in heavy rain.

Thanks to our years of roofing expertise, we’ve created a list of seven tips to help plug your leak before the heavens open:

1. Locate the source of the leak

To prevent your roof from leaking, find where and how the water is getting into your home. Knowing where it is early on will save you money on repairs and redecoration – or from buying tools you don’t need.


First, check and make sure it’s the actual roof letting in rainwater. 


Because leaks can come from other sources, including:


  • Clogged gutters
  • Plumbing issues
  • Heating and cooling unit problems
  • Pest infestation


And when you’ve checked for those, look over the tiling and drywall in your roof and ceiling. If these are misaligned, it can lead to damp issues and leaks.

2. Clear the area

Once you know where the leak is coming from, clear the area of furniture and place buckets where any water might be dripping through your damaged roof. If furniture is too heavy, cover them with plastic sheeting to protect it from water and dust.


3. Use roofing tar to seal gaps

Roofing tar is perfect if your roof has removable tiles, which you can lift up and use the tar to seal gaps causing the leak. Place a piece of plywood or shingle across the gap and apply roof tar to keep the area sealed and dry to ensure the leak is completely plugged.

4. Use polyethene plastic for hard-to-find leaks

A covering material like polyethene plastic (PE) is a good option if the source is hard to find. It reduces the area affected by the leak and catches any rainwater that may get through.

To minimise future leaks, we advise using four feet of plastic sheeting over the area, secured by nails or staples.

Also, the thicker the PE plastic, the better the protection.

5. Replace old or broken shingles

The condition of your shingles can seriously affect how effectively your roof stops a leak.

So, if your shingles have:

  • Missing pieces
  • Bruises
  • Curls

Then it’s dead easy for rainwater to get in.

If you have any broken or old shingles, remove them and apply new shingles with nails and roofing tar.

6. Use tarpaulin for a quick fix

Tarpaulin is ideal for quickly covering areas if a storm is on its way before you can fix the leak properly.

Completely cover the area of the leak and anchor it into place with heavy concrete blocks, especially during strong winds. If the wind is mild to moderate, nails should be enough to hold the tarp in place.

7. Seal joins and joints

Rainwater is clever at finding its way into your home through gaps where surfaces join together, like chimneys, aluminium flashing and guttering.

However, they’re really easy to fix.

All you need is roof sealant or cement (ensure the area is dry before sealing, you don’t want to seal in damp!).

What should I do next?

The best way to stop your roof from leaking and causing extensive damage is to fix the problem early.

That’s where Trade Coatings help.

With over 42 years of experience, our paints and coatings are used by industry leaders, tradespeople and individuals across the UK.

So, if you’re ready to protect your outdoor spaces, look at our range of external roofing paints. Or browse our full collection, which includes interior paint, lacquers, varnishes, wood stains, accessories and more.

Talk to Trade Coatings

Call us now on 01604 781880 or view our range of products specially made for the trade – after all, it’s in the name.

Trade Coatings - the best products at the best prices.

Got a technical query? No problem.
Give us a call on 01604 781880 or send us a message and we’ll be happy to help.