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How to Prevent or Fix a Water Infiltration in a Roof?

Last modified: 2021-07-21 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Amanda Harvey

If you find an infiltration of water through the roof of your home, then it may raise some concerns about the consequences. In the same regard, this situation should raise questions about the measures that need to be taken to avoid this unpleasant occurrence.

To answer the questions mentioned above and deal with this predicament, read on to find an overview of the measures that must be implemented to avoid water infiltrations through your roof as well as the steps to take if this has already happened.

How to prevent water infiltration in your roof?

Résultat infiltration d'eau par la toiture

At first glance, roof water infiltrations may be the consequence of poor gutter maintenance. In fact, your gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year. It is important to clean the gutters of any debris to prevent blockage and thus, a buildup of water.

If the idea of cleaning your gutters sounds like more trouble than it's worth, the alternative of installing a gutter might be of interest to you. There are devices on the market similar to a giant pipe cleaner but made of wire or mesh depending on the model. These work to prevent the accumulation and buildup of leaves, dirt and so on. Though bear in mind they’re a bit more expensive than a regular gutter, coming in at $4 per square foot.

Water infiltration could also be caused by deteriorating or damaged shingles. Unsurprisingly, they can easily allow water to find its way through your roof. It would be important to replace damaged shingles as soon as possible. To take on this repair yourself, simply buy an over-the-counter sealer and apply it to the raised section of the shingle. Install weight on the shingle for a few minutes to allow it to adhere securely to the rest of the roof.

Note that any visible nails in the shingles should be removed from the roof and refastened into place. Even if there is only a minimal amount of water infiltration generated by this space, it will still be harmful to the preservation of your roof.

Your roof has been damaged by the wind? Check out our article Solutions for a wind-damaged roof: Replacing or Repairing.

Water infiltration by way of the soffits

It is very important to avoid perforating soffits. Due to the nature of their placement, infiltration of the soffits may go completely unnoticed and will lead to excessive damage. Moreover, your soffits must never be obstructed. This is precisely because your soffits are used to allow ventilation in your attic, and if obstructed, moisture will begin to breed in these places. These things work in tandem, and moisture in the attic will work to deteriorate the condition of the materials. As a result, the surface of your roof will be less permeable to water.

Water passing through the flashing

The flashings also deserve attention, especially when they are in poor condition. This is because their poor condition will prevent the flow of water. This will allow water to seep under the surface and cause it to rest underneath the shingles. It is also important to make sure that the flashings are not cracked and are therefore watertight, as this will allow them to fulfill their role. It should also be noted that the plumbing vent needs to be inspected, as its poor adherence to the roof's surface could cause a counter effect and allow water to infiltrate.

Entrepreneur qui installe gouttières

Other potential causes of water infiltration

In the same regard, the accumulation of water as well as ice on a roof is problematic and increases the risk of water infiltration. If you are not comfortable removing snow from your roof, it is recommended that you hire a professional.

If you find the presence of a layer of ice on the roof in the spring, this indicates that you have an issue with both heat loss and a lack of ventilation. The melting of the ice will lift the shingles and may result in possible water seepage. It would be best to seek the advice of a professional if you are faced with this situation.

Lastly, carefully inspect the metal cap as well as the perimeter of the roof. If you find traces of rust, this may indicate the presence of water infiltration. Note that possible water ingress can be caused by a condensation problem between the roof and the ceiling. The formation of ice in this area, as well as its subsequent melting in the spring, causes a buildup of water that can become water infiltration.  

Necessary inspections for water infiltration

Two inspections must happen annually to check the condition of your roof. This can be done by yourself or with the help of a professional. These inspections should take place in dry, non-windy weather. It is necessary to inspect the attic to ensure that no water infiltration has made its way into this part of the house.

It would be important to inspect the attic during the fall, winter as well as spring. It is recommended that you carry out fall and spring inspections during rainy days and winter inspection during cold, freezing or snowy weather.

Toiture maison

Clear signs of a water infiltration

A water infiltration in a will leave traces that allow it to be detected.  Generally, these are the signs of a water infiltration:

  • Crinkled paint;
  • Cracks in the wall or ceiling;
  • Rotting wood;
  • A nauseating odour in the room;
  • The presence of mould on the ceiling or walls.

What to do if you find signs of water infiltration in your roof?


Unfortunately, if you notice signs of water infiltration but have passed the point of taking preventative measures, find your way to the area of the issues in question. Following this, place a container directly underneath the leak and then ventilate the house. After this, we’d recommend consulting your insurance and determining whether the damage is covered. In the event that the damage is covered, this will inform you of the steps that need to be taken.

Otherwise, you will need to contact a professional to carry out the work related to the repair of your roof as well as the damage caused by water infiltration. In this case, remedying the situation will be at your expense.

Should you renovate your roof? We have an article on this subject to help you make the right decision. Click here to check it out!

Would like to have more information on the steps to take to fix a water infiltration problem? Check out our article What to Do in Case of a Water Infiltration Problem.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your roof cleaning project can help you get quotes for your roofing renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from the best roofing companies.

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