Usually it is hard to find actual source of leaking roof as leakage normally appear away from where it originated. So to find the real source of leak you will have to think like water and follow the tips and advices suggested by professional roofers.
Water makes its way through broken, missing or worn out shingles along with loose nails, poorly sealed and corroded roof flashing near roof vent, chimneys, roof coatings, intersections of the roof or skylights in a natural manner.
Finding the roof leaks
The water flows along roof rafters, sheathing or ceilings topside after entering into the roofing until it starts dripping down after finding a weak point like crack etc. While finding water leak you should inspect your roof during daytime. You should use a bright flash light while going into the attic to step forward safely only on the ceiling frame instead of topside of the ceiling or insulation as they may not provide you solid support. Now you should start inspecting your roof from the point of dripping and follow the wetness on the roof or frame to find its point of origination. You can also look for stains, water marks or marks of discoloration caused by moisture if you are searching the leaking roof during dry weather. Now try to find peeping-in daylight from a hole after switching off the flash light. After finding a hole then you should plan to repair it properly. If it is raining then you should delay repairs until the weather clears and put a bucket under the leak with proper support to avoid dripping inside your home.
Water test of leaking roof
If you are unable to find leak by visual inspection of the attic then you should wait until the weather dries and do water test of the roof with the help of another family member or friend. In this method one person takes a garden hose on the roof and the other enters the attic with flash light and a bucket. Then water is flooded on the roof with the hose and the other person in the attic inspects the roof minutely to find the point of leak. When he successfully finds a leak then he should mark the location so that it can be repaired from rooftop.
Repairing the leaking roof
If you have found the cause of leakage on the roof then either you can repair it yourself, if you know how to do, or contact a professional roofer to get the things done perfectly. The leakage in the roof can be repaired properly by using the methods according to the material of the roofing. You may have built-up flat roof, asphalt shingles roof, tile and masonry roof or metal roof. So you will have to use stepwise repair methods according to the type of the roof you have.
Emergency repair of leaking roof
Sometimes you cannot wait for dry weather and have to repair your roof instantly in emergency. In such condition some tips are provided here under to help you in repairing your roof fast. It the water leaks through a hole in your roof then you can repair it temporarily by using a 12 x 12 inch piece of galvanised metal sheet flashing, easily available at hardware or home improvement stores.
Now you can push galvanised metal sheet flashing under the shingle by lifting it to cover the hole properly. Before pushing the metal sheet flashing under the damaged part of the shingle you should use one or two roofing nails to fix it so that the flashing can be pushed over the point of leak under the entire course of shingles.
Precautions for DIY leaking roof repair
While repairing the leaking roof yourself you should keep in mind that working in roof top can be dangerous and difficult. So you should avoid doing roof repairs unless either you are professionally skilled to do them or the pitch of your roof is relatively low and you have all the tools and equipment required for this purpose. If you have no experience of repairing leaking roof then you should leave it to professional roofers or roofing contractors available nearby your place.