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May 4, 2023

How Do You Waterproof a Leaking Roof?

While you should always contact a professional to take care of the real problem at hand, we understand there may be times when you need a quick temporary fix.

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When you have a leak, you want it repaired right away.  Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, especially when you’re dealing with roofing in Texas.  The sad truth is, you probably found out about your leak because you’re in the middle of some bad weather.  And, even if the sun is shining, you may have to wait for your insurance company to approve a full roof repair. So what do you do if you’ve got a leaky roof and can’t get it fixed right away?

There are a few ways to waterproof a roof that’s leaking.  While these methods can be effective, it’s important to remember that they aren’t silver bullets - they’re bandaids.  These are temporary ways to keep water out of your home when you can’t get a full repair done right away. Full repairs can be extensive and expensive. These tricks can get you through until the rains let up and your insurance claim comes through.

Covering with a Tarp

The easiest and quickest way to waterproof your roof is to climb up there with a plastic tarp and cover the bad area. There’s a reason this is the number one temporary measure used to stop rain from getting in through a new leak.  Given how cheap they are and how fast they can be installed, they really are the most effective way to bandage up your home - as long as the leak’s in the right place.

One of the big mistakes people make is thinking that all leaks are the same.  They’re not. Tarps work great if your leak is in a flat area of your roof.  If that’s the case, you can stick one down and rest easy knowing you’re pretty well protected until the full repair can happen. Sure, it doesn’t look great up there, but as a temporary fix, it’ll work just fine. 

Unfortunately, not all leaks happen in the easy-to-bandage flat areas of your roof.  If the water is getting in through the flashing or is in a valley, a tarp won’t do anything but be an eyesore, and your home will still get wet.  If that’s the case, you’ll need to look at another way to get things covered until the contractor can get there for the full repair.


When a tarp won’t do the job, the next option on the table is to get to work with some caulking or a waterproof asphalt sealant.  This is especially effective if the water is getting through the flashing, but we can’t get under the shingles in a timely manner because of bad weather or some other issue.  

The good news is that all you need is a caulking gun and the sealant itself.  If you know where the leak is coming through the flashing, all you have to do is apply the sealant so that it’s thick enough to hold the water out. 

While this may seem like an easy fix, there are some issues.  The first is that sealant needs time to dry and set.  So if you figure out you’ve got a problem in the middle of a heavy rain season, you may not be able to get sealant to work.  And even if you apply a high-quality sealant and can get it to dry in time, it’s still a temporary fix.  You need someone to come out and make sure the repair is done properly, or the leak will just come back on you later. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the bandaid will provide the protection that a real roof restoration will. 

The Bottom Line

Finding a leak in your roof is always upsetting, especially since we usually discover them when the rain is still falling and the water is already in our homes.  The best solution is always to get a contractor as quickly as possible, so they can do a permanent repair.  If you need a temporary fix, you can lay a tarp or try to get some sealant down, but even then, it’s best to call a professional to make sure the bandaid sticks.  

Parish Roofing Solutions is always ready to help with roof waterproofing services in Dallas-Fort Worth.  We’ll make sure the leak is stopped, and we’ll get the full repair done as fast as possible. Reach out today for a FREE consultation!

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