How to find a roof leak and repair it yourself

How to find a roof leak and repair it yourself

You need to inspect your roof – fixing a leaking roof is relatively easy once you have found the leak. Finding the leak is the hard part as evidence of the leak may not be where the actual leak is occurring due to the water flowing downhill before soaking into a wall or ceiling.

Bituseal plastic may be used to seal most roofing defects: sheeting overlaps, valleys, gutters, downpipes and enlarged screw holes and to repair roof cracks, flashings, cracked roof tiles and patch repair to roofs.

Get Started

What you'll need:
  1. 1 x trowel or putty knife or extrusion gun or gloved hand
  2. 1 x cloth
  3. Bituseal plastic – 1 L, 5 L, 25 L containers.
  4. 4-metal primer – to prime steel surfaces.
  5. abe® super brush cleaner – to clean tools.
  6. Silvakote® – if surface is exposed to the effects of sunlight and ultra-violet radiation.
  • Economical waterproofing compound
  • Easy-to-apply
  • May be overcoated with bitumen / aluminium paint

Here's How: 4 Steps

Step 1


How to find a roof leak

If you have water stains on your ceiling or running down interior walls, inspect your roof upwards from the stains, paying special attention to areas where flashings are used, such as around chimneys or satellite dishes. These may be directly above the leak or to the left or right of it.

Also look out for cracked or missing tiles, which you should replace immediately.

Go into your roof space with a torch and try and look for water stains, black marks or mould on the ceiling.

If you still can’t find where the leak is, go onto the roof with a garden hose and run water onto the area just above where the leak appears in the house, starting low down. Ask someone to go inside the house and wait for a drip to appear. Let the hose run for quite a while in one area and then move it up a little further.

If you have a galvanised iron roof, you need to check the roofing screws and make sure that the rubber or plastic washers are still intact. Ensure that roofing screws are secure. If loose, the roof sheets will lift when the wind is blowing, and the rain will be driven by the wind under the sheets. Areas that have rusted through will contribute to the scenario mentioned above.

If any of your roof tiles have been knocked or blown out of place, you may just need to straighten them out. If a tile is cracked, you can just repair it.
Step 2



Stir well before use.
Step 3



All surfaces to be clean and dry.

Prime with a coat of Bituseal plastic, which should be allowed to dry prior to another application of Bituseal plastic, except for steel which must be coated with a suitable anti-corrosion primer like a.b.e.®4-metal primer.
Step 4



Coverage application thickness: As needed up to 30 mm.

Bituseal plastic may be applied by trowel, putty knife, extrusion gun or gloved hand. Bituseal plastic can be used in conjunction with Super laykold tape or Super laykold paintable tape.

If there are areas on the roof that are allowing ingress of water, such as valleys or damaged flashings, a temporary solution is Super laykold tape or Super laykold paintable tape.

Tools, brushes and mixing equipment should be cleaned immediately after use and before material has set with abe® Super brush cleaner followed by washing with soap and water.

Where the Bituseal plastic is to be exposed to the effects of sunlight and ultra-violet radiation, it is recommended that 3 – 4 weeks after being applied, it may be coated with a.b.e.®Silvakote.

How to find a roof leak and repair it yourself

Download How-To Guide

Save this article 'How to find a roof leak and repair it yourself' as a downloadable PDF to read later

Download PDF