Start at the lowest point of the roof leak, like a stain on the ceiling, and work your way up. Patch the nail or screw holes by sliding a piece of roof flashing under the shingle. Add a drop of roofing putty or cement to the top and bottom edges of the flashing to keep it in place. There are almost as many types of roof leaks as there are types of roofs and the associated natural disasters or accidents that can cause them, but some of the most common are found in natural weak spots.
Roofing experts will advise you to “think like water when looking for the source of a roof leak; know that water usually enters through broken or excessively broken shingles, missing shingles, poorly sealed or corroded flashes around chimneys, skylights, ventilation ducts, or along the intersection of different planes, or spots on which the nails are loose or missing. Check plumbing vent covers and roof vents if water enters from that area and causes roof leaks. If you have questions or don't want to climb on your roof, which is understandable, work with a roofing contractor. This is perhaps one of the easiest methods to find a leak, but the exact methods you use can be determined by the type of roof and roof access you have, along with your own home repair skills and access to qualified helpers.
David Bitan is a roofing professional, licensed contractor and owner and founder of Bumble Roofing based in Southern California. For example, roof leaks often travel down from rafters, siding, or roof top until there is a point where water can leak, and by the time you notice it could be a pretty major leaky roof. Ask someone to help you by getting out and running the hose through the roof while you're inside around the area (s) you suspect the roof leak is coming from. If the weather is clear and you feel comfortable and confident that you can repair the leak in your roof yourself, at least temporarily until you can have a roof leak repair contractor examine it, assess the damage, and determine possible steps to take.
Repairing a metal roof can also be particularly tricky, and you may need the help of a commercial roofing contractor. Water typically enters through worn, broken, or missing shingles; where nails have loosened; or through corroded or poorly sealed roofs around vents, skylights or chimneys or along intersections of roof planes Certain types of roofing, such as slate, tile, and galvalume (metal), must be repaired by a roofing contractor who has experience with that particular material. Since most roofs are pitched, the place where the roof leak appeared and the place where it entered the roof are probably two different places. It is possible to repair a roof with small leaks or smaller leaks yourself, and here's how to tell if you have a roof leak and the various ways to fix it before things get worse.
In addition, roofing contractors have the necessary equipment (ladders, scaffolding, fall protection) to deal with very steep or challenging slopes, so if you don't have experience, give them a call. Replace the plumbing vent cover if necessary and use washer head roofing screws to secure the base to the ceiling.