Are the Roofers Responsible for Your Roof Leak?

If you recently changed your roof, it was very likely because you were being frustrated by your old roof. So, it can be even more frustrating to see your new roof doing the same. The water damage caused by leaks in a roof can touch your attic and even extend to all your ceiling, thereby causing mold growth. And to think that you recently had a new roof installed?

The frustration you feel could make you point at the roofers as the culprits. However, that may not always be the case. So, in this article, we discuss what to do when you discover a roof leak, and who to hold responsible if this happens.

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Remove Items from around the leak

The first thing you want to do is to clear away items from the area where the leak is noticed. This could include your furniture, photos, and clothing. It may also be necessary to get up into the attic to remove some items until a tentative solution at least is found for the leak. 

If you notice leaks close to electrical outlets, it is important that you have them covered using outlet plugs. It may also be necessary to cover the outlet with water-resistant materials such as a plastic grocery bag or tarp to protect the sockets from water.

Place buckets underneath the leak

While waiting for a professional roofing contractor to address the roof leak, you need to find a way to ensure that the water does not spread beyond the area where it is leaking. Therefore, you may want to collect the water using buckets. Not only will this step help to determine the volume of water running through the leak, but it will also help your insurance company to gauge how severe the roof leak is.

The water should be dumped outside as soon as the bucket gets filled. This is because there’s a possibility that the water contains elements from the roof. Disposing of the water will ensure that you do not have any toxic materials in your home.

Gather proofs for insurance purposes

Ensure that you take pictures and videos of the affected areas of the leak from discovery to when a professional comes to get it fixed. Doing this will ensure that both your insurance company and the roofing company have photographic evidence of the problem and will make them know the severity of the issue.

Also, video recordings of the leak will help the roofing company to trace the source of the problem and how to get it fixed.

Trace the source of the roof leak

One of the ways to trace the source of a leak in your roof is to find your way to the attic and search for any sign of light coming in through the roof. You want to take note of where these holes are located from the inside. If you find it safe to do so, you may also want to head to your roof to trace where the holes are from the outside.

Should you choose to trace the leaks to your roof, ensure that you’re not wearing shoes that could make you slip and fall. Don’t try to walk on your roof if it is at a steep angle. And please, do not try this without someone being around to help you. Considering the safety risk of this step, it is best to leave it to a professional roofing contractor.

If you’ve decided to do this yourself, ensure that you take pictures of where the leak is and the damage around it. Difficulty in locating the leak can be settled by running water over the roof and observing where it seems to be draining. You will be needing someone inside to locate any drips of water when doing this. If you successfully locate the leak, do not put anything in it as this could worsen the problem.

Repair as soon as possible

Roof repairs shouldn’t be delayed to prevent them from getting worse. Bear in mind that summer and spring are busy times for most roofing companies. So, if you discover leaks in your roof during these periods, you may have a hard time getting contractors to repair the roof, and that means you will have to wait for some time to get attended to.

If you find yourself in this situation, you could request that a tarp be tightly fastened over the damaged area. Doing this will help to keep water out.

Do not forget to take pictures after the contractor is done with the repairs. Should there be any problem again after the repair, you will have the contractor on record.

Who is responsible for your roof leak?

The cause of the leaking roof will determine who will be held responsible.

Once you have traced the source of the leak, put a call through to the roofing company that did your roofing project. If the damage was caused by an error by the roofing company, then it may be covered under warranty, which only applies if the company is licensed. That is why you only want to work with a roofing company that is licensed in the first place.

So, your roofer is responsible for your roof leak if:

  • The shingles are not properly secured
  • A penetration is improperly flashed
  • They forgot to nail down certain shingles.
  • Any other error that is obviously the roofer’s fault.

Damage from the manufacturer, such as poor shingle adhesion, should be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Most manufacturers have a list of certified roofing contractors for their products. So, the roofer you used during installation may determine whether you will qualify for this warranty.

When does your home insurance come in?

If there was significant damage to other areas of your home, you should get in contact with your home insurance for anything not covered by the roofing warranty. This can include anything from furniture to appliances.

They’ll more than likely want pictures of the damage, and they may need to send out someone to audit the damage. If a roofing contractor caused the damage, the repairs may be covered by the contractor’s liability policy.

If big damage was done to other areas of your home that are not covered by the roofing warranty, you may want to contact your home insurance.


Who to be held responsible for your roof leaks will depend on the cause of the roof leaks. Never work with a roofer that is not licensed and they won’t be held liable for any roof damage in the future.

Also, ensure that you work with roofing companies of great repute. It is important that you do proper research on the roofer before hiring them. A great resource to check roofing companies out is the Better Business Bureau. Here, you get to see their ratings and what past clients have to say about them.

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