How to Find a Roof Leak

How to Find a Roof Leak

We all understand the importance of having a roof over our heads, which is why roofing problems feel so devastating. When you walk into the kitchen and notice water dripping above your head, it’s not a fun moment. You have a leak, and you need to find and fix it before it develops into something catastrophic.

The bigger problem is that a lot of roof leaks don’t end with dripping ceilings. They can be harder to notice and track down, which means problems can fester without your notice. The first thing you need to understand is how water stains substances. Any leak will discolor drywall that comes in contact with it. Leaks can leave behind signs of salt or other sediment. They can also promote the growth of molds and fungi that you will identify by smell. If any of these signs are present, you need to look for the leak, and these tips can help you do that.

Start in the Attic

Assuming you have an attic, it’s often easier to spot the leak from there. The insulation will absorb water and quickly deteriorate. While that puts pressure on you to find the leak quickly, it also helps you get an eye on the problem. You can look for a damp spot and trace it back to the leak above.

When in the attic, be careful to only step on joists that can hold your weight. The ceiling beneath your feet is not up to the task.

Another tip to help you is that leaks tend to occur around protrusions or holes in the roof. Skylights, vents, and anything else that creates discontinuity in the main roofing structure are where you’ll find the most leaks.

Check the Ceiling

If searching the attic doesn’t yield results (or you don’t have one), you can check the ceiling. Leaks generally will be clearly visible, especially if you have a drywall ceiling. Leaks will stain and discolor the ceiling. Typically, the discoloration will have a brown or rust-colored appearance. If you have colored ceilings, you’ll have to take that into account. If the leak is severe enough, it can cause sagging. It can even saturate the ceiling and leak to the floor.

Spray the Roof With a Hose

If the weather is dry, it can be pretty much impossible to find your leak. You can compensate by running the hose. Soak the roof thoroughly and then check again for signs of a leak.

Be sure to manage the hose and not leave it running too long. You’re trying to find a leak, but you don’t want to create new, damaging pools of water inside the house. There’s also no need to run up an enormous water bill looking for a leak in the roof. A few minutes of running the hose at a time should suffice.

Check the Top

If you can’t spot a leak from under the roof, you can still do a roof inspection. You can look for signs of damaged or missing shingles, holes, or perforations. Anything that triggers warning bells in your mind will help you spot damage, and you’re expecting some sign of damage at the source of the leak. Worn shingles, cracked tiles, or noticeable dents in the roofing structure are some of your clearest signs. You also want to check for holes, cracks, or other noticeable problems with seals on any part that isn’t shingled or tiled (such as skylights and vents).

Unfortunately, a leak is not always easy to see. Sometimes, you need some help, and that’s OK.

Get the Pros Involved

Roof inspectors can find leaks and provide you with advice on how best to resolve the leak. If you’ve noticed any amount of leak, let a contractor come and do a proper inspection. Even if you don’t have a leak, any sign of damage should be addressed sooner than later.

Here’s the bottom line. If you need roofing expertise, you can contact Paradigm Roofing. We offer free quotes. Just let us know what you need, and we’ll come to take a look at your roof. We’ll make sure you fully understand the situation so you can make informed decisions. Once you do, we’ll make quick work of the job and ensure that you have a leak-free roof over your head. Find us online or call us at 972-542-7774.