While fixing a roof leak is generally pretty easy, finding the leak can be difficult. Some telltale signs of a roof leak are water stains on ceilings or walls. Ignoring the signs of a leak may be convenient but even the most minor leaks can cause significant damage to your home.
The first step to finding a roof leak is to find a way to safely access your roof. A ladder may be the best way for some but those with attic access can check for damage in specific areas of the attic before climbing onto the roof. By looking for an area of the attic that shows signs of damage, a homeowner can more quickly isolate the area of the leak.
However, if attic access isn’t an option, carefully climbing onto the roof is the next course of action. If upon inspecting the roof with no clear source of the leak (such as roof penetrations, chimneys, vents, dormers, etc.), you can enlist a helper to stay in the house while you are on the roof. By running a hose over isolated areas of the roof for several minutes, you should be able to isolate the leak.
After running the hose for several minutes over areas of the roof, your helper can tell you when the leak begins. After isolating the leak, looking for damage is important. If damage to shingles isn’t immediately apparent, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start removing shingles in the area.
After the shingles are removed, identifying damage caused by the leak is pretty easy. For even the smallest leaks, roof sheathing and rafters may show evidence of rotting. Mold may also grow on the insulation. If you see any of this decay, you have located the leak.
Now that you have found the leak, you can enlist professional help or attempt to fix it yourself. Either way, fixing the leak is very important. The earlier the fix, the less damage to your roof and home, therefore the less money you have to spent to repair it.
o Isolate the source of the leak, via the attic or roof.
o If you are unable to visually trace the source for the leak, run water from a hose over isolated areas of the roof and have someone inside the house wait for the leaking to begin.
o Remove shingles to search for signs of damage (rot, mold, water damage).