How to Locate the Leak in Your Roof

Written by  //  February 5, 2013  //  Roof  //  Comments Off on How to Locate the Leak in Your Roof

Having water leak through your roof isn’t the most desirable thing to discover for your home.  Don’t be tempted to leave a repair until the weather gets better. If left to fester over time, then the damage it causes could result in considerable repair, maintenance and cost.  But if you notice water coming through your roof, just how easy is it to locate the problem and rectify it?  Read on to find out more:

Detective Work

Locating a leaky roof requires a fair bit of detective work, as the source of the leak might not necessarily be coming from the same spot where you can see the water patch.  Often, it may have run down to another bit of the roof before it starts to soak through into the ceiling.

Your easiest bet is to go into the attic and have a nose around.  Take a torch with you, as water reflects light so should be more identifiable.  If you go up on a rainy day, then you should be able to see where the water is coming through.  But if that isn’t possible, you may want to enlist the help of an eager assistant who’s willing to climb onto the roof and spray a hosepipe down the roof, so the water leak can be identified.

It goes without saying that people should only go up on the roof if they feel capable.  If in doubt, it’s always worth getting a professional roofer in who has the experience of dealing with these things.

Often, the leak can easily be fixed and may be just a case of replacing roof slates or rotting shingles.

Problem Areas

So what areas could be causing the leaks?  Quite often, it is items that penetrate the roof, such as roof vents, chimneys, dormers or anything which projects through the roof.

Plastic roof vents can cause leaks, so check for any cracks in the plastic or broken seams on any metal ones.  Any damaged vents will need replacing, rather than attempting to repair them.  Missing nails or screws can also cause leaks, so replace any that seem to have disappeared with rubber-washer screws.

Dormers can be problematic when it comes to leaks in roofs as water can penetrate any cracks or small holes.  It can get behind the flashing and enter the house.  Always checks the seals around holes and replace any areas of suspect caulk.  Don’t rely on caulk though, as it often can’t cure a leaky roof, so only use it for very small problem areas.

Check the flashing around brick chimneys, as this can be a major source of leak problem.  If the flashing is damaged and needs replacing then don’t leave the problem too long.  If, for example, lead flashing caused the leak then you might want to consider replacing with alternatives to lead flashing if that will make you feel more at ease.

Also look out for any tiny holes in shingles, as they might only look minor, but they can cause major damage with water penetration.  For example, you might find that holes have appeared from areas where satellite dishes or antenna where placed, so keep your eyes open for these suspects.

If you’re unsure where the leak is located, then always get professional advice, especially if you aren’t familiar with climbing on a roof.  It’s better to put health and safety first before any attempts at home DIY repairs.

This post was written by James Harper for the roofing supplies specialists, Ashbrook Roofing.

About the Author

View all posts by

Comments are closed.