How to Find a Roof Leak

How to Find a Roof Leak

No one wants their roof to leak, yet there may eventually come a point in time when water moves through the roof above and drips down below. However, there is no reason to panic when your roof leaks. Remain calm and focus on what you can do to mitigate the damage. The challenge lies in pinpointing the location and cause of the roof leak. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to find a roof leak.

Consider the Physics of the Situation

Water moves along the path of least resistance, trickling downward in accordance with gravity. However, water moving through a roof will not be able to move straight down. Rather, water will flow sideways as it gradually makes its way through cracks or other openings in your roof, ultimately making its way through the roof and down into your living or working space. The goal is to determine the path of water through your roof so you can find the original site of the leak and take the measures necessary to fix it.

1. Check the Attic First

Many roof leaks can be pinpointed in the attic of a home or building. However, you will likely need a powerful flashlight to spot any signs of water in a dark attic. Ideally, this inspection will occur when it is raining so the point at which the water moves through the roof can be located with ease. When in the attic, check for signs of water. Though it will take some time for wood to reveal water damage, you might spot or feel wet insulation in the attic. It is also possible that there will be a trail of water along the attic rafters or on the sheathing. 

2. Moving Beyond the Attic

In some cases, roof leaks are caused by missing or cracked shingles damaged by storms, rodent infestations, obtrusive tree branches, or old age. Replacing roof shingles has the potential to eliminate the problem. However, there is no guarantee your trip up to the attic will reveal any signs of the leak. If the roof shingles are intact, the underlying issue could be the exhaust flashing seal or the plumbing vent. If these parts of the roof appear to be intact, be on the lookout for rusty nails, nails that have shifted from their original locations, and those that were not properly installed. 

If your home does not have an attic, take a close look at the roof. A comprehensive inspection of the roof will reveal signs of damage. As noted above, exposed nails are often the cause of water stains. This is the result of moisture from floors below hitting the cold air above saturating the nail during the nighttime hours, then melting during the day as the sun shines.

3. Still Looking? It Is Time to Simulate the Rain

If you still cannot find your roof leak, the solution might lie in simulating the rain. Use your garden hose to spray the entirety of the roof with water while a family member or friend remains indoors. This will require climbing a ladder so the hose water can cover the entirety of the roof. Ideally, several people will remain in the upper floors of your home including the attic, checking for signs of water dripping through the roof above. Once a drip is spotted, those inside the house should yell out to the individual spraying down the roof or even call/text him or her to make it clear the location of the leak has been identified.

4. Ask for Assistance From the Experts

There is a chance you still won’t be able to pinpoint the location of the leak in a DIY manner. When in doubt, lean on the professionals to do the work on your behalf. There is no shame in admitting you cannot locate the site of your roof’s leak. The professionals know exactly what to look for, and will identify the exact location of the leak, replace roof flashing and shingles as necessary, and ultimately eliminate the problem, providing invaluable peace of mind.

Alpine Roofing Construction Is at Your Service

If you suspect or know your roof has a leak, don’t go one day longer without fixing it. Our roofing specialists at Alpine Roofing Construction are here to take care of all of your roofing needs. Reach out to us today to find out more about our roofing services ranging from maintenance to repair, replacement, and beyond. You can contact us by dialing 214-272-2679 (Dallas) and 817-873-6111 (Fort Worth). If you prefer to reach us online, simply fill out our convenient online contact form, and we will be in touch at our earliest convenience.

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