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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Detect a Roof Leak

2/8/2020 (Permalink)

Cherry blossom branch on a rooftop Steps to know if you have a roof leak

Locating a roof leak can be very difficult. Fixing the leak sometimes is easier than finding the leak. Water stains on the ceiling or mold growth may present itself and is a sign of a roof leak, but sometimes it more difficult to find where the leak is located. Once water seeps through the roof, the water is shifted by things like insulation. You may see a water spot and think you have found the location while being incorrect in detecting the destination of the roof damage. 

Locating a roof leak start point is best left to the professionals. These are some steps yourself or someone hired should take to find the source of a roof leak. 

  1. With Flashlight in hand, head to the attic to look at the interior portion of your roof. Be very careful if you are doing this step yourself. You can easily put a foot through the ceiling below. Examine the underside of the roof. You are looking for dark areas. Look for mold as well.
  2. When inspecting the underside of your roof, look for objects that may have become embedded into the roof. Look for an errant nail that may have pierced the roof or larger objects like tree branches, etc. Check roof vents. Seals around vents can weaken and allow water to seep through.
  3. Check the insulation in the attic. If you spot damaged insulation, follow the damage back to the source and find the roof leak this way. If you spot an area that is more damaged than another area, start there. Keep aware that the damage can be several feet to either side of the damaged insulation because the insulation can divert rainwater itself. 

Have a professional remove all insulation around the spot to find the water’s entry point. Protective gear is needed when removing insulation, do not do this yourself. 

  1. In dry weather, you may have to spray the roof to find the leak. Take a garden hose and spray the roof. One person will need to be on top of the roof to spray and one person will need to be inside the attic with a flashlight in hand to look for the leak. This is not safe for an average person. Leave this to a professional as well. 

Once you locate the leak ensure that you start on roof repair as soon as possible. Leaks only get worse.

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