How Can I Find the Leak in My Roof?

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 by

Roof LeaksRoof leaks can be one of the most frustrating things about homeownership! You don’t know where it’s coming from, how much it has damaged, or – in some cases – how to fix it properly.

Not to mention, roof leaks are tricky. It’s hard to tell where the problem is because the evidence of the leak isn’t necessarily in the same place as the issue. Water can enter the roof in one place, but run down and show up in a completely different spot.

If you do spot a roof leak, you need to fix it as soon as possible. The longer the roof is allowing water and moisture into your home, the more likely you’ll be faced with significant damage: in your roof, your ceilings, or your walls. 

Step 1: Rule Out Alternatives

Before you start tromping around on your roof, you’ll want to make sure it actually is your roof that is causing the leak.

Other common culprits of water damage in your home are plumbing or HVAC systems. Be sure to check on these before heading on to the next step.

Step 2: Follow the Moisture

Once you’re pretty sure the roof is causing the leak, it’s time to figure out where it’s coming from.

Find the leak inside your home. Trace it up until it disappears into the attic, and make note of the location where it is coming from (you may need to take measurements).

Go up into your attic, if you have access, and try to find the leak once more. Look for water stains, black marks, or even mold. If you can’t seem to find it, you may need to have a helper head up onto the roof and run a hose to help flush out the problem area.

Remember, the place where the leak shows up in the attic might be slightly different than where it is on your ceiling – the water will drip downhill, so it may have a higher point of origin.

When you find the leak, make note of where it is (use points of reference, such as vent pipes or exterior walls).

Step 3: Get on the Roof

Now it’s time to safely get yourself up on the roof. Using the notes you made of where the leak was in the attic, you can now look around on the roof in the same area. Start here and work your way outward.

You’re looking for any damaged shingles or openings where water may enter. Points where two different materials meet are common points of failure, so make sure to check the flashing around pipes, chimneys, etc.

If you see any exposed roofing nails – that could be the spot. Likewise, if your gutters are clogged, it may have damaged the flashing and allowed water to get under it.

Step 4: Fix It!

Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or you’d rather hire a professional to take care of it, you should fix the leak as soon as possible.

If you’re doing it yourself, make sure you know which materials to use. The specifics will depend on the type of roof you have.

Remember, a leak can create molding and rotting in your roof, it can destroy your insulation, and it can cause serious damage to your ceilings. If you see evidence of a leak, deal with it immediately!

>> Get in touch with us to find and repair leaks in your roof right away! We’re residential roofing experts, serving Southern Ontario since 1964.

Serving homeowners in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Niagara.

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About Dave Lodde

Dave Lodde is the President and Owner of Lodde & Sons Roofing. With over 25 years of hands-on experience in roofing and siding, Dave leads the company with a thorough knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the industry.

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