How to Locate a Hard to Find Roof Leak

A roof leak is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. They can cause serious issues like structural damage, fire hazards, slip, and fall accidents or health problems caused by mold. It’s why getting it fixed should not be put off, but first, you need to figure out where the water is getting in.

Some sources of a leaky roof might be obvious enough for the homeowners to notice immediately. However, others can be much more difficult to detect and unfortunately, it typically goes unnoticed until they’ve already caused a considerable amount of damage.

Detecting roof leaks early is the key to avoiding serious roof damage, so here are some tips to help you find the leak and fix it before it gets any worse:

Look for the First Signs of a Roof Leak

The signs of a roof leak are usually easy to find with the sight and sound of dripping water being the first telltale sign. Musty odors, water stains, and damaged shingles are also obvious signs that may point to the existence of a potential leak. Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell you the exact location of the vulnerable point of your home.

For that, you have to do a little more detective work. After locating the area of your home where you found the signs of leakage, extrapolate this up to the area of the roof you need to search.

Majority of leaks happen in areas where the roof is penetrated by pipes, ventilation stacks, air conditioning, chimneys or skylights. These are the first areas that need to be checked since they’re difficult to seal and keep sealed.

Take a Good Look

If you haven’t already tracked down the leak, trace the water damage inside your home. Head up to the attic and bring a flashlight. Step carefully from joist to joist if there’s no proper footing to avoid putting a hole through your ceiling.

Use the flashlight to examine the underside of the roof once you find your bearings. Then, look out for water stains, mold or black marks along the rafters and the surrounding roof sheathing.

Moist spots may be difficult to discern during fair weather. On the other hand, mold tends to linger. Since it thrives on moisture, a patch of mold shows the possible vulnerable points in your roof.

Make it Rain

When the recent dry weather made searching for roof leaks more challenging, it may be time to simulate a storm. This method requires two people. Enlist a helper to stay in the attic with a flashlight in hand. Then, go up on the roof with a garden hose in tow and soak up the roof one section at a time.

Simulating a downpour would help you witness firsthand how the roof can withstand conditions that are similar during a natural storm.

Have your helpful carefully examine the roof’s underside for leakage and call out when they see a drip and move slowly from one section to another and spend several minutes in each area to narrow down the source of the leak.

If the other person sees a drip but can’t find the exact spot where it’s coming from, tear up the shingles in the suspected area. You’ll quickly find evidence of leaks in the form of water stains or rotting wood.

Leaks would only get worse if left alone. Act quickly as soon as you pinpoint the location of the leaks. Most of the times, it only takes a minor repair to fix the leak like replacing a shingle that even the homeowners can do themselves. However, not everyone would be comfortable with going up the roof, and the leak can be extensive and go beyond simple repairs.

In these instances, do not hesitate to contact a professional. Fahey Roofing Contractors can help with necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. Check out our residential roof repair services, or contact us at (304) 826-1333 to learn more.

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