Finding a Leak in a Roof

Posted on: 4 June 2015


As a property owner, one of the most important areas to maintain and repair, if necessary, is the roof. A roof with a leak can develop into a major crisis, as structural damage can be caused by the constant presence of water. If you notice a leak in the roof of your property, you must take action to repair it, but first you must locate the leak. This is harder than it sounds, sometimes much harder. Look at some ways of locating a leak in a roof.

Don't Mistake a Leak for Poor Ventilation

Sometimes, it can be easy for a property owner to see one or two signs that they interpret as a leak, when in fact it is not. Moisture can easily build up in poorly ventilated roofs, and this can confuse some people. To help clarify, remember this: rust around nails, algae stains on the wood and wet or damp insulation can all signal that the roof is not properly ventilated. Once you have the roof properly ventilated, the moisture marks could disappear.

Start With Obstructions

The most likely place that a leak will develop is in areas where an obstruction has been added to the roof. The obstruction can be anything from a skylight to a vent to a chimney. These are the areas that you need to check first. You can wait until it rains, then check the underside areas of these obstructions from the attic; use a flashlight to look for the leak.

Water reflects light and you may be able to source the leak quickly. Or, you can go up on the roof with a hose, and direct a small amount of water over the obstructions as a helper looks out for the water with the flashlight inside the property.

Water Flows Directly Down So Trace it Back Up

To help identify where dripping water is coming from, you should understand that water will always flow down with gravity. If you notice water coming from one area, it it likely that it can be traced to a higher source. As the water drips down with gravity, it removes itself further and further away from the leak, making it difficult to pinpoint where the hole is. When you see where the water is dripping down, trace the water back up the roof (sometimes several feet) to locate the entry point for the water.

Quickly identifying the real location of a leak is important, and it is worthwhile to know how to trace and locate the leak so that you can find and repair the hole. For more tips, contact companies like Hindmarsh Roofing.