If you have ever noticed water stains inside your house that extend up and across the ceiling, or even run down all the existing walls in the house, the likely culprit is a leaky roof. The easy part is actually seeing that you have a leak, but the difficult part is actually finding out where the leak originates. The silver lining in all of this, however, is that the actual fix can be pretty easy if you can just find that leak. There are some tricks of the trade that roofing professionals have developed over the years that enable them to quickly locate and repair many of the common types of leaks that occur on roofs today.
There Really is No Such Thing As a Minor Leak
Once you determine that your roof has a leak, it is best to find it and have it repaired as quickly as you possibly can. Do not make the mistake of thinking that it is no big deal, as the most minor of leaks can quickly become major, sometimes overnight. This could result in going from a situation where a simple repair is in order, to having to actually replace the entire roof. Leaks can, if left untreated, cause major issues related to mold, sheathing, rotted framing, and insulation that becomes destroyed. Eventually, this will damage your ceiling and cause internal problems inside your home as well. The main point here is to fix all leaks as soon as you discover them, no matter how big or small they might be.
Tracking Down A Leak
When you are trying to find out where a leak is occurring on your roof, you will want to begin by looking at the roof going up from where the stains are occurring. What you want to look for are any sings of a roof penetration, because this is often the cause for the leak. It is actually quite rare for a leak to occur in an open area where uninterrupted shingles are present. This is true for even older style roofs, so look for a penetration first. These can include roof vents, dormers, chimneys, or plumbing areas. In essence, any area that projects itself through the roof structure is where you want to begin your search for the leak.
Perhaps the quickest and best way to begin this search is to gain access through the attic, if that is accessible to you. You want to go up there with a flashlight to look for evidence of the leak. What you will be looking for are water stains, mold, or black marks that are visible. If you cannot gain access through the attic, or your home has a vaulted ceiling, then you will need to go outside and get up onto the roof to look for the possible penetrations. If you still cannot locate the leak, then get a garden hose and start soaking the lowest areas of the roof first with water. Have someone inside monitoring to tell you when water begins to appear at the spot of the leak. In the end, if you are not comfortable with locating the leak yourself, do not hesitate to contact a professional roofer to come out and assist you.