Do you suspect you have a leaky roof? Perhaps the most difficult part of repairing a roof leak is locating its origin since water can easily be diverted by insulation and the slope of your roof. However, with a little bit of detective work, you can typically identify signs of water damage inside your home or attic, and trace that evidence back to the source of the leak. Here the team at Bert Roofing has outlined a simple, step-by-step process for locating the cause of a roof leak.
Step 1: Examine the Interior of Your House
The most obvious sign of a roof leak is dripping water; however, the following telltale signs are also indicative a leaky roof:
- Water stains or spots on your interior walls
- Water stains on the ceiling
- Bulging areas on the ceiling or walls
- Musty odors throughout the house or in specific rooms
If you notice any of the above red flags, your roof is almost certainly leaking water. However, where you observe water stains, bulges, or strange odors may not directly match up with where the leak is in your roof. To find the leak, you’ll need to investigate a bit deeper.
Step #2: Inspect the Structural Components of Your Attic
Whether or not you find signs of a roof leak inside your home, performing an attic inspection is a critical step in locating the origin of a leak. To examine the area, grab a flashlight and carefully make your way throughout the attic space, but be careful of where you step! Keep an eye out for water stains, dark marks, and mold or mildew on the roof sheathing, the rafters, or the insulation.
If you observe signs that water has entered the attic through the roof, approach the affected area cautiously to get a closer look. Moisture often dries quickly, so it can be difficult to discern exactly where the leak is located. However, if you notice one or more patches of mold (which tends to linger far longer than moisture), you’ve likely found the vulnerable point in your roof.
If you suspect you have a roof leak but live in a dwelling that doesn’t have an attic, contact a licensed roofing contractor who can thoroughly inspect your roof from the outside. If you rent the unit or own it as part of a condo development, discuss the problem with your landlord or property manager to determine the best course of action.
Step #3: Inspect the Attic Insulation
Insulation deterioration is typically more noticeable than wood deterioration, so if you don’t find signs of water on your roof’s structural components, take a look at the insulation. If you notice standing moisture, mold, mildew, or other signs of damage, there’s a roof leak located somewhere nearby. Keep in mind, though, that because the slope of your roof may divert rainwater after it penetrates the roof, the origin of the leak may be several feet to either side of any insulation damage you find.
Step #4: Make It Rain
If you cannot locate the origin of a roof leak while inspecting your attic, it’s time to recreate a rainy day with your garden hose. To do this, it’s best to recruit a helper who can observe the inside of the attic while you spray the exterior of the roof with water. Instruct your helper to watch for drips as you soak the roof with your garden hose, one section at a time. Be sure to conduct this process slowly, taking several minutes per section, to ensure the water has enough time to accumulate and penetrate the roof.
If you’re having trouble locating the source of the roof leak, even after conducting each of the above steps, contact a licensed roofing contractor for a professional roof inspection.
Need a Roof Inspection? Contact Bert Roofing
Whether you suspect your roof has a leak or you’re simply due for a routine roof inspection, our team at Bert Roofing is here to serve you. We specialize in roof installation, repair, and maintenance for homeowners throughout the Dallas area and offer free, same-day estimates for your convenience. To schedule your inspection or learn more about our services, contact our team today.