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HomeleakHow To Determine Where A Roof Leak Is Coming From

How To Determine Where A Roof Leak Is Coming From

Your Valleys Arent Properly Sealed

Finding a Roof Leak

What Does It Look Like: An area where two planes of roof come together. Since, these areas of the roof are usually sloped, if the valleys are not sealed together properly, rainwater can get inside as it runs down the roof. You can detect a problem by searching for wet spots that run along the seams of your roof.

Why It Happens: A variety of reasons the sealing may not have been done properly in the first place, it may have cracked when being stepped on, or an excess of rain and ice may have caused it to erode over time.

How To Fix It: This is one of those things that needs to be done by a professional because of its complexity and we do not recommend attempting it on your own. However, your roofer will likely fix the problem by laying a new leak barrier along the valley and shingling overtop.

Chapter : How To Isolate The Leak For Certain

Sometimes the source of a leak can be so evasive that you need to recruit a friend to help you. Using the water testing method that Im going to show you in this chapter, you should be able to locate a leak every time.

In order for this step to work it needs to be a dry day. Have your friend stand on the roof with hose and start spraying the entire roof, bottom to top. While your friend is on the roof, you want to be in the attic.

At some point while your friend is flooding the roof, water will leak into the attic and you will be able to mark the point of entry thus finding the source of the leak! Make sure to bring a bucket up to the attic to catch the hose water that seeps through!

Roof Leak Warning Signs Outside

  • Have you seen loose shingles laying in your yard or around your property?
  • Is there buckling or curling on your shingles?
  • Have you spotted roof rot, or extremely degraded or discolored shingles?
  • Has the color or appearance of your roof changed in any particular spot?
  • Do you see exposed nails on your roof, or nails that look loose?
  • Is there any cracked or damaged flashing around your roof vents?
  • How about your chimney? Any cracked sealants or damaged roof flashing?
  • Have you seen any debris piles in the valleys or lower spots of your roof, or around your chimney?
  • Do you have clogged or loose gutters or downspouts?
  • Any peeling paint or rotting areas under the eaves of your roof?
  • Have you noticed any shingle granules or other debris in your gutters?
  • If you have moss or mold on your exterior walls
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    How To Find A Roof Leak With No Attic Directions

  • Find all of the water stains on the ceiling.
  • Look specifically for a stain that is higher up the cathedral ceiling than the other stains.
  • If you see a small stain in a high location, ask yourself if it is upslope from larger lower stains.
  • If a small stain is higher up the slope than a big stain, then that should be where water is penetrating.
  • The water gets in and then runs down inside the ceiling until pooling and forming a larger stain.
  • Now that you know the general area of the leak, carefully get up on the roof.
  • Mount an extension ladder securely at the edge of the roof.
  • Wear nonskid rubber-soled shoes when climbing on the roof.
  • Approach the area of the suspected leak.
  • Inspect the flashing on any nearby vents or chimneys for damage.
  • Look at the shingles to see if any are loose or if moss is growing over them.
  • Take a pry bar and gently lift up shingles to look at the roof deck.
  • The leak will be evident if you see broken tar paper and rotting wood.
  • If you cant find obvious damage, pull a garden hose up on the roof.
  • Soak the shingles in small locations and ask someone in the house to watch for leaks.
  • Be methodical as you wet small areas of the roof until you find the leak.
  • Solution For A Small Leak

    How to Find Roof Leaks in Your Home

    Some roof leaks are tough to locate. Sometimes the water shows up at a ceiling spot distant from the leak. If your ceiling has a plastic vapor barrier between the drywall and the attic insulation, push the insulation aside and look for flow stains on the plastic. Often water runs to openings in the vapor barrier, such as at ceiling light fixtures.

    If you can’t see any telltale flow marks, and since the stain is fairly small, look at the underside of the roof for ‘shiners.’ A shiner is a nail that missed the framing member, in this case when the carpenter nailed the roof sheathing to the rafters. Moisture that escapes into the cold attic from the rooms below often condenses on cold nails. Sometimes you can spot this if you climb up into your attic on a cold night. The nails will look white because they’re frosted. When the attic heats up a bit during the day, the frost melts and drips, then the nails frost up at night again and so on. The solution is to simply clip the nail with a side-cutting pliers.

    Read Also: How To Repair Loose Roof Shingles

    Call A Professional Roofer For More Complex Leaks

    If the problem is beyond a simple DIY fix or involves extensive structural damage to your roof, call a professional as soon as possible. They will be able to identify the extent of your roof leak and provide repair estimates. Solutions to more complex problems may include:

    • Replacing roof flashing
    • Installing heat cables
    • Total roof replacements

    If you do need to replace your roof, an easy disposal solution for all those shingles is a dumpster rental. Youll be able to keep your yard clear of roofing materials and have it all removed in a matter of minutes. After all the hard work is done, take a few minutes to enjoy your cozy, dry home.

    Now that youve tackled that leak, why not take care of a few other projects around the house? Check out our Home Improvement & DIY section for how-tos, guides and inspiration for all your home improvement projects.

    Roof Leak Detection And Repair

    Its a classic image in comedies and cartoons: a home during a rainstorm, buckets all over the floor catching the rain as it drips from the ceiling. Unfortunately, by the time a roof leak reaches this point in real life, your home will have already suffered extensive damage. The good news is that you can detect roof leaks well before they become a visible problem, and many of these leaks are easy to fix on your own.

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    Perform An Exterior Inspection

    The first thing you need to do is perform an exterior inspection.

    Roof leaks arent only streaming inside.

    The outside areas of your home will have water traces if the leak is big enough to stream outside.

    Do a visual inspection of your roof and the affected areas in your home.

    The roof can stream towards a particular area but come from another source.

    It will also give you a visual of what is happening on your roof.

    Youll end up finding damages to your roof and roof parts that need replacement.

    Some of the things you may find are penetration points, cracks, missing shingles, saggy gutters, and other possible impairments.

    Think of an exterior inspection as an initial check-up before you sign up for professional help.

    Find A Roof Leak When Its Not Raining


    Start in the attic.

    Look for discoloration on wood sheathing or rafters caused by water.

    Water stains will often appear darker due to wood rot, mildew or mold.

    Some water stains appear light colored.

    You may see stain streaks along rafters or other supports.

    Look around penetrating pipe vents and chimneys.

    Pay special attention to vent pipe and chimney flashing, as these are often the culprits.

    Keep in mind, some of these stains may have been caused prior to a recent roof replacement or roof repair.

    If a visual inspection both inside and outside the house does not determine the cause of the leak

    You may need to perform a water test.

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    Clogged Gutter Roof Leaks

    Your homes gutters and downspouts are designed to carry water that drips off the eaves of your roof down to the ground and away from the house and foundation.

    A properly functioning gutter system protects your roof, siding, foundation and landscaping.

    When your gutters are clogged, water and debris will pool inside the gutters while its raining.

    In severe situations, this water can leach under your eaves and shingles, leaking down into the walls of your home.

    Heavy clogged gutters can also deform or separate from your house in areas, which can cause waterfalls that run down down exterior siding or pool in areas of your landscaping or yard.


  • Remove debris remove all debris from gutters & downspouts
  • Gutter shield- install some type of gutter shield to prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from building up in your gutters
  • Address Ice Dam Issues

    If the leaking appears to be caused by ice buildup on the edges of the roof, this likely will need to be handled by a professional ice-removal crew. Ice dams are generally fixed by a crew that uses steam to melt away the ice buildup, allowing melting snow to drain off the roof rather than back up under shingles. Long-term prevention of ice dams is accomplished by increased removing roof snow and by increasing attic ventilation, which will prevent snow from melting, flowing down, and refreezing along the roof edges.

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    How To Craft A Temporary Patch For A Roof Leak On The Outside Of The Roof

    You should be comfortable working at some height if youre going to repair a roof leak on your own, even if its temporary. If you have questions or dont want to climb up on your roof which is definitely understandable work with a roof contractor.

  • If youre ready to go and cover or patch your roof, then youll need a couple of two by fours and some heavy plastic polyethylene sheeting thats large enough to cover the leaking section of the roof from the eaves to the peak with a couple extra feet in case you need to wrap it around spots in order to tape it in place.
  • Wrap one end around a two by four thats longer than the width of the two by four and staple it place, and then add a second two by four next to it like a sandwich and staple the pair of boards together with 3 or 4 nails.
  • Do the same thing with the other end and another set of two by fours.
  • Place the pair of two by fours along the eaves of your roof, and stretch the plastic to the ridge or the peak and down the other side for a few feet to make sure you have enough coverage.
  • Then use other pair of sandwiched two by fours to weigh down the poly sheeting on the other side, but dont attach or nail any part of this temporary cover to the roof.
  • Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, you may be obligated to perform temporary repairs like this one to show that youve made an effort to prevent further issues until the costs of long-term repairs or replacement are covered.

    Dont have two by fours?

    When To Call A Professional

    12 Roof Repair Tips: Find and Fix a Leaky Roof

    While small areas of damage or a single puncture to a roofing shingle can be handled by a DIYer, roofing repairs, in general, are nothing to take lightly, since they involve working on a roof many feet above the ground. Most homeowners prefer to have a roofing specialist or skilled handyman handle such repairs, and for good reason: Each year, more than 164,000 people visit emergency rooms for ladder-related injuries, and there are about 300 deaths annually in the U.S. from falls from ladders.

    If your roof is very high or if the pitch is quite steep, it’s best to have a roofing specialist make this repair. If your roof is low and relatively flat, though, you may be able to do this repair yourself. Repairs to flashings, shingle replacements, and vent gaskets may be best left to pros, no matter how accessible the roof.

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    Finding The Source Of A Leaking Roof Can Be Tricky

    Its not uncommon for roof leaks to start high and for water to travel down rafters or drywall

    before dripping through the ceiling or running down a wall.

    Sometimes the water will travel several feet from the entry point to the point at which the leak shows up.

    PRACTICE SAFETY FIRST Never climb on a roof while it is raining. If you dont feel secure on your own roof, please dont hesitate to contact a professional roofing company. Many offer a free inspection or fast response roof repair services.

    Submitting An Insurance Claim

    If youre planning on submitting an insurance claim, it can be helpful for the insurance company if you take photos. Be sure to show them any and all damage you find, and you can even mark up the roof with chalk to make damage easier to see.

    If youre struggling to find the source of a leak, but you know youve got a problem, you can count on your friendly neighborhood roofers at Gotcha Covered Contracting to accurately inspect your roof and give you a fair estimate for your repairs. Were happy to help you work with your insurance company to make the experience as smooth and easy for you as we can. Call us today for help with your roof leak detection before your home is plagued by any nasty water damage.

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    Professional Roof Repair Services

    You can secure a tarp over a leak, but your roof will need permanent repairs as soon as possible. Water leaking into your home will result in structural damage and mold growth. In the Delaware Valley, you can count on PJ Fitzpatrick for a fast response. We have a dedicated roof repair team on standby so dont hesitate to ask us for an estimate today.

    How To Fix Ceiling Leaks Caused By Roofing Problems

    Roofing – How to find a roof leak

    Roofing leaks can be relatively easy to fix, requiring no more than a bit of roofing cement to close a hole or small area of shingle damage or they can be very complex, possibly requiring the replacement of an entire roofing surface that is old and no longer shedding water. For the sake of our project, we will assume that the leaking is localized and can be repaired with simple patching of a hole in the roofing surface, or at most, replacement of a single shingle.

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    Professional Roof Leak Repair

    If you notice water spots on your ceiling, find the roof leak fast and fix it to prevent further damage.

    If you need help from a professional roofing company, contact your local roofer.

    If you are located in or near Tulsa, Oklahoma, give us a call, and well be happy to repair your roof.

    We can be reached at 943-3063.

    918 Construction15115 S. 76th E. AveBixby, OK74008

    The Four Most Common Places A Roof Will Leak

    Youve probably heard it before. That slow, torturous sound of water trickling down from your ceiling. Theres something about a slow drip of water in the home that can drive owners insane. Its like the constant ticking of a clock. It becomes a battle against time to find where the leak is coming from before the situation gets worse.

    Brothers Services is here to help! Over 10,000 Maryland families invite us into their homes each year, and we understand their frustrations. For over three decades, weve been finding and fixing leaks so people can go back to living peacefully, and in our experience, these are the four most common places to find a roof leak.

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    How To Find Where A Roof Leak Is Coming From

    HomeBlogHow to Find Where a Roof Leak is Coming From?

    Sometimes when you walk around your home, you find damp spots that come out of nowhere.

    Leaky roofs can cause inconvenience and safety problems around.

    If you have children and other family members, having wet floors is a nightmare.

    Random water puddles in your home can bring danger to these people.

    Theres nothing you can do except act on it immediately.

    As a constant leak source, water puddles wont go away any time unless you solve it.

    The challenge, however, is in finding the right place and origin of the leak.

    Sometimes, scouting around in your home is not enough.

    You need to take urgent measures such as hiring professionals to take the job.

    The first question comes into mind: How do I find where a roof leak is coming from?

    After all, you wouldnt want those leaks to spiral into floodwaters in your home.

    Not only are you bound to the dangers, but you will also end up spending on house repairs.

    Its best to find the roof leaks that seep through your ceilings and walls.

    Its time to call in the professionals in the scene.

    Columbus Roofing Pros is here to help give a solution to your roof leaks.

    All you need to do is call us, tell us your current situation, and we will be with you shortly.

    Chapter : How To Search For The Source From The Outside

    Top 10 Causes of Roof Leaks

    You are most likely to find the source of your leak while working on the roof, but again, be safe while working at such heights. It is imperative now, on the roof, more than ever to be attentive to detail. You will be looking for any inconsistencies along the surface of the roof.

    You want the roof to be dry, so make sure to wait as long as you need to after rainfall before you start work. As a starting point, use the length that you measured while inside the house to locate the general area of the leak.

    Examine the area for any moisture, since the roof should be dry, this will help identify where there is water backing up and seeping through to the inside. If you run into any nails that have rusted, you have found your source. Rust is a tremendous identifier for roof leaks, so always keep an eye out for any sign of rust.

    If you have still not found the source of your leak, chapter 5 is the chapter for you.

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