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How To Find Leak In Roof No Attic

Leaking Roof Vent Pipe

Finding a Roof Leak

Roof vent pipes are common areas for roof leaks.

Roof vent pipes penetrate the roof and are usually sealed using a collar-style flashing made out of a flexible material like EPDM rubber or flexible PVC.

Commonly called a pipe boot or vent pipe flashing, the flexible seal hugs the vent pipe and seals it from water.

However, over time, the materials often degrade from heat and sun exposure and can shrink or split.

This leaves a crack in the seal and an opening for water to enter your roof.

In extreme cases, degraded vent pipe boots can leave gaping holes in your roof.

Vent pipe leaks are very common, and vent pipe flashing should be regularly inspected to prevent roof leaks.


  • Flexible roof sealant apply flexible roof sealant from a can or tube to fill holes, gaps, flashing and loose shingles around vent pipe
  • Vent pipe boot overlay slide a new vent pipe boot over the old vent pipe boot, caulk & seal
  • New boot & shingles replace worn out vent pipe flashing & boot with a new one and shingle around it to provide a better roof leak repair
  • How To Fix Ceiling Leaks Caused By Roofing Problems

    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.

    Take Photos For Insurance Documentation

    Do you want to know what to do if your roof is leaking? Its this step! Documenting your damages will come in handy when you file your home insurance claim if the damage is eligible for a claim. We cannot overstate how important it is to take photos and document everything.

    Not only does it show the severity of the roof damage, but also the other items that were compromised. If your television, computer, furniture, bedding, or kitchen were ruined by the roof leak, document it. Your insurance could potentially fix the roof and replace the items you lost.

    If you are handy and think you can fix your roof yourself, check out these suggestions from Family Handyman. We highly recommend, however, to contact us or another professional roofer if your roof is leaking for professional roof repair. There are many things to know when working on roofs, and safety is always the number one concern!

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    Inspect The Surface Of Your Roof

    You wont learn how to find a roof leak if you never examine your roof. If youre comfortable climbing up a ladder onto your roof, be sure to check around any and all vents, chimneys, skylights, and seams for signs of water damage or water collection. Plus, look out for loose or damaged shingles, missing nails, cracks and staining. You should also examine any areas where leaves collect, as debris can trap moisture along the surface of the roof.

    Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks

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    If you are unable to fix the leak or have several leaks happening at once, it may be time to call in a professional roofer for help. So you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance will cover any roof leaks or roof damage.

    It varies from insurance plan to plan so you will have to check with your insurance agent to get an accurate answer.

    However, with most insurance plans, it depends on how the damage on your roof was created. If your roof was damaged by Mother Nature such as a storm, your plan is more likely to cover the cost of repairing the roof damage.

    If the damage has been created due to the old age of your roof or natural wear and tear, your insurance plan will not cover the cost.

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    Place The Cover On The Roof

    It should go without saying that safety comes first and if theres lightning, you dont have the ability, or the right equipment to get this done you should be calling for emergency roof repair. If youve got rubber soled shoes, a saw to cut the 2×4s, a ladder, and some courage to jump on your roof take your cover up there and set one pair of the 2×4s over the ridge and then stretch the rest to go down to the eave.

    Your Skylights Were Improperly Installed

    What Does It Look Like: Leaks from this kind of problem should be super easy to spot. If you find yourself noticing wet spots or consistently needing to place drip buckets around the sides of your skylights, youve found the cause. However, leaks and wet spots near the top of the skylight may be a flashing issue instead.

    Why It Happens: There are two main causes for this type of leak. Improperly measuring and fitting the skylights upon installation or decayed insulation along the skylights edges.

    How To Fix It: Clear any debris off of the skylight and check for cracks in the window itself. Seal any cracks with a layer of clear silicone along its length, if necessary. If that is not the cause, check the surrounding flashing and replace as needed. While skylights look pretty, they can let in extra moisture when not properly sealed.

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    Look For Signs Of Leaks On The Exteriors Of Your Home

    Focus on the siding and step flashing. Inspect the walls outside of your home for any watermarks. Edges of the roof are usually several inches away from the siding and walls, so only roof leaks are the likely cause for water stains on the upper half of your sidings.

    The presence of rust on the flashing and gaps on your siding are also good indicators of roof leaks.

    Patch The Damaged Area

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    Apply roofing cement to the damaged area. With small punctures, the repair can simply be made by dabbing roofing cement over the hole to plug it.

    Larger damage may require you to carefully pry up surrounding shingles, remove the roofing nails using a flat pry bar, remove the damaged shingle, then slide a replacement shingle in place and attach it. Nail the new shingle in place if you can. This can be difficult to do, however, so you can also simply glue it in place with roofing cement.

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    Get Your Gutters Cleaned

    Cleaning out your gutters is a job you should be scheduling at least twice a year. If your gutters are old or clogged up with leaves and debris, this water could overflow and trickle down into weak spots in your roof. If youre unsure about climbing up on to a ladder yourself, get a Mott professional to clean your gutters for you.

    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
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    Make A Temporary Leak Patch

    Once youve found the leak you can make a temporary leak patch from some plywood or shingle and some roofing tar. Use a putty knife to spread the tar into the leaking hole on the inside of your roof. Place the shingle or plywood onto the tar and spread more of the tar around the edges of your patch.

    I Found Leaks In My Attic What Do I Do

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    Discovering leaks in your attic can be frustrating. You may be worried about the effects of moisture and the impact that water damage may have already caused. From mold growth to wood rot, leaks can have devastating consequences on the health, comfort, and structural integrity of your home. Of course, repairing a roof leak is the first step in solving the problem. However, you may not know where to start looking for the source of the leak. This is when you will want to call in a roof leak repair contractor.

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    Your Gutters Are Clogged

    What Does It Look Like: You may be able to see the leaves sticking out of the gutter when you look up onto your roof. But, if not, you should notice the lack of water trickling out of a downspout during a rainstorm.

    Why It Happens: Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof. When a blockage forms and they get clogged, that travel stops. Rainwater will then pool in one area of the roof and have more of an opportunity to seep through cracks.

    How To Fix It: Sorry, theres no easy answer to this one. Get up on a ladder, and get in there with your hands. Many recommend placing a large tarp underneath the area where you are working. That way, you can drop any debris as you go and wrap it up for easy disposal later. Clean your gutters in the spring and fall for peak water flow.

    Move Things Out Of The Way

    When your roof is leaking, thats bad enough. The last thing you want is to ruin your belongings in the process. If theres a leak over your bed, clothing, or furniture, its time to clear the area!

    Water damage can completely destroy some of your precious belongings, and nobody wants that. Not to mention, some fabrics trap water and create a dreadful mildew smell. So whatever you can push out of the way, do it ASAP!

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    Look For The First Signs Of A Roof Leak

    Usually the first signs of a roof leak are the sight and sound of dripping water. However, there are other telltale signs youre likely to discover, regardless of whether its raining or not. These include:

    • Musty odors in certain rooms.
    • Water stains on your ceiling.
    • Spots on your exterior walls.
    • Bulging patches on your interior walls.
    • Missing or warped shingles.

    Any of these signs may point to a potential leak somewhere in your roof. Unfortunately, the first place you notice it might not actually tell you where the leak is. For that, you have to do a little more investigation.

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  • 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.
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    You Have A Cracked Chimney

    What Does It Look Like: Most often, you can look for signs of wear and tear along the mud cap, or mortared area around the top of the chimney. You should also look for any holes in the mortared joints where the chimney connects with the roof. Also, be on the lookout for loose flashing and shingles in the surrounding area.

    Why It Happens: Mortar is essentially just a thick mixture of water, sand, and cement. It erodes easily in harsh weather conditions.

    How To Fix It: In some cases, all you need to do is find the source of the leak and replace the missing mortar. However, since the materials used for chimney repairs are different than those for standard roofing fixes, it is recommended that you hire a professional handle the repairs. If you have a link by your fireplace, a crack in the chimney cap is a good bet.

    Rule Out An Interior Water Leak

    You may be wondering why your roof is leaking, but keep in mind that just because youve located a section of water damage in your home doesnt necessarily mean you have a roof leak. Before you call your roofer to come fix the issue, you need to rule out the possibility of other types of leaks.

    Check for any faulty piping, make sure your HVAC unit and water heater are working properly, and be mindful of where you have bathrooms, laundry rooms, or kitchen sinks so you can see if perhaps a leak is coming from there.

    Once youve ruled out interior leaks, you can move forward with examining for roof leaks.

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    How To Find A Leak In Your Roof

    Before you rush out and pay for a roofing contractor, you may first want to try to fix the problem yourself. However, leaky roof detection can be deceiving. You may see water stains but that may not necessarily be where the leak is located. There are other signs to look for, besides just leaking water, such as:

    • Water stains forming on your ceiling
    • Mold that has started growing
    • A strong, musty odor

    Not only do you need to find where the leak is located you need to determine whether you leak is due to a roof leak or faulty plumbing. It is a game of elimination but your best chances of finding a leak is to do your detective work while the leak is active.

    In most cases, water leaks originate from damaged shingles. They can also come from the intersecting of roof planes or roof flashing that is no longer sealed properly.

    After the water finds its way through the roof, it can find itself flowing through your rafters and creating a constant leak into your home.

    Checking The Exterior Of The House

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    If you noticed rust or the step flashing is loose, there is a high chance that water from rain or snow is seeping through your ceiling. It can be a challenge to replace step flashing because it is connected to the adjacent siding and the roof.

    In addition to the step flashing, check other siding materials on the roof for gaps. If there is an opening on the exterior side of your windows, this is another area to consider for replacing.

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    How To Find A Roof Leak: No Attic Flat & Infrared

    While you may see a wet spot on your ceiling or water dripping from the ceiling, finding the exact location of the leak can be quite a tricky task. In fact, a large part of fixing a leak entails correctly identifying the source of the leak.

    What makes it to find roof leaks is that water works in a very different way from other substances. In our experience, most leaks occur way higher than the area you observe them from. For example, a leak can occur at the top of the roof then water flows along the roofing and only appears on your ceiling at the point where the roofing beams meet.

    The strategy youâll need to identify the source of the roof leak will depend on the actual source of the leak. While some leaks can be identified from the house, others will need going into the attic. Still, others may require you to climb on the roof or even pour water on it to check how it behaves.

    Inspect For Signs Of A Leak

    Knowing how to detect roof leaks starts by understanding the telltale signs that a roof is leaking. This is often the dripping of water that may occur during a rainstorm since bad rain storms can cause roof damage, but there are several other signs you should keep an eye out for, including the following:

    • Water stains on walls or ceilings
    • Musty smells or moldy odors
    • Missing, warped, or damaged shingles
    • Bulging sections on interior walls
    • Water-damaged exterior siding
    • If you have a metal roof, look for rust

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