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Watershed Roofing > Commercial Roofing  > How to find a roof leak
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How to find a roof leak

The most difficult part of finding a roof leak is locating the actual problem. Water will always take the easiest route, so though you find water damage in the ceiling in your bedroom, the problem might be in the far corner of the roof.

Leaks are best fixed as soon as you’re aware of them. Most leaks require only modest repairs to maintain the integrity of your roof. Leaving a small leak will create a big problem over time. Now you’re not just repairing the roof, but probably cosmetic repairs inside also.

Finding a roof leak often involves a bit of detective work. Our expert team has put together a quick list of tips on how to find a roof leak. Begin by looking at the roof. Are there any missing singles or pooling water? Those are obvious places to start looking.

Grab a flashlight and head to the attic. During the day, you can look for pinpoints of light. On a shingled roof, there shouldn’t be any light coming through. If your roof has wood shingles this won’t work as there will be a lot of gaps that let in light. Though the overlapped wood shingles let in light, they shed water. Check the roof for any nails or other foreign objects that have pierced the roof.

If this isn’t helpful, or there’s insulation in the way, shine your light around. Water will reflect the light. Skylights, plumbing vents, chimneys and skylights are common culprits for minor leaks. If there isn’t flooring in the attic, make sure to step only on the rafters. Stepping between them could put your foot through a ceiling below.

If you’ve waited until the storm finished to go into the attic, there might not be any water to see. The wood may be darker or stained from water, or there might be mould growing. Mould thrives in moist dark environments, so where there’s mould there’s water. If you find the problem area, find a way to mark it so you’ll see it on the roof.

Insulation compresses and deteriorates when it gets wet. Check the insulation for water marks or damage. With appropriate protective gear on, remove the damaged insulation and on each side to check for the water entry point because the water may travel before causing damage to the insulation.

If you need to find a leak when the weather is dry, there is another way to find a leak. Send one person onto the roof with a garden hose. The second person is in the attic. In sections, wet the roof on the outside and inside watch for leaks. By simulating a downpour, you might be able to witness where the water is coming in.

If none of these point to where the leak is, consider the damage on your walls or ceilings may be caused by a water leak from somewhere else.

Give the Watershed Roofing team a call and let us do the detective work for you and get a free estimate on how to repair the leak.