Sometimes roof leaks are obvious. But what many homeowners don’t realize is that they don’t have to wait for a leak to drip through the ceiling to spot it. By the time you’re catching water drops in a bucket on your floor, there’s a good chance that leak has been there quite a while before you noticed it. Clearly you’d benefit if you knew how to spot the early warning signs that your roof isn’t in peak condition.
Spotting a roof leak earlier can help you get it repaired sooner. Preventing further damage as the leak keeps wreaking havoc to your home. Water damage can spread over time, meaning that a leak that’s been around for longer will cost you more money on repairs. As more water seeps into your home through a roof leak, it’s slowly damaging a larger area of your roof and walling. Eventually, you’ll need both a handyman and a roofing company to help with repairs in your home.
Here are some of the ways you can check your roof for leaks.
Common Leakage Signs
One of the easiest ways to spot a leak is to look for signs of water damage. This can show up in multiple ways, however. There might be wet marks on your carpets, or dry spots where you can clearly see marks of water damage. Another sign is often paint chipping from the wall, or water damage marks on the ceiling, even without any dripping. Looking out for things like mold can also help, as mold tends to grow in areas that are somewhat more moist.
If you spot any of those kinds of issues in your home, doing a thorough inspection of your roof is definitely a good idea.
Roof Inspection Tips
Calling a roofing professional for an inspection is a great option whenever you suspect that your roof might be damaged. Professionals know what to look for, and can help you locate the area where the leak is in one quick inspection. Roofing professionals know what to look for when searching for the spot where water is leaking into you house, so if you have no idea where to start looking, getting professional roofing help is definitely a good option.
But if you take a good look at your roof, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find the leak yourself.
Check the Attic
The first thing you can do when trying to locate a roof leak is to have a look in your attic, if possible. Take a flashlight and have a look around. If you have a roof leak, water damage is likely to show in your attic first before anywhere else. There might be areas with water damage, as well as areas that are visibly wet, or even some mold.
You could also choose to do the inspection in your attic while it’s raining, which would help you to see where the leak is allowing water to drip into your attic.
If you aren’t so keen on the idea of waiting for rain to find your roof leak, a good option is to use a garden hose. Get someone to help you check the inside of your attic while you spray the roof with water in different areas. You don’t need to turn the water up too high for this to work. Using the hosing method can help you find the roof leak sooner. It’s also great that it works during the dry season, as you can have the leak fixed before it rains again.
Roof Surface Inspection
While searching for the place water might be penetrating your roof, there are a couple of things you can look out for. To do this, you’ll have to get on your roof and take a look around. Be sure to stay safe while you’re up there, and don’t get on your roof if its slope is very steep. Also avoid stepping on any areas that look delicate, as this can cause more damage. If you’re scared of heights, or you aren’t sure which areas of your roof shouldn’t be stepped on, it’s best to call a professional to do this inspection.
That said, if you’re checking the roof yourself, you’re going to be looking for the following kinds of damage:
- Exposed, cracked flashing: the flashing of your roof is usually concealed with some rubber, so when it’s exposed, cracks form more easily, leading to leaks. The flashing is made of metal, so if you see any exposed metal on your roof, the tar covering it has probably worn away. If you see any cracks in the flashing there’s a good chance that it’s the area where your roof is leaking.
- Broken or missing shingles: This is pretty easy to see, even without getting on the roof. If you found shingles, or pieces of shingles in your yard lately, all you have to do is look up at the roof to spot the area where it came from. But even if you didn’t find broken pieces, you’ll be able to see where your roof is broken by standing in your yard and looking up at your roof pretty easily.
- Check problem areas: leaks often start in areas that have been mended together. This would include the highest areas on your roof where two planes of your roof meet (also called the valleys) and the areas around skylights. Checking for any damage in these areas could help you locate the leak.
If you can’t locate a leak after doing an inspection, it’s time to call in professional help. At 1OAK, we help our clients find and repair damage to both residential and commercial roofs. Our knowledgeable roofing experts can help you fix or replace both flat and sloped roofs of any nature.