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How to Find a Leak in a Roof

In the last 5 years, Texas has seen record amounts of rainfall. In that time, our roof inspectors have addressed countless leak problems. From general shingle replacement to full roof replacements, we’ve seen it all. We’ve even spotted vents that have been covered in black mold due to roof leaks!

You have a roof leak if you spot mold, mildew, or water stains on the top of your home. Also, if you suddenly have shingles in your downspout, chances are your roof is not doing well.

Once you’ve spotted these signs, start doing the following:

  1. Inspect Your Attic for Wet Spots
  2. Remove Insulation in Problem Areas
  3. Measure the Location of the Leak Based on Fixed Points in the Roof
  4. Simulate a Storm During a Rainy Day
  5. Contact a Roof Repair Professional

Inspect Your Attic for Wet Spots

Your attic will let you see the underside of your roof, so head up there during a rainy day with a flashlight. It should be easy to find wet spots or mold because of the rain.

Track those spots and follow them to their highest point in the attic. This is more than likely your point of origin. When found, mark the area clearly for further inspection.

What if I Don’t Have an Attic?

Inspect one of the following areas for wet spots:

  • Shingles
  • Pipe gaskets
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Dormers (top-floor based windows)
  • Seals around vents

Remove Insulation in Problem Areas

Insulation deteriorates fast when coming into contact with water. When you’ve found evidence of water damage, remove all insulation that has damage on it along with any insulation around the problem area.

By completely removing insulation from the problem area, you can track the water damaged path directly. This helps improve the accuracy of any roof leak repair.

Measure the Location of the Leak Based on Fixed Points in the Roof

For greater accuracy during a roof leak repair, find out how close the leak is based on points in your attic or other space. Look for vents, ducts, and pipes.

Don’t have any fixed points? Base measurements according to the vertical walls, then give those figures to your repair team.

Simulate a Storm During a Rainy Day

Once the actual rain has passed, run a hose up to your roof and spray it down. Start spraying at the lowest end of the roof and make your way up to the peak. Also, make sure someone is in the marked area in the attic (or other areas) to spot the actual leaks.

Ideally, the water coming from the roof should correlate with the water damaged area. Make a note of where the area has matched up.

Note: Be careful when getting on top of your roof. If you have water damage, chances are those damaged shingles could be prone to easy damage. If that’s the case, then one wrong step could cause you to injure yourself.

Contact a Roof Repair Professional

There are many DIY guides online to help you replace it, but contacting a true roofing professional will not only address problem areas but look at related areas to prevent this from happening. While you may have spotted some problem shingles, a professional may look on the inside to see if serious structural damage happened to the roof that would let this happen again.