Contractor in Silhouette working on a Roof Top

How to Detect a Roof Leak

We all know when a roof begins to leak. The nuisance of water dripping through the ceiling and damaging your home. The best way to get on top of things and stop this drippy madness is to first, find the leak. You’ll need to pinpoint the exact location and then get yourself or your roofer up there to seal the deal, literally, and fix roof leak.

This can be tricky;  most leaks are difficult to find because the source tends to originate away from where the water pools through in your house. This occurs because the water drips through the initial layers of sheathing, roof rafters, or topside of ceilings and flows along it until it finds that perfect spot to break through and drip down.

[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Locating the Source” alignment=”left”][/ultimate_heading]

When attempting to find the source of a leaking roof, the best time to begin is on a dry and sunny day. This way, you can better see watermarks from the attic. Or see if sunspots are peaking through the leaks hole. It is also safer in these conditions for you to be on top of your roof to spot a leak, if access to the attic isn’t possible.

It’s best to start by looking at where the water is running down from on the roof. The water stains can be tracked and will lead you back to the source. The method here would be to find any punctures or saturation in the roof.

[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Saturation’s/Penetrations[/ultimate_heading]

Most commonly, these penetrations are present because of obstructions in the surrounding area, such as plumbing and roof vents, chimneys, skylights, dormers, fixtures by the gutters, or really anything that projects through the roof or attaches itself to the roof with corners and or creases.

[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Down Low or Up Top


Another easy way to discover the source of a leak is if you have access to your attic. By heading up to the attic you can search for water stains, holes, mold, or black marks the dripping may have left. If you can’t access an attic or your ceiling is vaulted, then you’ll have to get up on the roof. On the roof you can inspect and locate the source of where the water is coming from.

[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Techniques” alignment=”left”][/ultimate_heading]

If the source does not show itself readily, you may have to get creative in your techniques of finding the leak.

hammer and gloves
[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Hose[/ultimate_heading]

When using the hose method you’ll need to get someone to help you. One person will need to go on the roof with a hose. They will then lightly spray where the leak appears to be coming from. Leave the water running for a couple of minutes or until the person inside can see water coming through.

This can help isolate the location and can help you pinpoint the exact spot that needs to be patched up right away. Make sure to try a few spots and be patient. If the leak doesn’t reveal itself immediately give it a few minutes to really drip through. This could take time; you don’t want to rush it.

[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Shingle Peel Back[/ultimate_heading]

If the leak still doesn’t appear with the hose running don’t be afraid to start peeling back shingles in the locations that seem promising. If there is a leak where you’ve removed shingles, you’ll notice that the felt paper will be discoloured or water stained. The wood underneath will also be discoloured or water stained or may have begun to rot. If rotting occurs it can cause a bigger hole, thus creating a more significant leak.

[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Gutter Issues” alignment=”left”][/ultimate_heading]

Another thing to look into if the leak still can’t be identified is to look at the state of your gutters. Loose, irregularly slanted, or clogged gutters can cause water damage, which causes wood rot, which in turn leads to penetration and saturation, which of course means there’s a leak.

So many homeowners don’t recognize the importance of gutters. Gutters must be installed and sloped correctly to drain, tightly fastened, and free of debris. All of these issues could be the cause of a leak in your house.

[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Loose Gutters[/ultimate_heading]

Gutters tend to work themselves loose over time. The spikes and ferrules that hold them in place become weathers and weakened. Pounding them back in is only a temporary fix and they will quickly loosen again. When this happens water can get in behind the gutter and cause water to run off, pool and then leak underneath.

[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Irregularly Sloped Gutters[/ultimate_heading]

If your gutter was not installed properly or weather conditions caused it to shift in a position that isn’t allowing the water to properly flow through it. It can cause for an overflow to occur. If the water begins to pool in the gutter and overflow it will most like pool on the roof which can cause aging and once again cause a leak.

[ultimate_heading alignment=”left”]Clogged Gutters[/ultimate_heading]

Clogged gutters, similarly, to irregularly sloped gutters, it will cause water back up. This back up will cause pooling, which causing sagging and run off underneath the shingles and most likely a leak will occur.

[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Do Your Due Diligence” alignment=”left” main_heading_margin=”margin-bottom:15px;”][/ultimate_heading]

Be sure to always be checking your roof after a storm or heavy winds. Many people clean up the back yard and gardens, check the car, and prop up everything that’s fallen over after a storm. However, we fail to check the condition our roof is in.

Damage isn’t always easy to identify so it’s best to get into a routine habit of checking your roof. It’s better to be proactive and make sure you don’t have any emergencies or surprise leaks to go looking for when you notice your favourite piece of furniture mysteriously gets wet.

Tony’s roof repair is available 24/7 for any emergency roof repair work your home needs. Our experts will discuss your roof, the damage you can see from a visual inspection and what the next steps are that should be taken to fix your roof. As soon as it’s safe to do so, we’ll send a team to assess the damage and begin repairs right away, so you can get back to living the dream.

Call right now for your free roofing service estimate. (587) 577-4777