How to Find a Roof Leak

How to Find a Roof LeakEven a minor roof leak, if undetected, can cause significant damage to your home or building. Over time, moisture buildup beneath the surface of the roof can lead to mold growth along the sheathing or even inside your attic. Moisture can also make its way inside your home or building and cause serious damage to your drywall and other structural components.

If allowed to spread unchecked, moisture can cause areas of your roof to develop rot, a dangerous structural problem. Depending on its severity, mold can also cause health issues for those who occupy the building. That’s why prompt detection of roof leaks is so critical. But leaks aren’t always obvious, so you’ll need to do some digging. 

To help you determine where your roof might be leaking, the experts at Money Roofing explain how to find a roof leak below. 

Step 1: Look for Obvious Signs of a Roof Leak

Depending on its severity, you may be able to detect evidence of moisture inside your home or building. While the sight or sound of dripping water is an obvious indication of a severe roof leak, many roof leaks aren’t quite so apparent. Other signs you should look for include:

  • Musty or dank odors in various rooms
  • Unusual spots on your exterior walls 
  • Warped or missing shingles
  • Water spots on your ceiling or interior walls
  • Patches of bulging paint on interior walls or ceilings

Any of the above signs typically indicate a leak somewhere in your roof. But the location of water spots or bulges doesn’t always coincide with a roof leak above that specific area. 

Because water is easily diverted by insulation and other materials, signs of a leak can easily develop in areas of the building that are far removed from the actual point of damage. To find the leak itself, you’ll need to do further detective work in most cases. 

Step 2: Inspect the Attic

If you suspect you have a roof leak, even if you can’t see signs of it inside your home or building, performing an attic inspection is a critical step in locating the point of damage. To inspect your attic for signs of a leak, grab a flashlight and climb up there. Once inside, look for the following indications of moisture in the area:

  • Water stains
  • Mold growth
  • Black marks along the sheathing or rafters

If you observe any of the above signs, approach the area cautiously to get a better look. If it hasn’t rained or snowed recently, you may not see signs of water since it can evaporate rather quickly. Mold, however, which thrives on moisture, has a tendency to stick around far longer. If you notice mold at a particular point along the underside of the roof sheathing, chances are you’ve found the vulnerable point.  

Step 3: Follow Signs in the Insulation

If you can’t see mold on the underside of the roof sheathing, look for signs of damaged insulation. Since insulation deteriorates faster than wood when exposed to moisture, inspecting it can lead you right to the source of the leak.

If you notice insulation damage, keep in mind that water can easily travel several feet from the source of the leak into the insulation. When you notice a section with significant deterioration, don’t assume the leak is directly above that area. Inspect the roof sheathing for signs of damage both directly above that area and several feet to either side of it. 

Step 4: Hose Down the Roof

If an attic inspection doesn’t reveal the source of the leak, you may need to resort to hosing down your roof. Find a helper who can climb into your attic and observe for signs of dripping water while you climb onto the roof with a garden hose. 

Soak your roof with the hose one section at a time, and tell your helper to give a shout when they notice a drip come through the sheathing. Make sure you spend several minutes in each section of the roof to give the water plenty of time to penetrate the structure. 

If your helper observes drips but can’t find the source of the leak, you’ll need to pull up the shingles in that area to look for damage. You should be able to locate the leak quickly this way since there are almost always obvious signs of water staining, mold, or even minor rot.

Step 5: Contact a Roofing Contractor

If you suspect a roof leak but can’t seem to find it on your own, contact a licensed roofing contractor to schedule a comprehensive roof inspection. Your contractor can easily locate the vulnerable point in the roof, assess the severity of the damage, and advise you on the appropriate course of action. Whether you just need a few minor roof repairs to remedy the problem or a complete roof replacement, your contractor will let you know. 

Need a Roof Inspection? Contact Money Roofing

If you suspect a roof leak in your home or building, get in touch withour team at Money Roofing today. We specialize in roof repair and replacement for residential and commercial buildings, and we’ve proudly served the entire Dallas–Fort Worth metro for over 20 years. To schedule an appointment or request an estimate, call our Allen, TX, office today at (469) 342-3330, orcontact us online.