How to Find a Leak in Your Roof

Even the smallest roof leak can make a mess of your home. Unfortunately, the rainwater that causes these leaks will often cause structural damage and even ruin the possessions you keep inside your home. Below are some steps to follow to find a leak—call a roofing contractor in Central Florida for help fixing it!

Look for signs of a leak

If you’ve lived in your home a long time, then you are familiar with its various quirks. For example, you know those nighttime creaking noises indicate settling, and you know which doors squeak when they shut. The plumbing in older homes might be noisy as water flows through pipes in the walls, but you shouldn’t hear or see water dripping through the ceiling or walls. Other telltale signs are likely to accompany water drips, some of which you may discover regardless of whether it’s raining or not. The problem with these signs is that they don’t always point to where the leak in your roof originated:

  • You can smell musty or moldy odors in certain rooms.
  • There are visible water stains on ceilings or water spots on the exterior walls of your house.
  • Bulging patches of varying shapes and sizes have formed on interior walls.
  • When looking up at your roof, you notice missing or damaged shingles.

Check the attic

Your next stop should be up in the attic, since the roof sits directly above this space. Grab a flashlight and climb up into your attic, then walk cautiously to avoid crashing through insulated ceiling sections. Shine the light around while looking for water stains, black marks and mold on roof sheathing and rafters. Be aware that small water marks may actually be caused by loose nails that are exposed to moisture, and not by a roof leak.

Wet the roof with water

If your quick DIY inspection does not locate the roof leak, consider wetting the roof with water to expose the damaged spot. Ask someone to go inside your house and stand near the spot where you think you saw the leak. Now, carefully take a garden hose or watering can up to the roof and soak the roof one section at a time. Hopefully the person inside will see where the water is dripping in from and let you know.

Make repairs

Depending on the location of the leak, if you have the right skills and tools, you might be able to make some small fixes yourself. Replacing shingles requires you to remove the damaged ones; take care when pulling nails and scraping off roofing cement. Or, you might have a leak around rooftop features, like vents, chimneys and window edges. Leaks around these elements are best fixed by reapplying caulk around the flashing.

While there are several things homeowners can do to locate and fix roof leaks, more complex leaks are best left to professional roofers. Need to schedule a service to have your residential roof repaired? Call Winter Springs Roofing & Repair today to speak with an experienced roofing contractor in Central Florida!

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