Preventative Roof Care: How To Find A Roof Leak
Are you curious about how to find a roof leak? Here’s what you need to know for proper roof care.
No one wants to find a leak in their home, as it could be a sign of a lot of underlying issues. It’s something you want to keep an eye out for, though. If you spot a roof leak quickly, you can put it right and minimize the damage to your home.
Here’s how to find a roof leak and put it right as soon as possible.
Roof Leaks And Mold
If your roof starts leaking, it’s going to lead to all kinds of issues that you may not have thought of before. For example, you can end up with water stains on ceilings, and wood rot in the structure of your roof.
One of the biggest issues with roof leaks though is that of mold. When leaks are left for long enough, that creates the perfect moist environment for mold to start growing. That’s bad news for you and your home. It’ll not only damage your home but cause health problems for people living there too.
That’s why it’s so important to find those roof leaks and fix them, as soon as you can. Here’s how to locate those leaks before they can do any damage.
How to Find a Roof Leak – The Signs
For most people, they think they won’t see a leak until the water starts dripping through the ceiling. That’s one sure-fire way to know, but there are other signs you need to be looking out for too. These include musty odors in a room, water stains on the ceiling, bulging patches on interior walls, missing or warped shingles on the roof, and more.
If you see any of these signs, that tells you that there’s a leak somewhere in the house. However, these signs don’t actually show you where that leak is coming from. That’s why you’ll need to move onto the next step.
Take A Look In The Attic
The next step is to get up into the attic with a flashlight to take a look. Take care in there, so you don’t accidentally step through your ceiling. Look for any water stains or mold on the rafters and roof sheathing, as that can tell you where the leaks are coming in.
If you’re seeing small water stains, these could be caused by exposed nails. Moisture from the home meeting the cold air on the other side of the roof causes condensation, and that will cause the leaks. You can solve this issue by clipping the nail head with a pair of pliers.
If you live in a townhome, or another home without access to the attic, then you can check the roof instead for signs of a leak. If you rent the property, then you should ask your landlord to do this to find the leak.
Use A Hose
Still not sure where that leak is coming from? There are other steps you can take, in order to find it. You’ll need a garden hose, and someone underneath the roof to watch as you spray the roof with water. The aim is to find the entrance point, by seeing where the water gets into the roof.
Go slowly, spraying one section at a time. That will help you narrow down exactly where that leak is. If you can narrow down the area but you’re not sure exactly where it is, you can start pulling up shingles in the area. That will show you where the leak is.
Start Making Repairs
In the case of a minor leak, you may be able to make repairs yourself. It all depends on what’s causing the leak, and how severe the damage is. Here are a few ways you can make those repairs:
Damaged shingle leaks: Some leaks will happen because a shingle is damaged, and so you may be able to repair this yourself. To do so, you’ll need to remove the shingle that’s damaged by pulling out the nails holding it in place, and scrape up any roofing cement underneath. Once you’ve done that, simply take a new roofing shingle and nail it into place. You may have an extra box of shingles left from the last time you had your roof replaced, so that can make it easy to replace them when needed.
Reapply caulk around flashing: On the seams of your roof, such as around the chimney or vents, there will be flashing. This covers the seams to keep them watertight. If the caulk around them has failed though, that can let water in. You can fix the problem by reapplying the caulking, to fill in the gaps to stop the water in its tracks.
Fix vent boots: You should have roof vents in place, to properly ventilate your roof. The vent boot can become damaged, and that’s when water gets in. In some cases, all you’ll need to do is swap out the screws for ones with rubber washers. If the damage is more severe, picking up and installing a replacement is a fairly simple task.
Call On The Experts
If the leak is quite minor and you’re confident, you can fix the leak yourself. If there are bigger problems with the leak though, or you’re not sure how to fix it, that’s when you want to call in a roofer to help you. They’re the experts, so they can easily find where the leak is coming from, and handle it.
They can handle more complex leaks too, so if that’s the case it’s always best to call a roofer. For example, they can handle replacing roofing flashing, replacing large amounts of shingles, or even replacing the roof entirely.