Do you have a leak in your roof but aren’t exactly sure where it is coming from? If you suspect your roof is leaking or can see discolouration on your ceiling, then continue reading to learn how to detect the source of the leak.
Roof leaks can be caused by a number of things including gaps in the metal flashing around vent pipes and chimneys, missing shingles, or even small holes in the roof. The source of a leak is usually not obvious on the actual roof and can be hard to isolate because the water may run down the rafters and roof decking before it drips onto the ceiling below.
Here are the general steps that a professional roof leak detector will follow when it comes to detecting roof leaks:
Step 1: Visual Inspection
The sight and sound of dripping water are usually the first signs of a roof leak. However, there are other signs to also check for, such as:
- Warped or missing shingles
- Bulging patches on the interior walls
- Spots on the exterior walls
- Water stains on the ceiling
- Musty odours in some rooms
All these signs could be indicative of a potential leak somewhere in the roof. The first place that you notice the leak might not necessarily indicate the exact location of the leak. For that, some further investigation will be required. Sometimes a visual inspection isn’t complete without checking the attic. This means that the technician will need to climb up into the attic to check for the roof leak. Once in the attic, they will look for water stains, mould, or black marks along the roof sheathing and rafters.
If you don’t have an attic, then they will need to check the roof for any signs of damage as described in step 1 above and move straight to step 2 as described below.
Step 2: Water Test
If the technician is unable to isolate the source of the leak with a visual inspection, they will then perform a water test. To do this they will need someone else to assist them. Someone will need to stay inside the house close to the spot where you first noticed the leak.
The technician will need to go up the roof with a garden hose and wet the roof one section at a time. The person inside the house will shout out once they see any water dripping. This can be a lengthy process as they will need to spend several minutes in each area.
However, it is an important step as it helps to narrow down the area where the leak most likely originates from. If the person inside the house sees the water dripping, but cannot find the exact spot where it is coming from, then the shingles or roof tiles may need to be removed in the suspected area to try and narrow down the source of the leak.
Step 3: Repairs
Depending on the location of the leak, there are several potential fixes that can be used. This is where you will need to call in the experts as they will have all the necessary tools and knowledge to fix the problem.
Some of these repairs may include the following:
Replacing Damaged Shingles or Roof tiles: If damaged shingles or tiles are the source of the leak, they may need to be removed and replaced with new shingles or roof tiles.
Reapplying Caulk Along Window Edges, Vents, and Chimneys: If there is a leak around any of these areas, the caulk will need to be replaced around the flashing.
Fixing the Roof Penetration Flashing: Damaged roof vent flashing can let water in where it shouldn’t be. If the existing flashing is in good shape, it might just be a matter of simply replacing the screws with better ones. If not, new flashing will need to be installed.
Get your roof plumbing inspected
Identifying the source of a roof leak can be very difficult to do on your own. If you suspect that you have a leak in your roof, then it really is best to call in the professionals. They will identify the extent of the leak and recommend a suitable solution in the form of roof repair or replacement.
If you’re having difficulties finding the source of your roof leak, then call Austest Pipeline Solutions or send an online enquiry today. Our leak detection experts can detect any leak coming from your roof and advise you of the next steps to take in getting it fixed.