Leak Detection

Detecting Roof Leaks

The first and most important step in keeping your roof leak-free is determining if there is actually a leak (or suspected leak). In some cases, you’ll run across signs during home repairs or upon casual inspection. In other cases, the signs might be a bit more obscure. Take some time occasionally to visit portions of your home which are less used, such as the roof space, to check for any signs of a problem. You will also want to keep an eye on places where there have been leaks previously, as these spots are more likely to develop new leaks over time.

Easily-Detected Signs of a Roof Leak

The most common sign of leaks are water marks or stains on your ceiling or running down a wall. You can casually check for these signs when washing your walls or dusting corners, and they’ll usually appear to be slightly darker rings or resemble the wax drips on candles, depending upon their location.

Another detectable sign is through smell. Leaking roofs will cause rot and mold around their location. Therefore, if there’s a musty or rotting odor in your attic or some other area directly beneath or connected to a roof, it is a good idea to inspect the location more carefully.

Less Obvious Signs of a Roof Leak

Occasionally take a look at your roof when you’re outside to see if you can spot any loose or missing tiles. The tiles are layered to prevent water from getting underneath, and a damaged tile becomes a potential access point.
Many leaks can be more easily detected during a rainstorm. Go into the roof space and listen for any dripping sounds. You will also want to check beams for trickling water and the floor or exposed insulation for signs of dampness. You can also have an assistant emulate rain using a garden hose, which allows you to focus on one section of roof at a time.
Another common source of roof leaks comes from windows, walls, and dormers. Use a putty knife to check the caulk for loose or damaged areas. Also check your siding above the step flashing or cracks, gaps, or other problems. When it rains, water will often leak through these cracks and run down the inner walls, causing an effect similar to a regular roof leak.

Fine-Tuned Inspections

In some cases, you will suspect a roof leak but find no obvious signs, or the signs will be only indoors. You may also be unable to access the attic/crawl space or have a vaulted ceiling. For these occasions, you will have to carefully check the surface of your roof for less visible problems, such as tiny shingle tears or damaged caulking around vents and chimneys. Remember that water will run downslope of the actual leak, especially with steeper roof pitches, so the source may be further up the roof than the location of the interior evidence.
In the event your roof once housed an antenna or other fixture, there may be exposed screw holes. These can cause subtle leaks which accumulate damage without any obvious interior signs. Such holes cannot be repaired by caulk.

Bringing in a Professional

Sometimes, the best solution is hiring a professional. Not only can a periodical inspection by qualified professionals detect signs of leaks you’ve overlooked, they can find if there’s more than one source and locate those sources quickly. Most contractors and roofing firms will also provide a warranty for their work. While more expensive initially, a good roofing expert could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run, as they will be able to point out any secondary issues, such as early mold growth.

You may also choose to get your roof inspected on an annual or semi-annual basis to catch potential trouble spots early. This is especially useful if your home has a history of roof leaks or your roof is approaching the end of its warranty. Finally, it is best to hire a professional if you aren’t confident in your ability to work on roofs, as mistakes can be both expensive and dangerous due to the height.

Australian Roofing Industries can supply all of the above services for you simply click here to get a quote.

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