A leaky roof can cause a lot of headache and trying to detect the source of the leak can be even more painful. In a lot of cases the source of the leak can be far away from where it actually shows up.
First of all what could be the source of a leak? Water can come in through worn, broken or missing shingles, places where the nails have worked loose or through a damaged or poorly sealed roof. Once water passes the roofing, it finds a place to drip inside your house. So, spotting the leak once it starts dripping in the house is easy but how can you detect the exact point where the leak in the roof is?
There are a few places you might want to check first. Check the ridge caps, valley flashing, plumbing vent pipes, chimney vents and the utility fixtures. Check the areas where roofing shingles intersect with flashing and other materials. These are typical roof leak areas.
Review the gutters and downspouts for clogs. Clogged gutters often allow water to back up under flashing.
Look for any exposed roofing nails. Roofing nails are present under the flap of the previous row of shingles. Exposed roofing nails may be the point of the roof leak. Look for raised or wind-lifted shingles and holes and cracks in the shingles. Go inside the attic and try to detect any sign of light coming in through the plywood. These are the most common ways to detect a roof leak by visual inspection.
What if you can’t find the leak by visual inspection?
One way is an infrared leak detection. A lot of people think of infrared to detect energy leaks but it can also be used to detect water leaks. If you’ve got a leak and can’t figure out where it’s coming from a good roofer can help.
Once the leak is detected, don’t wait to get it fixed. The longer it leaks the more damage that can happen.