Checking Your Roof for Leaks

Damage to the roof is one of the most structurally concerning problems a homeowner can face. Roof leaks are particularly worrisome as they create problems with several other areas of the home. It is important to continually evaluate your roof for leaks and to employ preventative measures to reduce the risk of developing a problem with water or structural damage.

Where the Water Gets In

You will often find leaks occurring around fixtures like skylights or chimneys and near flashing or sealants. Wherever the roof membrane can be penetrated is where you start your search for a leak. Check to make sure any flaps or seams have not pulled loose and exposed an opening. Flashing that has been moved or blown off brings the threat of water underneath roofing shingles.

Roofing drains are designed to carry water away from the center of the roof, but drains are often a high-risk area for leaks because they penetrate the membrane. Drains that aren’t cleaned out regularly can cause an overflow when water builds up. Heavy rains can also overflow the seals around the drains.

Where the Water Goes

Perimeter roof leaks are those that occur along the edges of the roof. There are transitionary strips of flashing that water runs over, and with the expansion of construction materials, it is possible for water to enter the walls or attic through these areas. Condensation could form on the surface of the roof as warm attic air meets cold exterior air, making leaks possible into attic spaces or along the walls. The use of vapor barriers and sufficient insulation can prevent this damage.

How To Find a Leak

While it is in your best interest to contact a specialist for roof leaks, you can proactively look for signs of damage. Look for missing tiles or flashing on the roof, and check for signs of water damage in the attic or along the walls. Musty odors could also be a sign that water is coming from somewhere. Use a professional roofer to fix any leaks, as it can be a dangerous job.