With the storms rolling through Metro Detroit, you may have been surprised to find water dripping into your home. Leaking roofs could lead to bigger problems, so finding the leak in the roof and repairing it is a high priority. However, spotting a leak isn’t as easy as you might think. Water can enter the roof in one spot and run to another before it actually starts leaking into the ceiling. The hole can be many feet away from where the ceiling is actually dripping. So, to make this process easier for you, here are some steps you can take to find the leak in your roof before it does more damage.
1. Check the Attic
First, look in the attic (if you can). If you have attic access, go into it with a flashlight and look for water stains, mold, or black marks. An even better way to find holes is turn the lights off and look in the ceiling for spots of light. If you find an open area push an object through it so that you can locate it again when you go on the roof.
2. Check Flashings
Another way to spot a leak is to go onto the roof and look at the flashings. Flashings connect a roof to something that isn’t the roof and can be found at chimneys, dormers, valleys and basically anywhere a roof bumps into something else. If a flashing isn’t adhered to an object correctly, you’ll have a leak. So while you’re on the roof inspect the flashing for gaps and broken seals. About 90% of all roof leaks are found at flashings.
3. Run A Hose Over the Roof
If checking the attic and flashings didn’t work, go onto the roof with a garden hose. Soak just above where the leak appears in the house. Don’t soak everything at once. The point is to isolate the spot where the roof leaks. So, start at different sides. Have someone stay inside and wait for the leak to appear and let the hose run for a few minutes before moving it up further. Have the person helping you yell when the drip is visible and you’ll know that you’re near the leak. This could take an hour or two, but it’s much faster than going up on the roof and blindly looking around. Once you find the where the roof is leaking, you may be able to fix it yourself by caulking or installing a new shingle. However, it’s best to let a professional look at the problem. They’ll be able to tell you what needs to be done and then you can decide whether you can do it yourself or if you’ll need further help.