So you’ve got a leaky roof that needs roofing repair, now what?
Naturally, you’ll need to arrange for a roofer to come out and take care of those repairs; however, what should you do in the meantime?
One helpful thing you can do while waiting is try to locate the source of the leak so you can point your contractor in the right direction as well as cover up the leak to minimize more water leakage.
1. Start with the Obvious
If you’re seeing water inside the house, make sure it’s actually a leak in your roof before you start climbing on ladders
If you see water when it’s not actually raining outside, that suggests a leak from somewhere else, condensation, or some other problem that may not need something else other than roofing repairs.
Once you’ve confirmed there is an actual leak, investigate the places that are more likely to be leaking such as roof flashing and boots, skylight and vent pipe protrusions, clogged gutters, missing shingles, and others.
2. Do A Careful Inspection
If the source of your leak isn’t immediately obvious, it’s time to do a little investigating the way a roofing contractor would.
Start inside the house and follow the leak up into the attic if you can.
Once there, use a flashlight and look for the path that the water is taking that is evidenced by damp beams, wet insulation, pooling water, and wet items in the attic.
Try to get a general idea of where the water is probably coming in the roof.
It won’t always be where you’re seeing it as roofing companies know that leaks can travel long distances under the roof before the water actually drips down and starts to seep through the ceiling.
Then continue your inspection on the outside, looking for the obvious signs mentioned above as well as more subtle ones like loose shingles or flashing, nail holes, lifting shingles, open edges in roof valleys, and anything else that compromise the water tightness of your roof.
3. Time It
Another technique a roofing company might use to localize where your roof leak is coming from is to time the leaking when it rains.
If you start seeing water in the house within an hour or less, the source is not far from where you’re seeing the water.
Conversely, if it takes longer than an hour before you see water inside, roof companies find that this means the source is further from where the water is appearing and may even be on the other side of the roof.
Use this information to help you generalize where you should be looking if it’s not obviously close to the location of the active leak.
4. Do A Hose Test
You can also do a hose test if think you know where the leak may be but can’t pinpoint it.
Spray water from a garden hose on the areas you suspect might be leaking and let it run while someone else watches from the inside to see what happens.
You may see water start dripping inside after a few minutes if the source of the leak is close to where it’s dripping on the inside.
Put Your Detective Hat On To Find Roofing Leaks!
When you have a leak in your roof that’s going to require some kind of repair, start the process in motion by isolating its location.
Some leaks can be pretty sneaky, so try these methods used by roofing contractors to see if you can track it down.
If possible, cover the area to prevent more damage while you’re waiting for your contractor to make repairs!