Tips For Locating Leaks On Commercial And Residential Roofs

Posted on: 27 November 2018

The winter rains are coming and now is the time you need to repair any leaks in your roof that developed over the summer. However, before you can get to work repairing leaks, first you need to locate them. While this may seem like a simple thing, it isn't always as obvious as you might imagine because the source of the leak can be a long way from the place the roof shows any obvious water damage.

While the easiest and best way to locate leaks on any roof is to have it inspected by a commercial roofing contractor, if you need to do the job yourself, then these tips will assist you:

Tip: Inspect for Leaks Early in the Morning

As the temperatures drop at night dew is formed on the surface of your roof. The following morning, the dew evaporates as the roof is warmed by the sun. However, in areas where water is leaking into the sheathing under the roofing materials, it will not evaporate as fast because more water is present.

For this reason, you should always inspect a roof in the morning as the dew is evaporating. If you see dark spots in some areas, then those are the areas you should inspect more closely for leaks.

Tip: Push Down on the Roof and Watch for Water Bubbles

One of the easiest ways to see if water is trapped in the plywood sheathing below your roof is to push down on it with your foot and then watch for water bubbles. If the rest of the roof is dry and you can produce bubbles in any area, then water is trapped in the plywood and is likely already causing dry rot.

Tip: Look for Water Stains Inside of the Attic

If you have searched the roof and don't see any obvious signs of leaks but you suspect there is one, then you should look at it from inside of the attic.

Take a flashlight up after it rains, and look for water stains, mold, or dry rot. If you find these things, then measure from the nearest window to the location so you can triangulate the leak on the outer roof surface.

Tip: Know When to Bring in a Licensed Roofing Contractor

Should you be unable to locate the source of any leaks or find one you don't have the skills to repair, then you should call a licensed roofer. Even very small roof leaks very quickly lead to expensive problems because they rot sheathing and framing timbers, damage ceilings and insulation, and promote the growth of unhealthy mold.