Finding where the leak is coming from isn’t as simple as just finding a wet patch on the ceiling. Often the location of the actual leak is not always where the water ends up staining your plasterboard and ruining your paintwork. Water can enter your roof at one end of the house and trickle down through insulation before soaking into a weak spot in your ceiling.
Take a walk outside and visually inspect your roof. Start with the parts of the roof that are higher than the location of any stains inside or any obvious signs of roof penetrations. If you can spot any damaged spots on your roof, tiles, corrugated iron sheets or shingles, this could be the location of the leak. You might also see water spots under your roofline on exterior walls. This could be a sign that your flashing is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Once you’ve had a look outside, have a closer inspection of the inside of your house and roof. Inspect your ceiling and look for peeling paint, moisture marks, and brown, grey or yellow stains; these are all tell-tale signs of a leaking roof. To be extra thorough, grab a flashlight and take a look inside your roof space or attic. Mould, water stains and damp rafters or beams are obvious signs of a roof leak, and you might even be able to follow the flow of water to the source. Looking for roof repairs? Look no further! Top Glaze has you covered.
How Do I Check if My Roof Is Leaking?
Finding the actual spot where the roof leaks can be difficult because water can enter the roof in one place and run down to another before it starts soaking into the ceiling. If you have an attic, the easiest way to spot the leak is to go up there on a rainy day. Water will reflect light, so bring a flashlight along. Once you locate the source of the water, mark the area when you are in the attic—also, checking to see if there are any dark spots on the decking or flooring. This is another sign that a roof is maybe leaking. One of the purposes of this decking is to catch small leaks while they are small and before them, causing a lot of damage. If it turns out that your decking is water-stained, you can be pretty sure that you have either a roof leak or a condensation problem.
Figuring out which problem you have is something you want to do so that you don’t try to fix something only to realize that it doesn’t fix the problem. Condensation is easily identified because it is generally in the corner near an exterior wall. Additionally, you will typically see some smaller circles with white-coloured centres. Rain leaks, on the other hand, can be found anywhere on the decking. Until you have identified the source of the leak, don’t bother replacing the drywall because you may replace the drywall only to find that the source of the leak is still going to impact the newly patched section of the roof.
Leak Warning Signs
If your home has leaks, it’s important to address these instances right away to avoid extensive damages and costly, time-consuming repairs or replacements. Leaking roofs are not only damaging to the roof, but they can also cause structural damage to your attic and framing throughout walls, as well as damage insulation, leading to lessened effectiveness. Mould growth and moisture within the structure of your home can lead to electrical damages and even fires.
Signs of a Roof Leak Outside
If you’re looking for a new home, or you’re looking for warning signs on the exterior of your property, here’s what you need to look out for:
Buckling or Curling Roof Shingles
If you notice your felt roof shingles rising in the centre or at the edges, this is a sign of damage that could lead to roof leaks. It’s normal for roof shingles to lose a few granules across their lifetime, but if a large number of granules are missing from their surface, they may not have been installed correctly. Learn how to fit roof shingles.
Take a close look at the lead flashing on your home. This is often found along joints in the roof, around a chimney, or around ventilation pipes. If there are any visible signs of damage, such as open seams, tears, or rust, then you may need to replace your flashing.
Missing or Broken Roof Tiles
If you spot any chipped, cracked, or missing tiles on your roof, these need to be replaced immediately. Otherwise, the next time it rains, water will penetrate your roof space, getting at your underlay and structural timbers. Learn how to replace roof tiles.
If there’s a layer of moss growing on your roof, it should be cleaned off as soon as possible. This is because moss holds moisture, and its roots can damage your roofing material as they deepen. Moss is most common in shadier areas that receive less sunlight, so that’s where you need to watch out. Learn how to stop moss growing on your roof tiles.
Signs of a Roof Leak Inside
Often, the first time you’ll notice a roof leak is when stains or other warning signs appear inside the home. Here are some sure-fire signals that you may have a leaky roof:
Damp Timbers or Loft Insulation
As it’s directly below your roof, your loft is the first place to check for signs of a roof leak from the inside. We’d recommend giving your loft a once-over at least twice a year, even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong.
Obvious signs of water damage in your roof space include damp loft insulation, moist patches of rotting timbers, dampness, and watermarks. It’s best to feel the surfaces in your loft as well as look at them, as it may not be obvious at first glance.
Musty Smell in the Loft
A “musty” smell in the air is a strong sign that your loft is damp and therefore could contain mould. This can spread like wildfire, even from a small roof leak. If you notice a musty smell in your loft space, it’s vital to investigate further and get rid of any mould, which can lead to asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues.
One of the most common indoor signs that you’re dealing with a roof leak is damp patches on the ceiling. These might look like “shadows” at first but can quickly lead to structural damage and sagging timbers. Damp patches can also be found on the walls and damage the plaster or cause paint and wallpaper to bubble and peel.
We’ve all seen a bucket catch dripping water in our lives. Whether it was at home or at work, there can be no clearer sign that you’re dealing with a leak. Water coming from the ceiling implies that the leak you’re dealing with is severe and that water has penetrated through many layers of building material.
What Is the Best Way to Find a Leak in My Roof?
Are you trying to find the location of the leak in your roof? Time to make it rain, and by that, we mean the easiest way to detect the leak is to spray some water over the roof!
Well, keep on reading, and you won’t be. Perhaps the most dangerous problem a rainstorm or any natural disaster presents is damage to the roof. You never know to what extent the roof has been compromised. Water damage could lead to drywall falling off the ceiling and walls. You can now imagine what a huge hazard a leaking roof is. So, at the first sign of a leak, call a roofer ASAP! In the meantime, let’s talk about how to spot signs of a leak. Take a look at our range of roof repairs Melbourne.
Look for the Signs
The dripping water forming a puddle is a dead giveaway, but where is it coming from? Here’s what you will see when your house has a leak:
- A musty odor in rooms
- Spots on the exterior wall
- Yellow stains on the ceiling
- Bulging patches and paint pockets on the interior walls
- Warped and missing shingles
Check the Attic
Now that you have spotted the signs of a leaking roof inside and outside your house, it’s time to find the source. If you have one, head up to the attic because this is where you are likely to find signs of visible damage along the walls or ceilings. Look for black marks, moulds, and water stains along with the roof sheathing.
If you are like many New Mexicans and don’t have an attic, you may have to get on the roof and look for damaged tar or shingles.
Make It Rain
The last step is to find out where the roof is leak located. The three most common causes of a leaking roof are damaged shingles, cracked caulking around the chimney, and loose vent boot. Any of these can create an opening for water to drip into the attic, which then starts seeping into the walls.
In order to find the leak:
- Get help from one of your neighbour’s because this is a two-man job.
- Tell your neighbour to go inside the house and stand at the location where you spotted water leak signs.
- Get up on the roof, holding a garden hose and spray the entire roof with water.
- Spray each section of the roof with water for at least 5 seconds, and then move on to the next.
- Tell your neighbour to give a shout when he sees water dripping inside.
It’s possible that this might not lead to any results. The problem is, once the water enters through the roof, gravity pushes it toward a certain spot where it collects. For example, the spot in the roof that’s causing the leak might be located above the living room, but the signs are visible in the dining room. In such cases, it’s better to call a roofer.
The three repairs mentioned above are quite doable. They don’t require any tools and are a quick fix to prevent further water damage. The most important thing is to do something! Top Glaze has the best range of help if you’re looking for Melbourne roof repairs.
Does Your Roof Need to Be Replaced?
Many homeowners with a leaky roof wonder if the best solution is to make minor repairs or consider replacing the roof altogether to avoid future headaches. When deciding which option works best for you, consider the following common causes for roof replacement:
- Exceeded Usable Lifespan: Your home’s roof was designed and constructed to reliably protect your roof for many years, but eventually, the quality of the materials will deteriorate, and you’ll have to invest in a new, quality roof. Asphalt roofs typically last up to 20 years and wood shingles anywhere from 30 to 80 years, while slate, clay and metal roofing materials can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance.
- Extensive Damage: If your home has recently been struck by a falling tree, been exposed to a recent, harsh natural disaster, or the roof has multiple leaks, then it’s likely the damages are too extensive to repair. Typically, roof leak repairs can only cover 30 per cent or less of the total roof area. If there’s any more than that, it’s best to just replace the roof.
- Repairs Are Only Temporary: While repairs may seem less time consuming and expensive upfront, if your roof is damaged or aging, then these minor repairs can become a frequent and timely occurrence. If you’re making frequent repairs to your roof to attempt to extend its lifespan, you’ll end up spending more time and money on labor and materials than if you had replaced the roof initially.
- Roof Is No Longer up to Code: If your roof is no longer adhering to local building codes, then you may have added peace of mind by updating your roof to ensure long-lasting protection.
- Aesthetic Updates: Over time, your needs and personal style may change, and you want to update your home’s roof to stand out. There are several attractive and durable roofing materials available today to choose from, including slate, clay tile, metal, ornamental and copper roofing, and wood shingles.