Home » News » How to Identify and Repair Roof Leaks

How to Identify and Repair Roof Leaks

roof leak and ceiling racks

Roof leaks may be tough to identify but are very important to spot quickly so that the damage does not become severe. If you do not find a roof leak quickly enough, it could result in major damage to your home such as structural damage, mold growth, and even damage to your furniture and belongings.

Always look out for musty smells, stains, any unexplained puddles and even the sound of dripping water. If you find any of these issues with your roof, you should get the problem fixed quickly so that the damage can be minimized.

Finding Roof Leaks

It can be very tough to find a roof leak, however, it is important to know the different ways to identify them quickly and avoid damage inside of your home:

1. Inspect for signs of a leak:

It is important for you to know how to find roof leaks based on signs such as dripping water during a rainstorm, water stains on the ceiling, musty or moldy smell, missing or warped shingles, bulging on interior walls, and rust on metal roofs.

rainstorm leading to home damages

2. Find out if an interior leak is causing the issue:

If you are not sure if your roof is leaking, first check for any possibility of a leak inside your home. The best places to check are piping, HVAC unit and heater, bathrooms, laundry room, and kitchen sink as you may have a leak in one of these places instead.

3. Follow the stain:

If you have a stain, that means the water is coming to that one spot. By reverse engineering the leak, you should be able to find it. If you have wet drywall, make sure to remove it along with the insultation and look inside the wall or ceiling joist cavity for the water to determine where it is coming from. Many types of insulation can absorb water and the inside of the wall will be wet. It is best to wait for the wall to dry so that you can find where the water is coming from.

4. Check your attic:

When you are looking for a roof leak, you need to check your attic. Once you are inside the attic, you need to look at the underside of the roof. Check the rafters for moisture and pay special attention to where the planes meet or where the dormer might meet the roof. You should also check the attic floor and the bottom of the rafters. Finally, using a flashlight, check for moisture, stains, damage from carpenter ants, sheeting that’s deteriorating, and other signs you may have a leaky roof.

5. Do a roof inspection:

Once you’ve figured out a general area and the source of the leak, make sure to inspect it for any damage. Also, you should use a ladder, so you have secure footing, and use extreme caution. Once you can see the roof, look for any obvious damage, especially in the area where the leak is. Look for shingles that are missing, structural damage, or improperly installed roofing.

Damaged tiled roof broken leaked

6. Do a roof soak:

You may need to recreate rainfall and watch the inside of the home. You can put a hose over the peek of the roof and let it run or have someone help you spray the roof with a garden hose. Make sure to work in sections, starting with the lower portion of the roof and moving from one side of the leak area to the other. Spend some time in each area so you can get it wet. Once you’ve soaked the lower portion of the area around the leak, wet the higher portion of the roof. In the meantime, while you are soaking the roof, check inside for drips, puddles, and moisture.

7. Remove the shingles:

If you were unable to find the leak by using the steps below, you may need to look further. Remove the shingles in the area and inspect the sheathing. Sometimes plywood picks up moisture, however, it should be easy to find where the leak is. Also, once you remove the damaged shingles you have pretty much half-repaired the leak.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover roof leaks from rain?

Generally, homeowners’ insurance policies cover sudden, accidental roof leaks, however, it does not cover those that are caused due to aging or wear and tear. The insurance company will not pay the full price of a roof replacement if you have actual cash value coverage for your roof.

Do you have insurance for your home yet

How do you cover a leaking roof?

If you’ve identified that your roof is leaking, you need to act right away. Here are the steps to take:

  • Figure out where the leak is coming from:

Before you cover the roof, you need to figure out where the leak is coming from. This will help you determine where to cover the roof.

  • Get the tarp ready:

An easy way to cover your roof is with a tarp. Make sure that you get a tarp that is big enough to cover the damaged area and that can also go over the edges by at least 4 feet on each side.

  • Make sure to secure the tarp:

The tarp should be draped over the damaged area and then secured with nails. Another way to secure it is to use sandbags or bricks to hold it down.

  • Call a professional roofer:

All the temporary solutions listed above do not replace fixing the roof. Make sure to reach out to a roofing contractor for repair or replacement questions.

How much does it cost to repair roof leaks?

Roof repair costs are usually between $379 to $1,758 or on average $1,060.

Call a Professional Water Damage Restoration Company

Water Damage Restoration by ServiceMaster

Have you experienced a roof leak at your home or business that caused water damage? ServiceMaster Fire & Water Cleanup can help. We offer a full range of water damage restoration services, and our highly trained and certified technicians will arrive quickly for your water damage emergency to dry, clean, and restore your property. For water damage emergencies in Lancaster, PA, and the surrounding areas, call ServiceMaster Fire and Water Cleanup today at (844) 805- 1107.