Guide to Locate Roof Leaks

Getting a roof leak is very inconvenient, but with a little patience, you should be able to perform a roof repair, whether you have a tile roof, a metal roof, or roof shingles. The first step to fixing a roof leak, however, is identifying where it is. This guide will help you approximate where a leak may be on the roof by checking signs of roof leaks indoors, and without having to look on the roof itself, therefore saving you time and effort.

A quick note on these signs of a roof leak, however. These signs can be caused by roof leaks, or merely a moisture or humidity problem in your home. However, if you look properly, you should distinguish between something caused by a roof leak and something caused by indoor condensation.

Water Stains

Before you perform roof repair, distinguish which type of water stain you have first. If you have water stains on your ceiling, there are a few ways you can tell if it was caused by indoor condensation problems or by an actual roof leak.

If it's a condensation problem, then you won't see one big water stain. Instead, you will see several smaller ones on the ceiling close to an exterior wall. Also, these stains usually have white centers, and they appear even if there hasn't been a rainstorm. Condensation stains happen when the evaporated water in the air condenses when in contact with an exterior wall, which somehow approximates the outside temperatures.

Water stains caused by roof leaks, however, happen anywhere on the ceiling. The center of the stain is usually dark, and as it proceeds outward, it gets lighter. This is because the inner ring is usually the oldest, and as time goes by the water from the roof leaks spreads out.

Sagging Ceilings

Usually the only cause of sagging ceilings is accumulated rainwater on the ceiling. The water gradually breaks down your ceiling as it moistens it and degrades it. At the same time, its accumulating weight pushes down on the ceiling, forcing it to sag really bad. If you have a sagging ceiling at one area, then it's definitely caused by a roof leak.

Before you fix a roof leak, make sure to drain all the water out of a sagging roof by puncturing a small hole and having a basin underneath to catch all the rainwater.

Peeling Paint

Peeling paint on the walls or even wallpaper getting stripped is usually the effect of moisture. Examine if the paint is actually on an exterior wall (as mentioned above), or if is in an inner wall. If it's in an inner wall, chances are it's due to a roof leak.


Mold is probably one of the most horrific things a homeowner could see in his or her very house. They also usually show up in penetration points where something from the roof goes down through the ceiling, such as chimneys and vents. When this happens, it's usually because of a roof leak in the metal roof flashing. In these cases, it's usually easy to locate the leak on the roof, unlike if the leak is due to a damaged roof shingle or tile roof.

Once you locate the water leak from the inside, try tracing it backwards and estimate where the roof leak could be outside, on the roof. It helps if you have a plan of the house, in order to see if it is possible for the water to fall straight down or through a series of stages through the roof and to the ceiling.

If you have roof shingles or a tile roof, the process of fixing a leak is very easy. Usually the roof leak comes from a damaged or cracked tile. Simply remove this damaged tile or shingle and replace it with a new one. Don't forget to seal it with roof cement.

For a metal roof, fixing a roof leak is sometimes as easy as locating the leak on the metal flashing, and then sealing it with caulk or roof cement.

Lastly, before performing roof repair, always make sure to put safety as your first priority. Going on the roof could be daunting, and accidents can happen if you're not careful. Always make sure that your ladder is secured when going up to the roof. It helps to wear rubber soled shoes for proper traction as you walk across the slope of the roof. And most of all, do not attempt a roof repair if it just rained and the roof is still wet and slippery. That can be very dangerous.

As long as these guidelines are followed, you can definitely locate a roof leak, and repair it yourself as well. Or you can also ask for professional assistance by accessing our contractor directory, where you can get connected to different roofing companies and contractors in your area that will be more than happy to help you in your household projects and needs.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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