Even the smallest roof leak can do some damage to your home’s structure. It could also lead to mold growth which can be hazardous to your health. It’s best to find the source of the leak and do the necessary repairs before the damage gets worse, potentially costing you an arm and a leg.
Signs of a Roof Leak
An obvious indication of a leak is the sight and sound of dripping water. That might not always be the case. Other signs of a leaky roof might include a wall, ceiling, or floor with wet, stained or discolored patches along with bulges or peeling paint. There could also be a musty odor in the vicinity.
Think like Water
Just because there is a leak in the corner of the bathroom doesn’t mean that’s where the leak originated from. There is a good chance the vulnerable point of your roof is far away from the actual leak. Now it’s time to “think like water.” Think of where water can sneak through. Typically, water can come through broken or missing shingles, skylights, chimneys or poorly sealed roof flashing around vents.
Look in the Attic
After you think like water, it’s time to grab a flashlight and head up to the attic. If there is no proper flooring, remember to step from joist to joist. You wouldn’t want a foot through your ceiling! Shine your flashlight to examine the underside of the roof. You want to look for any areas that are darker than the surrounding roof sheathing.
As you are examining the underside of your roof, you may notice that is it obscured by insulation. That’s a good thing! Insulation deteriorates more quickly and more noticeably than wood does. Just because one section of the insulation is damaged doesn’t mean the leak is directly in that spot. It could be several feet to either side. Remove all the insulation that is adjacent to where you spot the leak. You can then follow the path of the water. Remember to wear appropriate protective gear (gloves, mask) when working with insulation.
Create Your Own Storm
If it hasn’t rained for a couple of days there may not be any signs of leaking in the attic. So why not create your own storm? This task requires two people; one person in the attic and the other on the roof with a hose. Estimate where you think the leak is and have the other person spray the hose around that area. Spray various spots, one at a time, to see if water starts coming through.
Check the Walls
In some cases, a leak could originate in a wall. Check walls for cracks that may be allowing water in.
Tear off Shingles
If you still haven’t located the leak, you may need to take drastic measures. Sometimes the most convenient and stress free way to remove shingles is by hiring a contractor. That way you won’t make an amateur mistakes and can safely solve the problem.
So the ultimate solution to repair the leak is by removing your shingles. But have you thought about how you’re going to dispose of all that debris? The best waste removal method for this project is a roll off dumpster. By renting a dumpster, you will be able to throw the shingles all in one place without making piles of clutter.