Four Ways To Narrow Down The Source Of A Roof Leak

Locating a leak somewhere in your roof can sometimes be difficult, and there are several ways you can track it down. Stains, moisture meters, and signs of mold growth and wet insulation all help narrow down the source of a leak, and professional inspections and repairs will help ensure you've found all sources of damage.

Look for Wall and Ceiling Stains

Small stains on your walls and ceilings might seem innocuous or the result of age, but they could be indicative of moisture behind them. These stains are usually dark in color and can appear just about anywhere, even if they're located far from your roof. Water can travel a long way from a leak before it eventually settles. However, locating these spots can usually give you a general idea on which side or section of the house a leak might be found. If you notice one, check the area for others to see if you can narrow it down further.

Use a Moisture Meter

If you have a moisture meter, you can use it to check for moisture in places it shouldn't be. This is helpful to use in tandem with locating stains on your walls and ceilings; this way you can verify if there is any moisture behind them, which is especially useful during rain when it's most likely to pick up moisture. Further, you can use the meter to try to follow the path of moisture upward toward the source of the leak. If you don't have a moisture meter, a roofing professional will be able to use one to help track down the leak for you.

Inspect the Attic

If you have access to your attic area, even a quick inspection can sometimes help find a leak. There are a few signs to look out for here, such as the smell of mold and visibly damaged or soaked insulation. Insulation that gets wet can get very heavy and start to fall away from the roof, so if any is exposed and you can take a look without opening up any wall cavities, use a flashlight to see if you notice any signs of trouble. Since this insulation is right up against the roof, locating water-damaged insulation can be a big indicator of where the leak can be found.

Get a Comprehensive Inspection

When leaks are difficult to locate or when you need to repair one you've found, it helps to call a roofing professional for a comprehensive inspection. While your primary goal is to take care of the leak to prevent any further damage, an inspection can help locate where any existing damage might be. This is important both for the purpose of making repairs inside your home and for making reports to your insurance, as insurance will often cover water damage related to roof leaks even if they don't cover roof repairs themselves, though it's worth checking your specific terms just in case. A professional inspection from a place like Hinkle Roofing & Construction Incorporated will help ensure you aren't surprised by damage or mold growth down the line when you think you've taken care of everything.