Believe it or not, identifying the root of a leaky roof is often the biggest challenge you will face when the time comes to repair your roof. Of course there are other problems you will face when making efforts to repair leaky roofs and you may have some challenging repairs waiting for you on the other side. At the same time you will need to learn to look for the source of the problem rather than the visible evidence of the problem. The cause of the leak is much more problematic than the leak itself. Unfortunately, many people only see it necessary to repair the leak leaving the cause to lead to further damage elsewhere.
Where do you begin to look for leaks or the problems that cause them? Leaks are more frequent in some areas of the roof than others. If you notice a leak, chances are you have a problem in one of the following locations. Joints on the roof. This can be where the roof meets a wall, where the roof meets the chimney, or where two nearby peaks create a valley between them. Anywhere there is a joint on your roof is likely to become a problem when looking for leaks.
Of course these are not the only locations where leaks are frequent. If you have skylights, shingles missing, vents, or flashings on your roof, check those out as possible leak locations as well. If you are checking for leaks from the inside, plan to spend a good bit of time in the attic. Remember that the source of the problem is almost never at the exact location of the physical drips that are finding their way through your ceiling. Work in the attic during daylight hours and look for spaces where the sun may be shining in. If you can’t find the obvious sunlight consider having someone spray the roof with water while you look for the location where the water comes in.
Prevention is the best cure of all when it comes to roofing leaks. If you can prevent them from beginning it will be much less of an expense when the time comes to actually replace the roof on your home or business. You can prevent leaks by performing routine inspections and maintenance of your roof. Once leaks are discovered immediate action is advisable.
The quicker repairs are made the less damage is left behind as a result of the leaks. If you are not confident of your ability to repair your roof yourself you should consider hiring a professional as quickly as possible to limit the brunt of the damage and extend the life of your roof.