How to Find and Fix a Roof Leak in 10 Steps

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On a scale of 1 to 10, having a leaky roof ranks pretty high when it comes to household issues that can make your blood pressure rise. And while the glaring ones are pretty vexing, not all of them are as obvious. Yet they can all cause extensive damage to your home.

What type of damage can be caused by roof leaks?

In fact, water damage is one of the most common reasons people file home insurance claims. In the aggregate, they are responsible for causing the following issues:

  • Mold
  • Wall damage
  • Chipped paint
  • Structural damage
  • Short circuit of electrical wiring

Even if there’s no obvious sign of a leak, if you notice any of the following issues, it may be time to look for their source:

  • Musty smell
  • Bubbling paint
  • Spots on your exterior walls

How to find a roof leak?

Finding the source of a leak requires a bit of detective work. This is because once water enters your home through the roof, it could be diverted, causing water stains or mold in an entirely different room.

  1. Inspect your ceiling and interior walls. Look around for water stains, bulges on the wall, and listen closely for any sound of dripping water.   
  2. Inspect the roof. This may sound like a no-brainer, but there are several areas you’ll want to pay close attention to. These include vents, chimneys, or missing shingles. Also look for missing nails at the base of vents. Other surefire signs of leaks are black stains on the top of your roof, shingles that are coming loose, or cracks along shingles.
  3. If you have an attic, inspect it. Bring a flashlight with you and shine it all over the space. If you see any mold spots, you’ve got your leak location. If you see damaged insulation, pull it off and follow the course of the water stain. It’s possible for it to be located several feet away.
  4. Scrutinize your walls. Sometimes water comes in through wall paneling instead of the roof. This is likely if you have damaged caulking around doors or windows. Use a putty knife around all entryways to ensure that the caulk is solid.
  5. Run a hose. This is a practical way to find the damaged portion of your ceiling. Get up on the roof and run a hose over your home while someone stays in the attic, holding up a flashlight. As soon as water starts coming in, your assistant will be able to pinpoint where the issue is located.

How to fix a roof leak

How to fix a leaky roof will depend on where the leak is located. However, we’ve provided this handy guideline for basic repairs:

  1. If the leak is directly on the roof, have someone stay inside the house while you go up to the roof. Have your helper thump or knock on the damaged area to let you know the portion that needs repairs. Cover it with roofing cement.
  2. Replace damaged shingles. Before placing the new one on your roof, remember to scrape off all of the old roofing cement before applying new layers.
  3. Reapply the caulking around all vents and windows.
  4. Never simply paint over a water stain. Even if it’s small and it doesn’t really bother you, it’s only a matter of time before it starts rotting wood and causing mold to grow inside your walls.
  5. Call an experienced roofer. The reality is that while you can do a couple of DIY repairs at home, more complex problems require help from a professional.

Affordable Roof Repairs Texas

Do you need help locating or fixing a roof leak? Since our founding more than 30 years ago, Allied Siding & Windows has served more than 40,000 Texas homeowners with industry-leading products and labor warranties. When you choose us, you’ll receive exceptional value, brand-name products, and service you will remember for years to come.

For more information about our services, contact us online or visit one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!