If you notice some water pooling on your ceiling and leaving a large water stain, then you more than likely have a leak in your roof. Most leaks can be fixed fairly easily with some flashing, a new shingle, or a little bit of roofing cement. However, you may find that it is difficult to actually find the leak in the first place. If you do not see a gaping hole in your roof, then follow the tips below to locate the leak so it can be patched.
Inspect The Insulation
Insulation deteriorates quite quickly when it is exposed to water. It will clump up, become heavy, and form of layer of mold. Inspect the insulation that sits in your attic and look for insulation that appears a dark color. This stain will either be mold starting to form or it will be dirt brought in from the outside as the leak works its way across the roof.
If you see wet or stained insulation, then pull it back from the roof. Use a flashlight to look for a hole in the roof underneath the material. If you notice the opening, then slip a roofing nail through the hole. This way you can find the leak when climbing on top of your roof.
Keep in mind that you should replace the damaged insulation when you make your roofing repair. If the area has already formed a leak, then there may be a structurally weak spot in the deck. To protect the underside of the roof, secure a piece of self sticking rubber or aluminum roofing tape to the leak area. You can also use a bit of roofing cement on the area. Think about adding a bit of spray foam insulation to the space as well. This polyurethane material is waterproof and will not grow mold like some other materials.
Inspect During The Dry Season
It can sometimes be hard to find a leak because the roof decking will swell and close off holes so they cannot be seen as easily. If you notice the leak when it is humid and rainy, then you may be compelled to find the leak right away. However, it is best to wait for warm and dry weather instead. This is when the roof deck will constrict again and cracks and holes in the deck are more likely to be noted.
When you inspect the roof, stand inside the attic and look for bits of light that shine through the roof. These will be potential leak areas, so mark each opening with a toothpick and complete a more thorough inspection on top of the roof. Since light is shining through, there is at least a hole in the roofing felt, so make sure to use your roofing cement to fill in each spot where the toothpick pokes through. For more information, contact a business such as Earl Hayes Roofing & Remodeling.