Roof leaks can present a multitude of challenges for you as a homeowner. There's never a great time for them to start and can end up leading to very significant damage to the interior of your home if left unattended.
Determining the root cause of a leak will usually take some investigation and it is always best to enlist a professional in matters where you may end up cutting away roofing or replacing tile works. The reason being that the actual source of the leak stemming from the outside of the home rarely matches where you're seeing the leak on the inside of your home. This can often lead to a great deal of frustration for those dwelling within.
Locating the source of a leak takes an educated eye as it is not an exact science. Each and every leak can have its own personality and since water can shape to any form, the path it takes will never occur twice.
When should I call in the investigators?
Ideally, you would hope that you can see the leak as its actually occurring. In order to trace a leak back to its original source you'll need to see the ingress of the leak instead of any guess work that could happen based on the remnants of the leak, such as staining coming through your ceiling. Although, stains can be one of the best indicators to locate a roof leak, it may not reveal the entire story behind it.
If you intend to try to find the leak as it's occurring it will become necessary to investigate during rain or snow. If this isn't a possibility then it may be necessary to try a water test on your roof's surface. If you're not up to the task then this would be a great time to bring in the professionals as more in depth experience will come in handy here.
How can I locate the source of my roof leak?
First things first. We've got to begin to locate the leak on the inside of the home. Once you are able to confirm that the source of the water inside your home is indeed as a result of a roof leak, it's time to take some measurements. Other issues that you may want to consider before you move though are plumbing issues, drain issues, gutter issues, or perhaps even condensation issues.Next you may want to venture into your attic space and attempt to locate the source of the leak from the underside of the roof deck. Review the leak and take note of the surface where the leak is making its way through. As a reminder, remember that the entry point of where the water is seeping is could very well be different from where the leak is appearing on the inside of the house. Once located you'll need to take a measurement of the location where the water is entering into the attic.
Although we strongly recommend enlisting the help of a professional at this point purely for safety reasons, the next step in this process is to safely gain access to your exterior roof and begin to take measurements of the exterior space that the leak is affecting. The measurement should reflect the approximate location where the water is entering into your attic. As you take a look over your roof during your investigation remember that any opening in the roof system is also an opportunity for any water to enter your home. If the roofing materials show any openings at all, water can penetrate your home's building envelope, which results in a leak.
I have a leak, but it's not coming from the roof!
If you are experiencing a leak in your home you can always choose to make the repair yourself or hire a professional contractor to complete the repair. As a note, sometimes trying to save a few pounds by taking on the project yourself can end up costing more in the long run. The experience you enlist from a specialist can not only save you this headache, but can often be priceless with because of the peace of mind that comes along with it. What else can cause leakage then? Often bad or aged plumbing can cause leaks, as well as air conditioning, condensation, and even pest infestation.