How to Determine the Cause of a Leaking Roof

The wet, cold rainy and snowy season is almost upon us. While that means snow days, hot chocolate and telling stories around a fire – it also means nasty leaks and having to put pots around your home to catch them. A leaking roof can be one of the biggest scourges for a homeowner, because a leaking roof never simply means a leaking roof – it also means having to search for where the leak is coming from, subsequent water damage and a possible mold outbreak. If you have an older home with an older roof that hasn’t been upgraded in a while, chances are that you might have a leaky roof problem. Here is how to determine the cause of a leaking roof.

Your first step is to grab a flashlight and a wire hanger and then head to the attic or crawlspace of your home. You want to do this as soon as you detect a leak, because the sooner you find a leak, the faster you can seal it. Once you are in your attic or crawlspace, you want to find the area where the water is coming from. Once you follow the trail of the water leak, you can take your wire hanger and carefully push it through the hole – the wire hanger will serve as a marker. The next day when the weather is more calm, you can then head to your roof to find where you pushed the hanger through and effectively seal the leak.

Another way to determine where a leak is coming from is by trying to find evidence of moist or damp insulation in your attic. If you can’t find the leak just by looking around, chances are that it may be hidden behind your insulation. This is by far one of the worst places for a leak to be, but the sooner you find it, the less damage the leak will cause.

Next, head to the roof of your home. Before you do, however, make sure that it is totally dry out. Spending time on your roof during a storm can be incredibly dangerous. Not only is there a risk of falling off your roof, but there is also a risk of getting struck by lighting. Once you are on your roof, you want to make sure there are no obvious signs of damage, like tiles missing, exposed roofing or other areas that show wear and tear. A damaged roof is an excellent way for a leaks to get into your home. You can patch your roof, but you might want to do a full remodel if your roof is especially out of date.

Lastly, your leak might not be caused by rainwater at all. In fact, a leaking HVAC unit can do the same amount of damage. Chances are that you have an air leak in your ductwork that is causing condensation to build up. Your best defense is to seal up any areas where there might be an air leak. When it comes down to it, duct sealing and indoor air quality go hand in hand, because leaking ductwork can cause mold to build up, which can be toxic in high concentrations. Simply sealing the leak should fix the problem.

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  2. DIY Roof Inspection Tips to Find Leaks
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