21 Century Home Services | Serving Virginia, Maryland, and the District Of Columbia

Roof Leak Detection

3 Ways To Inspect Your Roof For Leaks

No introduction, let’s not waste time. The roof leak detection process will not happen on its own, so let’s get right into it. How does that sound? Oh by the way, this post will NOT discuss ‘how’ to repair roof leaks. We’re only here to provide 3 practical ways that any residential home owner can use to inspect their roof for possible leaks.

If you are looking to replace your roof and have questions or want a free estimate, give our team a call.

exterior of a house showing roof and windows

Tip #1

Ok, just to clarify, this will require some physical movement on your behalf. You won’t find any roof leaks by sitting in front of your computer. Just saying! ๐Ÿ™‚

Having said that, this step should only take a few minutes, do let’s go outside.

Just walk around the house and pay attention to two things: the siding, and as much of the roof as you’re able to see from down there.

Do you see any shingles coming off, broken or cracked? Can you spot any weird bows? When you look at the siding, do you see any holes, cracks or lose pieces? Do you see anything else that seems suspicious to you (i.e. broken concrete foundation, tree branches rubbing against your roof, gutters coming off or overflowing with leafs, etc). This is a good time to pay close attention to these items as well.

If you see any of these things, then take a closer look. IMPORTANT: please don’t go climbing up on the roof unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Climbing on the roof can be a safety hazard, for anyone. If you see something suspicious from down there, in our next tip we’ll share a safer way to detect if it is indeed a roof leak, but from the inside of the house.

Tip #2

The second way you can detect roof leaks is by accessing the attic from the inside of your home. Typically this is something most home owners are familiar with and have already done many times. Hopefully you have an easy way to access it, such as an attic ladder such as the one in the video below. Otherwise we recommend a professional.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to bring a flashlight up there. You don’t need to climb all the way in, but having a light source will help to quickly spot any leaks.

You’re looking for water damage. You should know what this looks like. When water penetrates a porous material such as wood or plywood, it will create dark spots and stains. This shouldn’t be too difficult to see.

Remember that water reflects light, so be sure to point and move the flashlight slowly all around. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but please make sure you have a powerful light source.

Tip #3

If it isn’t too much trouble and you have someone available to help you. Have them use a water hose to spray the roof at the same time you’re inside the attic. As he or she does that, listen for a possible roof leak detection. You should know what dripping water sounds like.ย Can you hear anything?

The way we recommend you do this, is by sections. Coordinate with the person doing the water spraying, to make sure you’re both working on the same section of the roof. Have them spray each section starting at the top and moving towards the edge, then back up again, and so on. Work each section for several minutes before moving on to the next. This allows the water to make its way down the roof and into any possible holes.

It will be nice if you have one of those multi-pattern nozzles for the water hose, like this one. These usually have a setting for higher pressure water spray. Use that setting as it will simulate (some what) heavy rain and really help you determine if there are any roof leaks.

the hand of someone holding a water hose spraying a roof

Lastly

I hope you’ve found some of these roof leak detection methods and tips helpful and practical. But I honestly hope you weren’t able to find any roof leaks. Water damage inside a home is very stressful, costly and unsafe.

If you weren’t as lucky and found water damage, then our first recommendation is to have the roof leak repaired as quickly as possible by a roof leak detection specialist. If you have the knowledge and tools to do it, perfect! Don’t wait and take care of it right away. Otherwise, it will be a good idea to reach out to a professional roof leak detection company.

Thanks for sticking around and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.