Pacific Sheet Metal Blog

How to Locate a Roof Leak

Posted by Joey Haack on Nov 9, 2018 2:12:00 PM


If you’ve recently noticed a dark stain forming somewhere on your ceiling inside your home, you likely have a roof leak. If you can safely enter your attic, you should be able to fairly easily locate where the water is entering your home. Here are some simple steps you should take to pinpoint a roof leak. 

1. Go into the attic.

Grab a flashlight, and head up to the attic to pinpoint where your roof is leaking. The best time to do this is during a rain shower or shortly after—as long as there is no lightning. You can also have someone spray the roof with a garden hose to simulate a rain shower as you look around. If you do this, have your helper start spraying the lower part of the roof and gradually work their way upward as you inspect one section at a time. 


2. Look for signs of water damage.

First, look directly above the area where the ceiling is leaking in the room below. Carefully inspect the underside of your roof—the rafters and decking—for dark areas and mold. If you have insulation on the underside of your roof, the area affected by moisture may be deteriorating. 


3. Follow the water trail.

If applicable, remove the insulation (ONLY if know how to do so safely and wear protective gear) from the area, and trace the water trail to the source, which may be several feet away. Trace the trail to its highest point. If you’re not confident that you know how to do this safely, leave it to a professional. 


4. Call a roofing contractor.

Once you’ve pinpointed the leak’s entry point, call your roofing contractor to repair the damaged area. It’s important to have your roof repaired as soon as you notice you have a leak to avoid serious water damage to your home. Roofs often spring leaks around or near the following:

  • Nails
  • Vents
  • Exhaust fans
  • Pipes
  • Damaged shingles
  • Valleys
  • Gutters
  • Downspouts


If the source of your roof leak is difficult to find or you don’t have safe access to your attic, call a professional roofing contractor for help. Pacific offers roof repair and installation services, and we’d be happy to give you a hand. Contact us today! 

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Topics: roofing