Roof Leak issues?
Roof leaks can be extremely tricky, water can sneak under a broken tile at one end and snake its way along the sisilation before seeping into your attic someplace else. Once in the attic, it can follow pipes and joists for long distances before finally dripping onto your ceiling.
To add insult to injury, sometimes it only happens when it’s raining hard, or when the wind is just at the right angle.
Fixing a leaking roof is relatively easy once you have found the leak. Finding the leak is the hard part as evidence of the leak may not be where the actual leak is occurring due to the water flowing downwards before soaking into a wall or ceiling.
How to find roof leaks:
- If you have water stains on your ceiling or running down interior walls, inspect your roof upwards from the stains, paying special attention to areas where flashings are used, such as around chimneys or satellite dishes. These may be directly above the leak or to the left or right of it.
- Also look out for cracked or missing tiles, which you should replace immediately.
- Go into your roof space with a torch and try and look for water stains, black marks or mold on the ceiling.
- If you still can’t find where the leak is, go onto the roof with a garden hose and run water onto the area just above where the leak appears in the house, starting low down. Ask someone to go inside the house and wait for a drip to appear. Let the hose run for quite a while in one area and then move it up a little further.
- If you have a galvanised iron roof, you need to check the roofing screws and make sure that the rubber or plastic washers are still intact and haven’t perished from the sun. Ensure that roofing screws are secure. If loose, the roof sheets will lift when the wind blows, and the rain will be driven by the wind under the roof sheets. Areas that have rusted through will be an contributing factor as well.
- If any of your roof tiles have been knocked or blown out of place, you may just need to straighten them. If a tile is cracked, you can just replace it.
To locate a hard to find roof leaks:
- Climb into in the attic with a torch, during or shortly after a heavy rain, being careful not to step through the ceiling.
- In the absence of rain, use a garden hose to thoroughly wet down the roof to create a man made leak.
- Examine the roof decking and rafters in the attic above the spot where the ceiling is wet.
- Follow any water stains or wet spots up the rafters or roof decking to their highest point.
- Measure down from the roof peak to the highest point of the leak and over from a gable end to the leak.
- When the roof is dry, go on the roof, and transfer the measurements to the roof, allowing for any overhang on the end of the roof. *
- Examine the roofing closely for signs of the leak at the location you measured.
- If you can’t see the source of the leak, continue to look higher up on the roof, since water can run down behind the tiles before emerging in the attic decking or rafters.
*NOTE: Take safety precautions when positioning ladders and climbing on a roof, and do not attempt to go up on a steep roof, rather call a qualified roofing specialist.