How to spot a roof leak

how to spot roof leaks on your home

Spotting a roof leak early on could prevent more extensive and costlier repairs like water damage to your ceiling and mold growth in your insulation. However, finding the roof leak’s point of origin may prove difficult — sometimes even more so than fixing the leak itself. That’s because water will often infiltrate the roof in one location but trickle down to another location, where it starts to dampen the ceiling and walls.

But don’t get to excited on us just yet, Our Rapid Roof Repair Contractors. We’ll offer some useful information to find those well hidden leaks.

Look for roof penetrations

To begin your investigation, start by trailing the stains on your roof upward. The most noticeable signs of roof leaks are penetrations, such as an errant nail, and are actually the most common cause of roof leaks. It’s rare for a leak to spring up when shingles are intact, regardless of how old they are.

In addition to isolating penetrations, be sure to check roof vents, chimneys, plumbing, or any other points of entry around the roof. They may be within several feet of the roof leak.

Check the attic

With a flashlight in tow, venture up to the attic (if you have access) and search for damp spots and mold growth, which should stand out from the surrounding sheathing. Because it thrives on moisture, mold likely indicates a weak spot in your roof.

Investigate insulation

Remember, when handling insulation it’s important to wear the appropriate protective gear — such as gardening gloves, goggles, head coverings, pants, and long sleeves.

After you’ve found the leak

Even the most minor leak can cause extensive damage if it goes unnoticed. Luckily, modest repairs suffice in many cases — like replacing a shingle, for example. But if you don’t feel comfortable on your roof, or if the leak seems too substantial, it may be wise to reach out to a professional.

Act of Nature

The roof of a home has the most direct exposure to the elements. For northern climates, there is the weight of heavy snow and ice storms. In tropical climates, there is the potential for hurricane-force winds. Damage resulting from acts of nature qualifies the homeowner for a total or partial replacement of the roof as determined by the insurance company.

General Maintenance

Different roofing materials have different life spans. It is the responsibility of the property owner to properly care for and maintain his roof. The damage caused by a leaking roof is covered under most all-perils policies. However, the roof repair itself is not.


Homeowners can take steps to help protect their roofs. The Allstate Corporation recommends hiring licensed professionals perform regular inspections. Many roofing companies will inspect a roof for free in the hopes of earning future business.

If you live in wind-prone areas, ensure your home and roof are designed to the current building codes to prevent a total loss. Make sure your roof is free of debris and does not hold or collect water. Any trees touching or hanging over the roof should be trimmed back. These steps can minimize the potential of a total roof replacement.


Areas of Inspection:

Rapid Roof Repair  will need access to the attic and asks that they please remove possible obstructions. We include an attic inspection with every sales call.

Decking and Framing Condition

Other contractors point out that an attic inspection:

  • Allows estimators to gauge the condition of the framing—both for rot and spacing between framing members—to ensure that the roof is structurally sound and can support the weight of new shingle loads.
  • Reveals whether the home’s bathroom or dryer fans vent into the attic, periodically dumping quantities of moist air into the space, which, among other things, significantly reduces the R-value of existing insulation.
  • Ensures that those insulation levels are adequate and meet new code requirements for the region.

Finally, an attic inspection differentiates a roofing company from its competitors. “We’re usually the only ones on the bid who inspect the attic,