Roofing: Finding That Elusive Leak

Roofing: Finding That Elusive Leak
One of the most difficult mysteries in roofing is finding a leak. Simply tracing the source back from a ceiling stain can be an exercise in detective work. As a homeowner, take care of the ceiling first and try to find a food professional that can take care of the original leak.

It’s a terrible feeling. You are walking through your house, minding your own business, when you notice a wet stain on the ceiling. Your heart sinks. This won’t be cheap, you think to yourself. And, unfortunately, you’re probably right. When it comes to roofing repairs, cost it usually at the forefront of a homeowner’s mind. Some small leak repairs can be done inexpensively, of course, but first you have to find the source of the leak. This is easier said than done. Common sense tells you that it must be directly above the water stain. This is almost never the case, however. The real truth is that leaks are highly elusive and it will take some sleuthing to discover the source of the problem.

Even workers with skill in roofing can have a difficult time finding the exact source of a leak. This is because of the many factors that influence where the water travels once it enters the home. When water seeps down into the home, it seldom follows a direct path straight to the ceiling. If the water stains are in the walls and aren’t due to leaky pipes, this can further complicate the matter of finding the original leak. Water will flow until it meets an obstruction of some kind. It will then pool until it overflows or it will find a new path to take. This means if you’re looking for the leak, it may take quite a bit of backtracking to find the source.

Obstructions that will divert or stop water can come in many forms. Something as otherwise harmless as a nail can completely offset the direction and flow of the water. Splinters in the beams or small knotholes can also be obstructions. If things conspire in just the right way, several ceiling leaks can spring from a single leak in the roof. Even when the water gets to the ceiling, it will flow naturally to the lowest point, creating another difficulty when it comes to finding the original source.

One tip that can keep extensive ceiling damage from becoming a reality is to drill a small hole in the ceiling where the water is collecting. Allow it to drain fully through the ceiling into a bucket below. A small hole in the ceiling is an easy fix, once you’ve identified the real source of the leak. Extensive water damage is not an inexpensive or easy fix and it can cause catastrophic damage to your house. Take care of the ceiling leak first and leave the other leak to a professional roofing company that can use their tools and experience to plug it up.

In Boston, roofing emergencies can ruin a great home. Protect yourself and find one today at

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