How to Spot a roof leak?

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: March 10, 2022 | ⏳Read Time: 5 min | 👁Post Views: 72

A roof leak is not only a major annoyance and a hassle for homeowner but is also an issue that can pose a real threat to the integrity of your property. So, if that slow dripping sound of water from your ceiling drives you insane, you’re not alone. A lot of homeowners are facing this hassle and are more interested in knowing how to spot a roof leak and prevent it from becoming havoc.

Although, roof made with strong materials and built with great craftsmanship can stand the test of time. But even then, roofs are not immune to leaks. So, the moment you can spot water stains on the wall extending across ceilings, you need to spot the source of the leak.

However, tracking down the leak can be a daunting task unless you know how to spot a roof leak.

So, let’s delve in and get some insights from expert roofers:

Leak around Chimneys

Your roof chimney is the main culprit and a source of many bad things especially leaks. The galvanized steel flashing provided around chimney corners can easily rust at the 90-degree bend at the bottom. This flashing is the only way to provide a seal for areas where the roof intersects chimney. The caulk provided with the flashing for sealing can fail over time and water can intrude and enter your home. So it is very important to have your chimney inspected once a year.

Windows, Vent Pipes & Skylights

Although these skylights and windows provide you the pretty scenes of nature if installed improperly they can be a sure source of a leaky roof. Either the skylights are not properly installed or the weather-sealing and flashing along the edges may wear over time. So look for the black stains around the skylight that would indicate the start of mildew. Rotting wood or peeling paintwork is also a concern that indicates a leaky roof.

In addition to skylights, vent pipes, drain pipes or any other object that protrudes above your roof is a potential source of a leaky roof. The flashing around these objects wears and broke over time that needs replacement.


Never ignore a clogged or damaged gutter because it can cause a multitude of problems for your roof. The standing water can back up and seep through the roof. In the case of freezing temperature, the water can freeze and can even result in a need for costly repairs. So, it is important to clean out your gutter regularly even if you don’t have a leaky roof.

Missing Granules & Shingles

When your roof past the 10th year, the shingles can get damaged and this will leave your home vulnerable. Problems like raised shingles, blisters, cupping, curling, splitting or tearing, and granule loss are common. Loose or damaged shingles are an entryway for water to enter the home. In the case of cold climates, the water can get in and freeze allowing even deeper penetration. Similarly, leaves and debris can settle under these shingles that can cause rot and wood damage. So, look for the signs of loose granules, curling, and buckling shingles and have it repaired at the earliest.


The next commonplace for a roof leak is a valley. Valley is a line where two planes of roof intersect each other. The valleys are covered with flashing or rolled roofing, depending on the area where you live, to avoid any water percolation. But because of damaged flashing or because of water collection in low spots, the covering can get damaged which will allow water to enter into the house. With the help of a roofing professional, you can carefully look around the seams of your roof for wet areas.

Ice Dam Leaks

If you reside in the Snow Belt problems of ice dam leaks are quite common. Ice dams are a band of solid ice that blocks the normal flow of water down the roof. After its formation; ice dams can rip off gutters, damaged shingles, and cause water to back up and flow into your home. Ice dams can also be exacerbated by a clogged or poorly draining gutter. The only way to prevent ice dams requires improving ventilation, insulation, and removing heat sources from the attic.

Wind Blown Rain Leaks

When your roof doesn’t have any issues or red flags but still you’re getting a leak; the culprit might be the wind-driven rain. Rain propelled by rain blows horizontally and creates water intrusion which otherwise is impossible in case of regular rainfall angle. The only way to avoid such a leak is by using tar paper and the ice dam membranes.

In a nutshell

Now that you know the most common places where a roof could leak; you can avoid major frustration and nuisance. Always make sure to take help of a professional roofing company to avoid trouble. If you’re able to deal small leaks the right way you can avoid subsequent damages and costly repairs.

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