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According to Realtor.com, at least 70% of homeowners don’t include home maintenance or repairs in their initial budget.
This can be a major issue when your HVAC system goes out or your roof leaks. Then, you’re left with no other option but to dip into your savings.
Luckily, if you have a roof leak, you may be able to patch it yourself to save some money. But, you have to find the leak before you can fix it.
Read on to learn how to find a roof leak so you can protect your home from further water damage.
1. Look for External Damage
If there’s just been a big storm in your area, the leak could be caused by damaged or missing shingles. Walk around your home’s perimeter and look for any bare spots.
The leak could also be coming from loose flashing around the chimney or roof joints.
If you find missing shingles or visible flashing issues, you can try to patch it yourself. But, it’s safer and more reliable to hire a professional instead.
2. Head to the Attic
The next way to check for a leak is to go up in the attic since it’s the underside of the roof. It’s best to do this after a heavy rain.
Watch your step and use a flashlight to look for any wet or dark spots on the wood. You can also look for patches of mold, since it thrives on water. Dark or moldy spots are likely the source of your leak.
If you’re concerned about any areas in your attic, you can always get a roofing inspection.
3. Search for Damaged Attic Insulation
If the underside of your roof is insulated, you won’t be able to check for wet spots on the wood. But, insulation shows damage more quickly than wood which can be helpful.
If you see damaged insulation, know that the leak could be coming from several feet away in either direction. Your best bet is to remove the sections around the damaged insulation to find the true leak.
Just remember to wear a face mask to protect your lungs from the insulation.
4. Look for Roof Debris on the Ground
If you still can’t find an issue, take another stroll around your yard. Instead of looking up like you did before, look down in the grass.
Look for loose pieces of shingles, rusty nails, or a section of flashing. These could’ve been blown loose during a storm. They can also be the reason for your roof leak.
If your roof leak drips down to the ceiling of your home, that can also cause electrical problems. That’s why it’s so important to find the leak and repair it.
5. Spray the Roof With Water
If you’re still having trouble spotting the exact location of the leak, you can try spraying the roof with water. Keep in mind that you’ll need a second person to help you.
One person will need to stand outside on a ladder and spray the area of the suspected leak with water. The other person will stand in the attic with a flashlight looking for water drips or a wet spot to appear.
Knowing How to Find a Roof Leak Is a Valuable Skill
When it comes to learning how to find a roof leak, there’s no exact science. Unless the leak is from a storm, you may need to do trial and error to find the source.
If you need roof repairs but you’re low on funds, check out these ideas to make money from home.