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How Can I Find the Source of a Roof Leak?

Answered by Brendan ~ September 19, 2011 ~ 2 Comments » | Respond to this question

I have water coming into my closet when it rains but all the roofers so far that I had check it can't find the problem. Any suggestions on finding the source of the leak?

Gary I. ~ Philidelphia, PA

Brendan Fowler

Where a roof is leaking and where the leak presents itself inside your home can be miles apart. First check all roof plumbing penetrations, skylights, and flashings visually. Check the weather side of your home and see if there is a gable end vent that could be letting water in. If it is a multi story home, make sure that it is not a siding or window leak that could be causing the problem. I have found old roof flashings around plumbing vents allow just enough water to run down the side of the pipe into the attic to cause problems and I have found poorly installed windows on the east side of a home cause a leak to present on the west side. To do a leak test you will need to start at the bottom and work your way up. This means using a garden hose on the siding, windows, and then slowly up the roof while having someone inside where the leak is presenting watching the whole time. Always from the bottom to the top, and don't move until you can confirm that there is no leak. It is a slow process and you have to be very methodical or you will learn nothing, and the leak will keep leaking. Leak identification is tough, but if done carefully it can save you thousands in needless repairs. Good Luck!

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