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3 Steps To Finding Leaks In Your Roof

Updated on April 6, 2011

There are many different types of roofs on homes, but for each there seems to be similar types of leaks that can cause damage to your home.  Understanding the different ways that water can get into your home can help you find the leaks and get them repaired.   The article below describes three ways to find leaks in your home.   Use the information provided to identify when you've got a problem and what you should do to fix it. 

Step 1: Look Around Roofing Nails

One of the most important parts of stoping a leak is being willing and able to get up into your homes attic.  Bring a flashlight with you so that you can easily see various areas of your attic and the nails that are holding the shingles to your roof.  Its important to listen to see if you can identify where drops are falling in your roof so you can find the specific area that has a problem.  

Look closely at each nail that comes into your roof around the problem area.  Sometimes the nails will touch a 2x4 and the water leaking in through the nail will run down the wood until it finally reaches a point that it will start dripping.  Finding and identifying this problem is the first step to getting your roof fixed.  When you have done this you can hire a roofer to come complete some roofing jobs to repair the area where the nail is allowing water in. 

Step 2: Look At Bay Windows

Often Bay windows in the attic or other areas of your home will provide areas in your roof for water to gather.  These areas sometimes will have seals break and water will start running into the house when it rains heavy.  This type of water flow can cause significant damage to your home quickly as significant amounts of water may enter.  Be sure to look closely at these areas a few times a year to make sure everything is ok. 

Step 3: Check the Roof for Ice

In the winter, snow and ice can freeze on your roof, providing pressure on the wood and other building supports.  The ice will expand and contract and often as it melts it will start flowing into the area of your home.  To keep this from happening be sure to remove the snow and ice from your home as much as possible.  If you do find leaks from snow and ice be sure you have the roof repaired so that the problem doesn't continue all year long. 

Feel free to call a home inspector to look at your roof anytime you're worried about something but not comfortable investigating yourself.  This will help you get an honest opinion of the work that needs done and will let you communicate your thoughts and ideas with an expert on the ways homes are built. 


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    • estherluzfranco profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      Its important to check the roof for leaks especially before rainy seasons. Thanks for this steps. I could use them a lot for our house

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 

      6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      In Texas we get frequent hail storms and a lot of high wind that often results in roof damage. We don't get very much ice, but your other tips are very helpful.


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