Sometimes finding the location of a leak in your roof is obvious, but oftentimes it takes a little detective work to figure out the exact location. Knowing at least the general area of a leak will help when it comes time to get an estimate for repair. Calling a roofing specialist will eventually be on your list of things to do, but you can also do some advance scouting to see if you can locate the leak, and possibly the reason for the leak as well. Read on for a step-by-step guide to locating leaks on your roof.

The Location of the Leak

1.  Other than the sound of dripping water or an obvious puddle of water on your floor, look for the more subtle signs of a leak, such as bubbling paint, stains on ceilings or walls, mold growth, bulges in walls, and discolored patches on ceiling and walls.

2.  Accessing you attic is your next step.  Using a flashlight, examine the floor of the attic for signs of moisture and the corresponding areas on the attic's roof. You may also notice mold growth here.

3.  Be extremely cautious in carrying out the next step. If you have a sharply pitched roof or you are not comfortable climbing up onto your roof, you may need to contact a roofing specialist to assist you with this step. If you can safely proceed to this step, you will need the help of a partner to stand inside the attic while you climb up onto the roof with a water hose.  Moving slowly from place to place, spray the water and wait for your partner to give you a signal that they can see the leak. 

The Cause of the Leak

4.  Once you have located the area of the leak, examine the roof for signs of damage. The cause of the leak can be difficult to determine. Many times it will be a seal at a juncture, such as a chimney (a frequent area of leaks). Roof vents are another common area of leaks. 

5.  If no damage or issues can be seen from the surface, you may need to actually remove a few shingles to see what's going on underneath the shingles. Sometimes there are holes in the roof underneath the shingles due the home's age.

It's vital that you contact a roofing specialist to get your leak repaired as soon as possible.  Moisture and heat combined will cause mold growth in your attic, wall, floors and elsewhere. Mold growth can be both destructive and dangerous, and the presence of moisture inside your home can lead to rotten wood and cripple the support structure of your home.