Find A Roof Leak: Locate Your Roof Leak & Find The Cause Of Your Roofing Problems

No homeowner wants to hear the dreaded dripping noise of a leaky roof. You may wonder how costly and stressful finding and repairing the roofing leak could be. The first thing you should do is aim to find where the leak is coming from. It isn’t always easy to find leaks without the correct tools, it can sometimes require a bit of detective work and you may need to enlist the help of a leak detection specialist, our roofing engineers at ADI Leak Detection are always happy to help.

We use a range of specialist equipment for finding roof leaks including state of the art drone water leak detection, which takes thermal images to reveal the areas on a roof where water is able to penetrate to successfully locate the source of your leaking roof. This can be done even before a leak becomes visible. Finding a roof leak early means we are able to locate leaks in roofing before significant damage from the leaking water occurs in your home and belongings.

How To Find A Roof Leak

Is My Roof Definitely Leaking?

There are a few telltale signs to look for to determine if your roofing is definitely leaking. These include, sagging on parts of your ceiling, water stains on your interior walls and ceilings, mould on your exterior walls, water pooling in your attic, a damp musty smell coming from your attic and missing roof tiles where water could enter. 

If you only notice that there is a roof leak when it is raining it’s likely it’s because of a problem with your roofing. Rain water coming into your house should dry up once the rain has stopped. If you find moisture or water that doesn’t dry up once the rain has gone it could indicate a water pipe leak instead of a roof leak.

How To Find The Source Of A Leaking Roof From The Outside

Sometimes it’s a good idea to try and locate leaks from the outside if you can’t identify where it is from inside. This could mean climbing up a ladder to inspect your roof yourself. Of course, this isn’t a feasible option for most people as you may not own a ladder long enough to reach the roof or you may not feel you are able to access the roof safely on your own.

If you do feel confident in accessing the exterior of your roof yourself, have a look for any broken or missing roof tiles. Roof tiles can deteriorate and become brittle with age and exposure to the elements.

Furthermore, in high winds and rain roof tiles can even become dislodged or fall off your roof leaving a hole for rain water to enter your home. Sometimes the nails that hold your roof tiles in place and become worn and fail. If you are still struggling to find the origins of the leak or are unable to inspect the exterior of your roof yourself it’s a good idea to get the help of a professional water leak detection services like ADI Leak Detection who specialise in finding leaks in your home quickly and efficiently. 

Rainy day with a house

Look On A Rainy Day

Looking for the location of leaking roofs on a rainy day is a good place to start. Especially in heavy rain where lots of water is being dumped down onto your roof. Stand in your attic and look out for drips coming from the roof. If drips appear, broken or missing roof tiles may be the culprit.

If the leak looks like it’s coming from around the side of the roof it may indicate that your gutters are full so the rain water cannot flow through them and reach the downpipe therefore the water in the gutters is pooling and getting pushed up through the roof tiles. 

Try The Hose Test

The hose test to detect where your roof leak is coming from requires two people, a ladder and a garden hose. Instruct your helper to stand in the attic looking up to the roof in the area you first noticed the leak.

Meanwhile go up to your external roof and soak one section of the roof at a time with your garden hose. Have your helper shout if they notice any water coming in or dripping noises. Spend several minutes in each section of the roof moving from one section to another until you have covered the entire roof. This will help you narrow down where the issues are.

The Best Way To Find Roof Leaks In Your Attic

The best way to find a roof leak in your attic is to head up there with a torch and look for any issues that you can see. Look out for clues as to where the leak might be coming from, these may include damp wood, mould, rusted or corroded pipes and of course dripping water. It will be easier to see if water is getting into your attic if it is raining at the time of inspection.

Also look up to see if you can see daylight coming through any gaps in your roof. Where there are gaps there will be water seeping through when it rains. 

Mould inside a loft

Look for Moisture or Mould

Look out for moisture or mould in your attic as these both signs that you have a leaking roof. If you find moisture in your attic it’s important to act quickly to fix the issue as moisture will ultimately lead to mould. Mould can spread throughout your home quickly and likely to grow on attic insulation, rafters and drywall.

If you are struggling to see mould in your attic a musty smell is also a good indicator that there is mould build up lurking somewhere. Once there is mould growth in your attic, if left untreated it will start to grow wherever there is moisture present this includes into your ceiling and down your interior walls. This is going to damage the structure of your property, as well as be potentially harmful to your health.  

Look For Damp Roof Timbers & Feel For Damp Insulation

Looking out for damp roof timbers and feeling for damp insulation is another great way to determine if your roof is leaking. Damp insulation can take a long time to dry out on its own and won’t get the chance to dry out if there is a leak in your roof as whenever it rains it will get wet again. Damp insulation can not only become smelly it will also lose its effectiveness in keeping your home insulated and warm during colder months. Feel around your insulation to see if there are any damp areas. 

Damp roof timbers will eventually rot and decay leading to expensive structural damage to your roof if left untreated. Lookout for wet spots or touch the roof timbers to feel for moisture. If the wood has a lot of small water droplets on it it may be condensation if there is a large patch that is wet it may indicate a leaking roof.

Damp roof timbers

Roofing Leak FAQ’s

The most common signs of a roof leak are: 

  • Spots on the interior ceiling. Often these spots look like brown or yellow round stains that look like puddles with a darker ring around them. This staining occurs when water has seeped through the ceiling and evaporated. Leaving unsightly patches of dried mineral deposits. Mould on your ceiling will look like black spray paint splatters.
  • Mould on exterior walls. Check your exterior walls for mould, moss or fungus growth, especially in areas that have high sun exposure. Mould grows where moisture is present so mould in sunny areas where moisture should dry quickly indicates a leak of some sort. This can indicate you have a leaking roof which is allowing water to seep into the walls and out to the exterior.
  • Buckling or cracked roof tiles. If you think you have a roof leak it’s a good idea to have a look at the condition of the roof and its tiles if you can. If you can see any visible cracks or lifting of your tikes they may be letting water into your property and need to be replaced.
  • Drips. If you can hear dripping sounds in your walls or you notice your attic is wet when you go up there you may have a dripping leaking roof.
  • Light coming through your roof. If you notice daylight coming through gaps in your roof then it’s inevitable that rainwater will find its way into these gaps and into your attic.
  • Cracks or tears on the surface of flat roofs. If you have a flat roof on a section of your home it can be more prone to leaks then a sloped roof. This is because water cannot drain off the roof as easily therefore water can pool on the roof and seep through any cracks, tears or blisters that form. Its is important to inspect flat roofs regularly to make sure they remain in a good condition
  • Damaged Flashing. Visibly damaged flashing gives a clear indication of the source of a roof leak.

If you discover a leak one of the first things you may think about is, is roof leak covered by insurance?

Your buildings’ insurance will cover the cost of a roof leak and the costs to repair it as long as the damage that caused the leak was down to extreme weather like a storm or a fallen tree. If the leak is due to general wear and tear your insurance will not cover the costs.

This is because it is your responsibility as the homeowner to keep your roof and property well maintained to minimise the risk of leaks. Therefore it is very important to keep records and receipts of any work you have done on your roof to prove to your insurer you have been keeping on top of the maintenance of your property.

Your home insurance will cover the cost of any water damage to your belongings as long as the water damage is a direct result of storm damage, extreme weather or a fallen tree. It is important to check your own policy to read the terms and conditions regarding roof leaks.

Need A Roof Leak Detection Service?

If you have signs of a roof leak & need a roofing leak detection service, look no further then ADI Leak Detection. 

We use a wide range of state of the art technology like thermal imaging drones, tracer gas and smoke testing to find a roof leak with extremely high accuracy. 

We will provide your insurance company with an extensive report on the roofing leak and any damage caused by the roof leak to help you on every step of the way.

Don’t let the leaking water cause more damage to your property, call our friendly team at ADI Leak Detection today!

ADI Leak Detection Water Mains Office Team

Adrian Morgan

Adrian Morgan CIPHE RP RHP is the founder & Managing Director of ADI Pro Leak Ltd. Adrian is also the Head Plumbing, Heating & Leak Detection engineer at ADI Leak Detection.

Adrian CIPHE RP RHP is proud to be registered with the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering, a Registered Plumber and a Registered Heating Professional.