How to find leak in roof?


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Old 04-23-05, 03:52 PM
CharXav
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Question How to find leak in roof?


I was wondering if anyone can suggest the best way to find a leak in my roof? I have a cross gabled roof, and every time it rains I have water leaking out of the roof section above my porch. I think it might be in the section of the roof where the trough (?? spelling ??) is and just runs down and collects over the porch. Any help would be much appreciated. The roof is about 10 to 15 years old (the home inspector told me it had about 5 to 10 years left before a replacement was necessary).
 
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Old 04-23-05, 04:22 PM
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CharXav, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
Roof leaks are tricky things. They always have ways of traveling from the origination point to somewhere else, making them hard to find. A leak can follow a joist and then drip off many feet from where it entered the building. This needs a visual check. Look for traces of water running along boards. You may even have to be in the vicinity when it is raining to find the exact point of entry. Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 04-23-05, 04:47 PM
CharXav
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Finding Leak

Would I need to be up in the attic for this? I have a low pitched roof and getting up in the attic is pretty tough. What kind of inspection can I do from the outside on top of the roof to try to pinpoint it?

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-23-05, 06:09 PM
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I know this is not what you want to hear but, it's really hard to find the leak from outside. Even if you can just get your head through an opening to survey what is happening, it's a better chance that you will find where the leak is. Water will follow whatever path it can and then drip to form a leak that seems to come from another place than actually where it came from.
 
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Old 04-24-05, 03:30 AM
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In my humble opinion, most all roof leaks can be found without going up into the attic.I think I go up into the attic area about once every 2 years. Although 90% of our work is total roof installatioins/reroofs, we've ALWAYS specialized in finding/fixing leaks. In fact, my eyes start to glaze over anytime a homeowner starts to describe in great detail how the leak is showing up "on this one corner, then starts to run across the beam, which then comes down the brick wall,,,,etc. etc.

There are common areas and roof layouts which are prone to leaking if installed incorrectly. In my experience, nearly all leaks on pitched roofs are flashing-related. "Flashings" encompass a wide range of materials usded to tie-in the roof covering with protrusions, abutments, adjacent roof flanks {valleys}, etc.

Last year we repaired 2 minor leaks due to actuall holes in the roof. The rest were all flashing problems. This is just a typical year.

If one knows what "things" are prone to leaking when done
incorrectly, all one needs to know is the general area it's showing up inside. Then it's usually a simple matter of going up on the roof for inspection. Occasionally, one gets stumped. There are the odd possibilities. And water can travel. It's just usually not all that mysterious, in my opinion.
 
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Old 04-24-05, 02:51 PM
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I recently had to fix a leaky roof that sounds very similar to the problem you describe. The roof was leaking where an enclosed porch (hip roof) attached to the gable end of the house. The leak was right below a large window (that some installer had butchered when he installed the windows) and the installer did a poor job with the trim cladding, flashing and siding. It was not difficult to see that water inside the j-channels (aluminum siding) could easily run behind the "counterflashing" the roofers had once installed. All in all, it was poor craftsmanship by several different trades.

Happily, the problem was fixed by giving attention to proper housewrap and flashing details. As E. Dodge mentions, leaky roofs are usually flashing problems, and I've also found that to be the case. Windows are the first place I always suspect when the house has vinyl or aluminum siding, since they often allow water to get behind any flashings that are not themselves properly flashed. But you didn't mention what type of siding you have.
 
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Old 04-25-05, 04:03 AM
CharXav
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Leaky Roof

Thanks for your replies everyone. I will use this information to hopefully track down this leak and find it. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
 

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