Roof Leak Detection: Gable Vent

If your roof is leaking, it could be coming through a gable vent. This guide will show you how to check for this problem on your own, before you call a repairman.

Inspect the Roof

Climb up onto the roof and check the outside of the vent. Look for rust if the vent is metal or for cracking and splitting if it is plastic. As well as checking the gable vent itself, look at the roof around it. Check that the waterproofing is still in place around the vent and that there is no sign of the roof bowing or becoming misshapen where it touches the vent. Touch the caulking around the edge of the roof. If it comes away easily, you may need to add another layer to prevent water moisture from seeping into the attic.

Check the Seal

The next thing to do is check the internal condition of the gable vent. Look at the attic during the middle of the day, so that you can see clearly what is happening without relying on electric lighting. Stand back from the vent and examine it to see if there is any light showing. A certain amount of light from the center of the vent is to be expected, but a strong beam needs to be checked again to make sure it's not a crack. After that, get close to the gable vent and examine it for water stains or moisture. You could also look at the gable vent during a shower, as this may reveal leaks.

Check the Ventilation

Even if your gable roof is not cracked or corroded, it may still be contributing to poor air circulation, which allows rain or snow to be sucked into the vent. This may result in pools of water on the floor in your attic or damp wood.

Consult an Expert

If you come across anything which makes you unsure about the roof vent, call in an expert. They will be able to advise you on solving the problem.