May 13, 2021

How To Find a Roof Leak: A Step by Step Guide for Melbourne Home Owners

How To Find a Roof Leak: A Step by Step Guide for Melbourne Home Owners

If you are a homeowner in Melbourne, you know that it is hard to find a roof leak. Winters can be especially tough because most leaks happen during this time of year!

This blog post is going to teach you how to find a roof leak so that your house doesn't get damaged. Follow these steps and the next time it rains, you will have found the source of any water problem!

STEP 1: Check for damp spots around the outside walls or under windows and doors.

If there are any damp spots, it may be a sign of water penetration issues from the roof or walls. Water that penetrates your home can lead to rot and mould problems, so fix these leaks as fast as possible! 

If you have found some sources of water along the outside, use this guide as your go-to for fixing the roof leak.

It's important that you find and fix any leaks as soon as possible before they lead to more expensive damage inside your home.

If it is not too cold outside and it is safe for you to do so, check the edges of rain gutters on each side of the house or downspouts where water flows away from your property.

Here are some signs that you have found the source of a roof leak:

  1. There is a water stain running down from an upper window or door, which could mean there's a problem with your gutter.
  2. There may be wet footprints on windowsills and skirting boards.

This means rainwater has been getting in through a broken tile or through a roof vent, which would usually be covered by the gutter.

There may also be water stains on your ceiling or walls from leaks in neighbouring properties such as apartments and units.

If you have found that there is an issue with any of these items then it's best to contact a professional roofing specialist as they will be able to find the source of your problem and rectify it.

- Gutter that is overflowing with leaves, sticks from trees or other debris

- Nails sticking out on decking boards

These are just a few examples of how to find a roof leak but all show signs of damage that may need repairing. If you have any doubts as to whether these things are the cause of your leak then contact a professional for advice.

STEP 2: Check inside your attic for wet insulation. 

If there is insulation on the ground, then it's likely wet from condensation or rainwater as well. Head into the attic to get a good look at the underside of the roof.

Arm yourself with a torch and head up to the attic.

Be careful up there: If there’s no proper flooring, step carefully from joist to joist. If you step between the joists, you might put a foot through the ceiling below!

Once you’ve got your bearings, use the flashlight to examine the underside of the roof. Look out for any areas that are darker than the surrounding surface.

In most cases, a dark spot is the telltale sign of water damage to insulation or wood rafters underneath.

If it hasn’t rained recently, moist spots may be too difficult to discern. Mould on the other hand, has a tendency to grow anywhere it finds a suitable surface.

If you can't find any evidence from inside the attic, you might be able to locate the source of the leak on the roof.

Look for signs of mould on the underside of roofing tiles, in corners or at any place where water has been allowed to collect and stagnate.

If you encounter a patch of mould, which thrives on moisture, chances are you’ve found the vulnerable point in your roof.

Next, check inside the crawlspace for wet insulation and joists that are also darker than their surroundings. If you find these things in your attic or crawl space then contact an expert such as the team here at Herrick Roofing so we can help!

STEP 3: Follow damaged insulation back to the source of the roof leak.

The underside of your roof may be obscured by insulation, and that’s actually helpful for finding the roof leak. Insulation deteriorates more noticeably and more quickly than wood does.

If you’re seeing damage on one section of the insulation, however, you must remember that the leak itself may be several feet to either side because it diverted rainwater from the source of the leak.

It’s best to carefully remove all insulation adjacent to the spot where you notice signs of a leak.

That way, you can follow the path of the water from the damaged area all the way to the water’s entry point.

If you’ve done all of this and still can’t find the leak, it may be time to hire someone with experience in inspecting roofs for leaks.

STEP 4: Inspect the underside of the roof for objects that have pierced it or have been attached to it.

Most noticeable to the eye are leaks caused by an object (for example, an errant nail) that’s managed to pierce the roof.

If you’ve done all of this but still failed to find any such obvious signs, check out the roof vents because the seals around vents can gradually weaken, allowing rainwater to seep through.

You will find roof vents on the roofline near ridges or gable ends, or both.

It’s best to consult with a professional when you can't locate the source of a leak on your own, or if repairs seem too complicated for DIYers.

In cases like these, it may be worth hiring someone who has experience in inspecting roofs and finding leaks before they become more serious problems.

STEP 5: If dry weather prevents you from finding the source of a roof leak, spray the roof with water from a garden hose.

What happens if you’re desperate to find a roof leak whilst the weather is dry? Well, you can always simulate a storm. If you decided upon this course of action, you will need some help.

One of you will have to go up on the roof, garden hose in tow, whilst the other person will head up in to the attic with a torch.

The person on the roof should soak the roof section by section, while the person in the attic examines the roof’s underside for leakage.

The person on the roof should also examine for tell tale signs of a leak, such as discolouration or mould.

By simulating a heavy downpour, you can witness firsthand how your roof withstands—or fails to withstand, as the case may be—conditions that mimic those of a natural storm.

STEP 6: Finally, start on your roof repair.

Roof leaks can be difficult to find. They often start small and get progressively worse before you finally realize that there is a leak in your home’s ceiling or walls.

Don't wait too long, as the longer roof leaks are left unattended, the more damage they will cause over time!

Fortunately, many types of roof leaks are easy to fix yourself with some know-how and only a few tools.

If you don't have any experience in this area but suspect that there may be a leak somewhere on your property's roof, contact us for help today!

We'll send one of our professionals out for free inspection so you can rest assured knowing all parts of your home's roofing system are safe from water intrusion.

Need your roof checking out? Talk to the experts at Herrick Roofing. With over 3 years of experience in Melbourne's roofing industry, we can help you find the best service for your budget and needs. Call today!

Our roof repair specialists provide high quality, professional and cost-effective services.

If you have any questions about roof repairs, or would like advice on how to maintain your roof, feel free to call Nick on 0422 903 522 or click here to send a message and I will be more than happy to help.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to hire an expert to clean your roof, click the button below to request a free roof inspection.

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If you would like to hire an expert to inspect your roof and give it a clean bill of health, click the button below to request a free roof inspection.

About the Author

Nick Herrick is the owner of Herrick's Roofing a respected roofing contractor who services residential home owners in Croydon and Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs. Nick and his team can handle all issues with your roof.

Nick Herrick

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