Roof Repairs: 3 Ways To Determine Whether There Are Any Leaks And Where The Leaks Are Located

Leaky roofs need to be patched up immediately so that the water damage does not irreversibly damage the internal structure and skeleton of your house. Water damage to wooden beams is often irreparable. In worst-case scenarios, the water damage can cause your house to become unstable, at which point the only option left might be to tear the house down. It costs homeowners on average $681 to repair a roof. This is substantially less than the cost of having to replace the entire roof or tear a house down. To patch up a leak, you first have to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. Here are 3 suggestions you can try.

Wait Until It Rains to Determine the Severity or Extent of Leaks

If you're not getting your roof inspected annually or regularly, the easiest way to determine whether there are any leaks and where the leaks are located is to wait until it rains. The water should seep through the internal structure of your house and stain the ceiling or the walls. This is a good time to determine whether the leaks are severe and the extensiveness of the damage caused by the leaks. Knowing just how badly the water damage is can also help you determine whether additional measures are needed for the repairs and whether the leaks have merely been undetected for long periods of time.

You'll help your roofing contractor out a lot by keeping a record of all of the areas that are stained, whether any water is dripping from the stained area, the size of the stain and more. Using this information, your roofing contractor can determine whether the underlying roofing structure has been compromised and needs to be replaced or strengthened.

Pinpoint the Location by Inspecting the Condition of Attic

If you notice water leaking from the ceiling or from the walls, one of the first things you should do is go up to your attic. You'll be able to get a good idea as to where the leak is originating from. Look at the seams of the walls and the corners, as these areas tend to be the most vulnerable. You can determine whether only a small part of the roof is leaking or whether you are dealing with multiple leaks.

Follow the direction of the water stains and marks to determine whether you can find the origin of the leaks. You should see which internal beams are affected. Areas that are in the worst condition tend to be closer to the actual leak than areas with moderate to little damage.

Run Water from a Garden Hose on the Roof

You don't always have to wait for it to rain before you determine whether there are any leaks. In fact, you can easily detect leaks by taking a garden hose up to the roof with you on a sunny day. Run a small stream of water from the hose and spray sections of the roof at a time. Have someone stay inside the house with a flashlight to look for the emergence of water stains.

You don't want to go too crazy with this method and cause irreparable water damage to the internal structure of your home. Run water on small sections at a time to determine where the leak is. Generally speaking, you should work from the bottom of the slope upwards. If you work from the top of the slope downwards, water running down the roof may enter leaks at the bottom of the slope. This can make it difficult to determine the exact location of the leak.


Knowing where the leak is approximately can help you direct roofing contractors to a specific area of the roof. Identifying a leak can be difficult, especially if the water is entering the home from a hairline fracture within the shingles. Minimizing the inspection area can help reduce labor costs and can help the contractors begin to repair the roof much quicker. For more information on roof repairs, check out websites like