Why It Is Not Easy To Identify The Source Of A Roof Leak

Roof leaks are some of the most common and dangerous roof defects. A simple leak can cause serious roof damage when it spreads water into different parts of the roof or even reaches the interior of the house. Unfortunately, looking for the exact point where a roof is leaking isn't a simple affair; here are some of the complications you are likely to encounter in the process:

The Water Can Move Sideways

People are used to the idea that water only flows downwards, which is generally true. However, water leaking from the roof may also creep horizontally, especially if it finds something to flow along. For example, if the leak is located directly above a horizontal roof beam, it may flow along the beam before finally flowing downwards. This may be confusing for anyone looking for the source of the leak because they will only be looking for the source of the leak above the point from which the water is dropping into the house.  

Old Stains May Cause Confusion

One of the signs of a leaking roof is staining on the underside of the roof or on the ceiling. For example, you should suspect that your roof is leaking if you notice dark streaks on your ceiling. If your roof has experienced leaks in the past, then the stains from the old leaks may complicate the diagnosis of the current leaks. This is because it will be difficult to separate the old and the new stains so that you can trace the new ones to their source.

Leaks Don't Necessarily Leave Stains

Another potential complication is that water leaks don't necessarily leave stains on the roof.          Therefore, if you are relying on stains to identify leaks on your roof, you may conclude that a section of the roof isn't leaking because it doesn't have stains while, in truth, there are no stains because the material on that part of the roof doesn't stain easily.

Water Can Move a Long Way from the Source

Lastly, you may also have a difficult time with your leak diagnosis if the water has moved a long way off from its point of origin. This may be the case, for example, if the hole or crack that is letting water into the roof is located near the center of the roof, but he leaking water then flows along several beams before dropping near the edge of the roof.

Consult a professional roofer, like one from JSI Roofing, if your preliminary endeavors don't reveal the leaking spot. Roofing contractors have all manner of tools and techniques for discovering roof leaks.