How to Tell if Your Roof is Leaking

While the roof is one of the most important aspects of any building, it is also often one of the most ignored. Two reasons for this are: –

  • The roof is up out of the line of sight
  • Few people can access the ceiling cavity unless their home has an attic.

This means the roof can be leaking away and causing a great deal of damage that will remain hidden until something major happens. This is likely to occur during a downpour, with water flooding into the home and wrecking the ceiling or some other catastrophe.

You don’t have to wait for this to happen; it is far better to find out how to identify roof leaks than ignore it until the roof comes crashing down around your ears. Here are some tips on how to tell if your roof is leaking: –

  • Crawl into the manhole and look for stains on the timber. If you can’t do this, get someone else to do it. A professional builder is the best choice. If there are what looks like watermarks on the timber, or if there are dark-looking stains on it, you can be sure that water is coming in somewhere.
  • Look for stains underfoot. Larger leaks will overflow onto the floor and stain it. The floor is actually the top of the ceiling unless you have an attic. Stains can also be visible from the room below if the water has soaked right through.
  • Check for wet insulation. When water comes in it often remains there for days in the insulation.
  • Look up to the roof for daylight coming in. If you can see daylight or the sun’s rays, it means there is a hole there. When it rains the hole will let water in, even if you cannot see any other signs.
  • Check the battens and rafters for rot or sponginess. Either one means they have been getting wet for a long time.
  • In an attic, a good sign of dampness coming in is mould on the walls or even just the smell of dampness and mould.

It’s a good idea to do this check when it is raining or soon after, before any dampness has a chance to dry out.

One big problem with leaks in the roof is that you cannot always tell exactly where it is coming from. So replacing a part of the roof near the leak does not always fix the problem. It could be coming in from some metres away and simply sliding down the sloping beams.

What to do about a leaky roof

The best thing to do with a leaky roof is replace it. You may want to consider using a different material, especially if the roof is old and needs complete re-roofing. A different material such as Colorbond® roofing will immediately give your home a new look and add value to it. There are many different colours to choose from in the range so it will be easy to find something that blends in with the colour of your walls.