You have noticed water damage on your ceiling but you do not know how to locate the exact spot of a roof leak? A simple inspection of the roof usually reveals shingles missing from your roof or a damaged roof flashing but sometimes it can be difficult to locate the exact spot and the best thing to do is to climb up into the attic and look for signs of water damage on the underside of the roof deck.

Here are the 13 most possible spots you should take a look first:

  • Chimneys

    Damaged or improperly installed flashings around chimneys causes the most leaks in homes. Even a hairline crack above the flashing can cause a serious water leak.

  • Loose Roofing Nails

    A loose nail which has backed itself out of the roof sheathing can be the cause a roof leak.

  • Bare, Cracked or Missing Shingles

    Water leaks can be caused by cracked or missing shingles. Sometimes missing gravel-like granules on your shingles, also known as bare spots, can also cause leaks. If they do not, they are a sure sign that they will in the near future.

  • Furnace Flashing

    Furnace vents usually have a metal storm collar and if the collar becomes loose water leaks will occur.

  • Roof Valleys

    Damaged metal flashing or rolled roofing can cause water leaks. Some builders simply lace the shingles together and failing to properly cut them causes water leaks at the roof valleys.

  • Plumbing Vent Flashings

    Some plumbing vent flashing incorporate aluminum and rubber seals. Look for cracks in the rubber seal around the plumbing pipe. Some seals do not hold well to ultraviolet radiation and fail in about 10 years.

  • Head Wall Flashings

    When the roof stops at a vertical wall, a head wall flashing is used to prevent water from leaking into the house. The flashing should extend over the shingles at least three inches and must bend and extend one inch into a mortar joint.

  • Wall Step Flashing

    Step flashings are used where a roof climbs alongside a vertical wall. Look for rust or holes in these flashings.

  • Leaks Caused by Ice Dams

    Ice dams can block the flow of the water down the roof and cause water leaks, especially at the edge of the roof. To prevent it from happening install ice dam membranes under your shingles.

  • Leaks Cause by Wind Blown Rain

    You will see this type of water leak during rains coupled with heavy winds. To prevent it from happening install tar paper and ice dam membranes under your shingles.

  • Cracked chimney bricks

    Chimney bricks can develop cracks and cause water leaks inside your fireplace.

  • Missing or cracked siding above roof

    This will cause water to enter behind head flashings and then into your home.

  • Water Damaged Caused by Water Condensation in Attic

    Improper attic ventilation causes water condensation in your attic and over time leads to major damage to your roof and attic insulation if not addressed.

In the same series of articles:

Why ventilate your attic?
How to Control Moisture in Attics
Attic Moisture and Your Climate
How to Fix a Water Stain on a Ceiling
How to Prevent Icicles and Ice Dams on Roofs
Why and how to install an attic vent
20 point roof inspection check list
How to replace faulty roof shingles

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