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Tips for Locating a Roof Leak in Your Home

By: Danny Lipford
Water stain on ceiling from roof leak.

Water stain on ceiling caused by roof leak.

Roof leaks can be hard to pinpoint, since they’re often located higher up the roof than the wet spot on your ceiling. To find a roof leak:

  1. Go in the attic above the water stain on the ceiling and examine the rafters and roof decking for discolored wood or a water trail.
  2. Follow the trail up the slope of the roof to its highest point.
  3. Measure from the peak down and from the gable over.
  4. Go on the roof and transfer the measurements, taking any protruding eaves into account.
  5. Look in that area of the roof, or higher up, for the source of the leak.
  6. Repair the damaged roof to stop the leak.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: Barry want to know, “What’s the best way to locate a roof leak?

If you have a roof leak that’s caused a water stain on your ceiling, the best way to track it down is to get in the attic directly above the stain, knowing that most likely the leak is not directly above the stain but a little further up the slope of the roof.

So what you want to look for are any telltale signs of where that water may be tracking down. You’ll see some discolored wood or a water trail on the bottom of the decking or the rafter, then you can find out exactly where it’s entering in your attic.

And then you can take care of the repairs. But if you just simply can’t find exactly where the leak’s coming in, then use a good, strong water hose on the outside with someone inside the attic with a nice flashlight. And then you can tell as you move your water hose up the rake of the roof, you’ll see exactly where the water’s coming in.


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One Comment on “Tips for Locating a Roof Leak in Your Home”

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  • lynn Says:
    March 2nd, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Hi , I just discovered a round wet area on our kitchen ceiling, and our bathroom is above that. I touched the area and ended up poking a hole in it. We did get a hard rainfall about 2 days ago. Should I assume it is the roof even though the roof is 2 years old ? Thank you Lynn

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Tips for Locating a Roof Leak in Your Home