How to Detect a Roof Leak
By Sadiya Anjum
A leaky roof should be tended to immediately before the problem becomes too huge and asks for a huge dent in your pocket. Regular checks should be conducted in order to test for any problems in the roof. But most of us hardly think of it until the ceiling begins to stain and then we get worried.
When you detect a problem in your roof, it all comes down to finding the cause of the problem. Without finding the cause, you will not be able to fix it and the condition of your roof may get worse. You do not have to call a professional as soon as you see a stain in your ceiling, conduct some investigations on your own first. Detect the problem and if it is small, you can fix it yourself or ask a friend to help you out.
First thing to do when you detect even a tiny problem is to pay a visit to your attic with a strong flash light. Attics are usually dingy and you need to examine every bit of the roof to find the problem. What you need to look out for may be tiny holes from which the water may be seeping in. Since these are hard to detect with your naked eye, look for discoloration of the wood. It is a simple way of detecting any problem that may be caused due to moisture.
If you have a small stain on your ceiling, then put a nail through it and get into the attic. It is the spot on the roof above this nail where the cause of the problem may exist. The shape of a ceiling stain may also give you clues about where exactly the problem may be. For instance, a single stain may be a small hole in the roof directly above the stain or if the stain is in a line, perhaps there is a problem in the rafter allowing a trickle of water.
If your flashlight fails in detecting the cause, then its time to take advantage of the rains. When it starts to rain, go to the ceiling (with your flashlight) and see where the water may be coming in. Most likely you will be able to target the problem area.
Flat roofs are probably more susceptible to leakage than sloped ones. This is simply because there is no slope for the rain to flow away easily and the accumulation of water will cause problems. Call in a professional to conduct an infrared survey to detect any moisture problems in your roof.
Maintaining your roof as much as you do your floors will prevent problems in the first place. Checking your roof for problems by yourself regularly may prevent any ugly surprises later. Look out for leaks, cracks, rot etc. and fix the problem as soon as you see it. Get a professional to examine your roof once in a while to let him find problems that may escape your eye.
Ignoring small ceiling stains and leaks can get you into serious trouble. Do not wait till the water drips on your head and replacing the roof becomes cheaper than fixing the roof.
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