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Simple ways to locate a leak in your roof | Ploughcroft

Simple ways to locate a leak in your roof

Summer might be on its way, but beware of the rain it may bring with it. On average, May experiences up to 50mm of rainfall, and leaky roofs can become a problem because of this. Have you ever noticed water in your attic, or think you might have a leak? Finding the location isn’t always as simple as it seems, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. If you follow our simple tips we are certain you’ll locate the leak in no time. Remember, attempting any roofing work yourself can be dangerous, so make sure you contact your local roofing contractor for expert advice.

Torch test
The safest way to look for a leak is in the attic during the day with a bright torch. You have to think like water, which is why locating the source of a leak is often challenging. We would advise that you start looking above the area where the dripping started from, work your way up the roof, always looking for areas of wetness.

If it hasn’t rained for a while you won’t be able to see any water, therefore you need to look for watermarks and stains on the wood, which have been created by water.

When you think you’ve found the location of the leak, turn off the light and try and find a hole where daylight shines through, this is the location of your leak. Push a nail up through the hole and carefully get on to your roof if it is safe to do so. One you have located the nail, mark the surface of the roof with chalk. We would only recommend doing this if it’s a single storey – if it’s any higher, call an expert.

If you have completed the torch test but you’re still not sure where the leak is coming from, you need to undertake a water test. To complete this, one person needs to go onto the roof with a garden hose and another needs to be inside the loft with a bucket and a light. We would only recommend carrying this out if you have a single storey building; any higher then call in your local roofing contractor.

Starting from the bottom of the roof, flood the roof with the hose working your way up. Once the water appears in the attic, push a nail up from the hole. The person on the roof will be able to see the nail and can mark the surface of roof with chalk.

Check the insulation
When searching for a leak, insulation may be on the underside of your roof, aiding the process of finding the location of the leak as water-damaged insulation is more noticeable and marks quicker than wood. Once you have located the damaged insulation, the leak shouldn’t be too far away. Due to the nature of water, we advise that you move all insulation adjacent to the area where you’ve seen the water-damaged insulation. You can follow the path of the water from the damaged area all the way to the water’s entry point in the roof.

Remember, when working with insulation, it’s important to wear protective gear and be extremely careful. Only complete this activity if you know exactly what you are doing, and if in doubt, give us a call.

Contact Ploughcroft
If you’ve located a leak or perhaps you still can’t find where the leak is coming from, make sure you contact Ploughcroft on: 01422 202 919 where you can speak to our team about fixing your leaky roof.


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