How to Effectively Search Your Roof and Attic for Leaks as a Homeowner

Your home’s roof is its first line of defense against invading elements – wind, rain, sun and more. Without a secure, fully functional roof, your entire home can be compromised. Even a minor leak can lead to serious damage inside your home. Mold, rotting wood, water leaks that damage your electronics and much more can result from what was once a minute leak. For Jacksonville homeowners, it’s important to locate leaks immediately and have them repaired by a reputable Jacksonville roofing company. Spotting leaks isn’t as simple as you might think, though. Here’s what you should know.
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Interior Signs

Perhaps the easiest way to spot a leak is by locating discolorations on your ceiling. When water leaks in from the roof, it runs down to your ceiling, soaking into the sheetrock and turning it a brownish color. If you spot any discolorations on your ceiling, it’s a good sign that there’s something going on that needs to be repaired. However, don’t expect the leak to be immediately above the discoloration – that’s not how it works.

Get Into the Attic

Even if you don’t spot any discolorations on your ceiling, it’s important to get into the attic. Once up here, you’ll need to look for signs of water leaks on the underside of the roof decking (the plywood above your head, to which your shingles are nailed). It’s much easier to spot a roof leak here – look for signs of water running down the roof decking material – it may be a brown streak, or even obvious wetness on the plywood’s surface. Another good sign of a leak is wet attic insulation. Since most roofs in Jacksonville are sloped, the leak will run down the decking from the point of origin. Trace the leak to its highest point.

Other Locations to Check

Not all homes have attics or accessible space between the roof and the ceiling. Even if you have an attic, you might not be able to locate the source of the leak. There are several other places that you can look to determine if there is a leak and, if so, where it’s coming from. Start with the boots around roof vents and exhaust fan flashing. These are intrusive elements that must be sealed from the outside to prevent leaks. If the seal is failing, water will leak in.

You might also check the ridge cap for leaks, or check for the presence of missing shingles (this will require a visual inspection of the roof’s exterior). Gutters and downspouts can also cause leaks, particularly if they’re blocked by dead leaves, branches and other debris. Finally, check your dormer valleys. These can trap debris and, over time, can cause a leak in your roof.

Safety Considerations

If you’ll be inspecting the outside of your roof, it’s imperative that you do so safely. If you’re not comfortable clambering around on the roof, call a professional Jacksonville roofing company to help. A.J. Wells Roofing Contractors is a locally-owned reputable roofing company in Jacksonville Florida. We offer outstanding customer service and many roofing services to our Northeast Florida clients. Some of our roofing services include complete roof repair and replacement, leak repair, maintenance and tree damage repair. With A.J. Wells you will not only receive the best products but also the best workmanship at an honest price. We even back up our work with a 50-year leak-free guarantee. Call us today to schedule your free roofing estimate.

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