Albany's Roofing & Construction Specialists
The Ultimate Guide to Stopping Roof Leaks in Your Home

The Ultimate Guide to Stopping Roof Leaks in Your Home

It’s the wet season in Oregon, which means roof leaks are bound the spring up more and more. While it may be tempting to leave small leaks alone until they pose a threat, it’s important to find the cause of the leaks before they can cause serious damage to your roof and your home.

The technicians at RBR Construction & Roofing are trained to find the source of a leak and fix it, but we know how hard it can be for the layman or DIYer. That’s why we’ve prepared a guide to help you fix roof leaks at the source.

How To Locate a Roof Leak

If you find yourself looking for the source of a roof leak, your problem is probably fairly obvious. Whether it be from a smaller leak in your roof that has caused some water stains on the ceiling or a large leak that is allowing water into your home, generally to find the leak, you go to the source. Starting with the area the water or damage is visible, follow the natural slope of your roof to locate the source of the problem (remember, water flows downward, so move uphill as you check for problem areas).

In terms of signs, you may be looking for large or small penetrations in the plumbing or roof vents, chimney, dormers, or anything else that projects through your roof. Water stains, black marks, and mold could all be visible clues pointing you in the right direction.

If you find yourself the proud owner of a leak that proves harder to locate, try to flush the issue out yourself. With the help of a friend or family member, take a hose onto the roof and let the water run down the roof near where you think the leak could be. Depending on the size of the leak, this process could take a while, but eventually, your helper should be able to see where the water comes through the ceiling and then you’ll have a good idea of where the leak is located.

Common Roof Leak Locations

Check the following areas for potential leaks:

  • Plumbing vent boots - Plumbing vent boots can come in an array of different styles. Whether you use a plastic, metal, or combo plumbing vent boot, if it has cracks in it, you could be allowing water into your home. If possible, replace the vent boot or any missing nails that may have been pulled free with rubbered-washered screws (found at any home repair store).

  • Roof vents - Cracks in the housing creates space for water to get into your home. While you may be tempted to use caulk to plug the cracks, just know that is a temporary solution. Whether you’re looking at cracked housing in a plastic vent or a broken seam on a metal vent, the best option is to replace the entire roof vent. Again, if the nails are missing or have been pulled free, replace them with screws with rubber washers to seal against any water.

  • Ice dams - Ice dams can form when snow or ice melts, runs down the roof and then becomes trapped in areas on your roof, before refreezing. Ice dams are sometimes due to an overlapping or hanging feature of more complex roofs. To fix this leak, remove the shingles down to the wood sheathing and slip a strip of ice-and-water barrier (available wherever roofing repair products are sold) under the main roof joint.

Pro Tips for Dealing with a Leaky Roof

  1. Don’t rely on caulk or roof cement to fix any problems! These are typically short-term or emergency situations and won’t hold for longterm issues.

  2. Check for small holes. Small holes can be hard to spot, but can leave a big mess. They allow water in at a smaller rate, so you may not even know you have a leak until the damage is too great or you have rot.

  3. Know how to spot small leaks. Look for flow marks to see where leaks may have originated from. (Remember, water flows downhill, so any marks will be followed back up the slope of the roof to find the source of the leak.)

  4. Check for “shiners”. Shiners are a nail that missed the framing member. The exposed side of the nail can collect moisture from the other side. At night, the moisture freezes and during the day, will drip down and cause a leak.

Need Leaky Roof Repair in Albany? We Can Help.

At the end of the day, DIY projects are more fun when they don’t involve the well-being of your home or your family. At RBR Construction & Roofing, we can come out to inspect for any leaks or damage you already have, as well as inspect for any potential issues you could be headed towards.

Our expert technicians use state-of-the-art equipment and are intimately familiar with all roofing materials and types. We can complete roof repairs, roof maintenance, or reroofs as necessary. Our team has over 23 years of experience and will work to get you the home you want and deserve.

Contact us today to request a free quote or get in touch with a member of our team.
We look forward to serving you!