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Columbus Roofing: Article About Locating Roof Leaks

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There are many reasons that roof leaks develop, as Columbus roofing systems may be exposed to harsh weather conditions that lead to the degradation of the materials responsible for waterproofing the home. Whether it is an ice dam, a puncture or a rusted section of flashing that allows water to enter, it is not always the case that the interior location of the leak matches up with its external source. For source identification, homeowners must understand how water typically works its way through the roofing components before it finally enters the interior of the home. Once the source is identified, leak repair can be properly addressed.

It should be clear that a leak to the interior of the home should not just be corrected from the inside. While patching a leak in the attic may lessen the extent of the immediate water damage, failing to address the source will just cause the water to find a new entry point. It is also necessary to address the source of the leak due to the potential for damage to the roofing components that are not readily accessible, as the continual presence of moisture can degrade these materials in such a way that premature roof replacement is necessary.

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The underlayment that serves as the waterproof membrane, for example, is not easily inspected without removing a layer of shingles, so failing to properly repair leaks and other roofing issues can lead to serious, but unseen, damage.

Since water will travel down the slope of the roof, the exterior source of the leak will likely be located higher up on the roofing system. The homeowner can then inspect the exterior of the roof to seek the potential sources of the leak, including damaged shingles, obvious puncture holes or degraded metal flashing. If the source is not obvious, there are troubleshooting methods that may be employed for the purpose of identifying the leak. Water stains to the sheathing may reveal the source of the leak, but, if this does not work, then the homeowner can elect to simply water test the roof with a garden hose.

With one person inside the attic and another on the outside with a hose, the person on the outside should flood different sections of the roof with water until the leak becomes apparent. The hose operator should begin from the bottom of the roof and work their way up until the person on the inside observes the leak as it comes through the interior portion of the roofing system. To mark the source, the person on the inside can drive a nail through the underside of the roof so that it can be quickly located on the outside. Once the location is identified, the leak should be repaired with a permanent solution as soon as possible.

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