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Tips For Fixing A Roof Leak

Fixing a leaky roof can be one of the most time consuming and most frustrating of home repairs. For starters, finding where the roof is leaking is not always easy, and even after the leak is found it is sometimes difficult to know how to proceed.

The first thing homeowners should know is that leaks in roofs are often difficult to find since they often originate at a different area from where they show up inside the home. In order to find the true source of the leak it is important to consider how water flows. Water will typically come in through worn out or missing shingles, in places where nails have worked their way loose or through poorly sealed vents, skylights and chimneys. After the water has passed through the roofing, it will flow along the roof rafters or the top of the ceiling until it finds a spot to drip into the home.

It is important to look for the roof leak during the day, when the light is good. A good way to start is by going into the attic with a bright light. The best strategy is to start where the leak made itself evident and work backwards to the roof. Be sure to look for signs of moisture along the framing. Be sure to also look for water stains or discolorations that could have been made by water.

After you have examined the area for wetness, turn on the light and look for a hole where you see daylight through the roof. This process may be difficult on a wood shingled roof, since such a roof will have many places where the shingles overlap and let in light.

If the problem turns out to be missing or damaged shingles, the process of repairing the leaking roof is fairly simple. Replacing the worn out or damaged shingles should be enough to patch the leak and prevent it from coming back. While you are up on the roof replacing shingles, though, be sure to examine the entire roof for problems. It is best to replace the shingles as you find them damaged, rather than to wait for the leak to reoccur before taking the necessary action.

Finding and repairing a leaking roof is not always easy, but it is important to chase down any leaks quickly. An undetected and unrepaired leak can quickly spread, creating not just water damage inside the home but serious damage to the roof and the structure of the home as well.

Brooke Sikula is a freelance writer based in Ventura, CA and writes on a wide range of topics from home improvement to credit repair and everything in between. She is a regular contributor to and For more information on fixing a leaky roof and advice from an expert contractor, take a look at


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