Just one drop on your head while you are sitting at your kitchen table could mean trouble. No matter how you find the water dripping, this could mean you have a roof leak, and that is nothing to take lightly. Letting the issue go without addressing it will only cause bigger problems in the near future when the leak becomes bigger, causing damage to your home and all of your belongings. Your repair bill will also be higher if you let the leak expand. Here's how to spot the source of a roof leak.
Do some searching
If you don't have water constantly dripping from your roof or you don't see where the water is coming in from, it will be tricky to find where the leak originates. Even if you see water trickling down your walls or dripping from the ceiling, that may not be where the leak is coming from. Search your ceiling for spots that are bubbling or discolored; leak sources can often be spotted around these areas. Chimneys, plumbing and vents are very common sources of leaks. You may not have to get on your roof to find the source of the leak if you do a little searching first.
Look in the attic
Have a friend spray a hose onto the roof while you stand in the attic with a flashlight to spot the leak. If you don't have someone who can spray water onto the roof, just look for damaged areas and cracks, as well as water stains, mildew and mold.
Start the repairs
After you find the reason for the leak, the next step is to fix it by doing some repairs. If the leak is coming from a cracked housing or a broken seam on the roof vents, then you'll need to replace the vents. Just putting on duct tape or caulk isn't a long-term solution for the problem. Aside from the vent, you may also need to replace missing nails with new ones or rubber screws.
If you have something like a satellite dish mounted on your roof, this can leave holes that can let in large amounts of water. Holes left in your shingles can lead to damage and rot long before you ever discover anything is wrong. Use flashing to patch small holes in your roof; don't just use caulk, as that solution is only temporary.
In some cases, you may want to hire a professional if you don't feel comfortable fixing the roof leak yourself. You may even need to replace shingles that are missing or damaged. For those who want to DIY, finding and fixing the roof leak can save a good amount of money.