Finding The Leak: How To Find Where Your Roof Is Leaking From When You Have A Flat Roof

When you own property that has a flat roof and there is a leak, it can be hard to figure out where the leak is coming from. While you may see a spot on your ceiling in one area, it is highly unlikely that the water is coming from a problem in your roof right above the stain. If you have a leak coming from your flat roof, a methodical approach can help you identify the area where the leak is so that you can have your flat roof repaired. 

Your First Step

Clean off your roof, removing any debris that has fallen from trees. Try to find areas that may have been scratched or torn up from tree branches. You may be able to find tears in your roofing materials when you clean it off.

Take a good look at the metal flashing all around your roof. In general, there should be two layers of flashing on your flat roof. The step flashing is the innermost layer, and it protects the wooden sheath where the roof and chimney meet. A second layer of flashing is the outer flashing. This is the counter layer, and this layer of flashing actually protects the step flashing. Both layers of flashing expand and contract when the roof does. If they are not able to expand and contract, water may leak under the roof, causing a flood.

Check the Collars Around the Vents

The collars that surround your plumbing vents usually have a protective flange surrounding them. This flange keeps the elements out of the opening of your roof. If the collars appear cracked or show signs of decay, they may be the cause of your leaks and will need to be replaced.

Look for Previous Repairs on Your Roof

Old repairs on your roof will usually fail before the rest of your roof does. If you see patches on the roof, they are really meant to be temporary patches. It is more likely that a leak is coming from an area that has been patched than one that hasn't been repaired previously.

As you look over your roof to find leaks, take the time to look at the seams in your roof. See if the seams are tight by playing a little bit with the edge of the seam. Check for areas that are low on your roof. You can find the low spots because they hold water when it rains, leaving a dry circle when the rain evaporates.

For more information on finding and repairing a leak in a flat roof, contact a roofing company like Cloise & Mike Construction Inc.