Have you noticed a wet patch on your ceiling during the recent rain? This may be caused by a ceiling leak.
What causes a ceiling leak?
A ceiling leak may be caused by a number of things. First thing is to find the entry point of the water. Water can travel along roof beams from the entry point to the ceiling leak, so finding the entry point isn’t always an easy task.
Things like broken tiles and tears in your sarking paper are a common cause of ceiling leaks. When having electrical work done, electricians often tear the sarking paper, resulting in ceiling leaks.
On occasion, a leak may be due to the design of the valleys in the roof.
We have experienced one off ceiling leaks during heavy rain and strong winds. The wind literally can push the water up the tiles and into the roof, causing a ceiling leak.
Plumbing issue or roofing issue?
Firstly you need to determine if it is a plumbing issue or if there is an entry point in your roof for rain to entre.
If the ceiling leak has occurred for the first time after heavy rain and strong wind it may be a one off occurrence as a result of the water being blow into the roof. Although this should rarely happen, it is important to still check for entry points.
If the leak has a lot of water pouring in, this could be a plumbing issue and a roof plumber must be called.
The colour of the water will help determine what kind of issues it is. If it is rain water the water will be dirty from running over the roof and down the beams in your ceiling. If the water is clear, it is likely to be a plumbing issue.
How to find the leak.
If possible, get into the attic with a flashlight and see if you can see any wet spots. If you find any wet areas, see if you can then track them up to the roof. You may have to work from the site of the ceiling leak back, moving any roof insulation. Also check to see if there is any light shining in from any areas in the roof, this too may pinpoint the waters entry point. If you can access the area stick a straw in the whole so it is easy to identify when you’re on the roof.
There may be an issue with flashing that a roof will be able to identify.
Broken ridge capping can also be a entry point for water.
You gutters may also be the cause of your ceiling leaks. If they are full the water will back up and enter into the roof. Ensure they are clear and check the downpipes for any blocks. This can be done with a hose.
Depending on the cause of the leak you may need to call your local roofer or roof plumber to come rectify the issue. Issues like guttering can be managed by the homeowner.
Roof leaks are typically just signs of a much larger problem and should never be ignored. Always have a professional inspect the leak and rectify it before the next storm. Water damage can be costly to fix!