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If your flat roof is leaking the first step is to locate where the leak is coming from. This is not always a straightforward process. Water travels in a downward motion. This helps provide you with suitable areas to look when identifying the leaks source. However, with flat roofing due to the roofs slope being ever so slight, the water can move in any direction.
So, where do you start?
Firstly, it is important to keep in mind the place where the water is coming through your ceiling does not mean the source of the leak is the point on your roof directly above. To find the leaks origin you need to go up on the roof on a dry day and observe the roof for any tell-tale signs of leaking.
Signs include ponding. Ponding is the pooling of water on your roof. This is a point where leaks could originate as the buildup of water will have to escape somewhere. And a common escape route is leaking through your roofing system.
Another indicator could be a darker or lighter patch on your roof, often surrounded by a dirt-stained ring. This indicates an area where water was pooled and has since escaped from the roof either through the roofing structure or evaporation.
Around the flashing is another point where roof leaks can occur. Flashing is commonly installed using lead. The purpose of flashing is to waterproof the roof around joints or angles in the roof. You commonly see flashing around chimneys, the edges of the roof and where the roof joins with the wall of a building. If you notice there are crack, holes or the lead flashing is lifting, this could be a place where a leak is coming from.
The roof covering could also be responsible there could be holes from corroded nails or nails that have faller away or cracks which have developed due to the roof covering material being exposed to the elements. This is especially true when there are extreme contrasts of weather throughout the year. If a crack has appeared in your roof covering this would very likely be a reason for any leaks you are suffering.
Joints in your roof covering can also be the point in which leaks can start. It is important to check every joint on your roof and see if there are any holes present.
When you think, you have identified the potential source of a leak. You can confirm if the area is responsible by taking a hose up to the roof and spraying the suspected area. If the water trickles down inside at the spot where you first saw the problem of the water penetrating you have confirmed the area as the source of the leak.
You may need to be patient in identifying the leak as the time between spraying the hose and the water reaching the affected area can be several minutes. If you are sure the water doesn’t reach the problem area, you need to move on to other areas where you think the leak could be originating from. You need to continuously work through suspected leak origin spots until you confirm the problem. This can be rather tedious but it will lead you to the origin on the leaking you are suffering.
It is entirely possible there may be more than one source of the leak. And multiple points on your roof are leading to one low spot where the problem is becoming apparent.
Once you have identified any sources of leaks or any other problem spots it is very important you get them repaired as soon as possible rather than wait until they turn into more sinister and expensive problems. For the best possible results, it is best to contact a reputable roofing company.
If you are in the Woking and Guildford area we would be delighted to help and advise you on any flat roof leaking problems you are having. Just get in touch or call us on 01483 475141.