The first step in finding a roof leak is to identify the area of the roof where the leak originates. Common sense would indicate that the leak would be directly above the area of the ceiling which is wet, however this is not necessarily so. Water can flow along pipes and interior surfaces for some distance from the cracked tile or damaged roofing material before it actually drops onto the ceiling. One of the ways to ascertain where the leak originates is to wait until a sunny day and wet the roof progressively in stages of ten square foot. Once an area of the roof is thoroughly saturated it is time to check for the appearance of wet spots on the ceiling of the home. If none appear then allow that portion of the roof to dry and repeat until the entire roof has been checked.
Once the process of finding roof leaks has been completed; it is time to repair the part of the roof that is giving problems. Fortunately most hardware store employees will be able to supply you with the advice you need on how to correct most leaks. They will also be able to supply the correct roofing materials to make roofing repair a viable DIY project.
The roofing material used to make a watertight seal varies according to the roof type. In the case of a metal roof repairs require that the roof surface be prepared first by using a steel brush to get rid of any debris or rust that may have accumulated around the site of a hole. Once this has been done then a coating of a polyester or acrylic based paint can be applied to stop leaking. Some varieties of metal roof require very little maintenance as they have been designed to be virtually weatherproof, these include roofs constructed of stainless steel, zinc or copper. Installed correctly these roofs can last over a century without maintenance. Any leaking associated with these roofing materials is usually the result of incorrect installation and in the event of a problem the homeowner should contact the installer.
Aluminium roof coating can be the solution for flat or sloping roofs that are susceptible to leaking. This coating requires the same preparation as other types of coating including cleaning the roof prior to laying down the coating with a stiff bristled broom. Heavier debris might require water blasting to remove stubborn dirt and debris.
Identifying that there is a leak problem and finding roof leaks well in advance of the rainy season is the key to enjoying season after season of trouble free home ownership, but the homeowner should never bite off more than he or she can handle when confronted with a leaking roof. For really damaged roofs always consult a contractor prior to taking any action.