Wheres The Water Coming From If Not A Roof Leak

One of the biggest frustrations a home or business owner experiences is when money is spent on a major expense like a roof replacement only to see a water “leak” a short time later.

How could this happen? Well, it’s been our observation after many service calls of this nature that the original “leak” wasn’t from the roof in the first place. It originated someplace else.

When you see a puddle of water on the floor or a drip coming from a ceiling tile, it’s easy to suspect the roof as its cause. Many times is the case, but not always.

The truth is, there are several places where the water can be coming in from. Becoming familiar with the most likely scenarios and understanding how to identify the source of water intrusion can save you lots of time and budget dollars.

Eatonroofing Roofleak
Eatonroofing Roofleak

Here are 9 ways water could be leaking into your home or building that are not a roof leak:

  1. HVAC – Most leaks attributed to HVAC units are from condensate – it can get plugged or the dripping pan could rust, resulting in an overflow situation and water moving into the duct work.
  2. Drain Pipes and Plumbing – Plugged drains or a malfunctioning sprinkler system are likely culprits of water intrusion.
  3. Foundation – This waterproofing issue can result in puddles on the floor – water does not move around the building, backs up and gets in where the floor meets the foundation.
  4. Walls – Cracks and joints in wall are potential trouble spots for water.
  5. Gutters/Downspouts – They can get clogged with debris or may not be wide enough to handle runoff or there may not even be enough downspouts for the structure.
  6. Condensation – If you’re in a metal building without insulation, differentials in temperature between the outside and inside can create condensation that drips off ceilings.
  7. Windows – Water can penetrate through window glazing, particularly after heavy winds and hard rains.
  8. Doors – Sometimes water can leak through a door threshold.
  9. Spills – Sometimes it’s literally just spilled water on the floor that someone walks by and reports as a roof leak. Yes, that really happens.

Identifying the origin of a leak can be a challenge in that sometimes it’s coming from multiple sources. It can take some sleuthing to truly nail it down, but having some knowledge on water intrusion causes, as well as having professional roofers, plumbers and mechanical contractors on speed dial will certainly help.