How to find a roof leak

How to find a roof leak location

Finding a roof leak in a flat roof can be extremely difficult, so we recommend that you hire a roofing contractor to find and repair a leak in this type of roof. However, on a pitched roof, do-it-yourselfers can find the leak themselves. You may need to hire a contractor to repair the leak, but being able to tell the contractor where the leak is saves time and money.

The first step is to relate the area where the the leak is showing on the inside of the house to same area on the top side of the roof. Two different directions need to be determined. How far into the house and the position in the length of the house. This can be accomplished by looking out windows and aligning the spot on the ceiling to something on the outside, such as a tree, bush or fence post. Seldom can you see out 2 windows from one area. If this is the case you will need to measure from an outside wall to the spot on the ceiling. Remember this measurement when you get on the roof and don’t forget to add for overhang.

The leak in the roof is usually uphill from the the spot on the ceiling. Once you find the general area look for protrusions thru the roof such as chimneys, pipe flashings, valleys, solar panels. Inspect these areas thoroughly, look for loose solder joints in flashings, deteriorated rubbers on plumbing pipe flashings. Also check for broken and missing shingles. If a chimney is in this area check it for loose and missing bricks, cracked mortar joints and loose counter flashings. On a wood framed chimney check the metal cap for splits in seams and gaps in trim boards.

If you do not find anything obvious get a flashlight and climb into the attic. If you have trouble determining the location of the problem area have a helper tap on the ceiling below. Lift up or spread the insulation and look for wet spots or a stains. If found, follow the stain or wet spots up to the roof. Once you have found the end of the trail drive a nail thru the roof. Get back on the roof and find the nail, seldom will this be where the roof is actually leaking. Inspect very carefully up the roof from the nail. If you do not find anything obvious then water test the roof.

Water testing a roof can be a slow and tedious process, patience is a must. This process requires two people, one on the roof and one in the attic (or living space below if no attic exists). Use a garden hose turned to about half pressure. Start a point directly downhill from the suspected problem area. Do not force water between the shingles or spray the water uphill. This can cause a leak. Stand uphill from the water on the dry part of the roof, to help prevent slipping. Spray an area about 4 foot wide. Work your way up the roof about 2 feet at a time. Don’t forget that sometimes the water has to travel a long distance to show in the attic. This is where the patience comes in, if you move the hose uphill too quickly you will not be able to tell if the leaks is from where you had the hose or where you moved it to. Have your partner in the attic and have him yell at the first sign of water.

Leak prone areas of the roof
  • Chimneys
  • Roof Mounted Air Conditioners
  • Dormer vents
  • Valleys
  • Crickets
  • Any roof protrusions
  • Transitions in roof pitch

Roof Calculator software download frequently asked questions

Roof Calculator Download Frequently Asked Questions


  • How long does it take to download software?
  • How do I know the file name of the software I downloaded?
  • How do I find the file I downloaded?
  • How do I install the downloaded file?
  • Can I download software programs more than once?
  • What if I uninstall the software, but then need to download the software again?
  • How do I uninstall your software from my computer?
  • What if my computer crashes or I buy a new computer?
  • Where is the program installed on my computer?
  • Can I change the program location on my computer?
  • Common problems downloading


Q: How long does it take to download software?
It is difficult to determine the exact amount of time it takes to download a file because there are many factors that can affect the download speed – such as connection type and network traffic. However, we list estimated download times for different size files and typical connection type. Keep in mind that these are only rough estimates and that your actual download time may vary.

Q: How do I know the file name of the software I downloaded?
When you click a file to download a message box with a warning will ask you what you want to do with this file. Click save to disk. The next message box will prompt you for a location and show you the filename of the file you are going to download. Take note of the filename and location.
The default download location is your desktop.

Q: How do I find the file I downloaded?
If you chose not to install your product immediately after downloading it, you must find the folder where the file was downloaded and double-click it to install. If you do not recall the file download location:
1. Click Start, point to Find (or Search), and then select Files or Folders.
2. In the Named field, enter the name of the file to be found. The file name varies depending on which program you downloaded.
3. In the Look in field, select My Computer. The box Include Subfolders should be checked.
4. Click Find Now or OK to begin the search. Windows will display a window with the search results listed. Once you have located the file, make a note of its location. You can double-click the file from the search results window to install it.

Q: How do I install the downloaded file?
Wait for the file to download completely. Your computer will usually tell you how long the download will take. After the file has downloaded, you will need to run it in order to install your new software. To run it just double-click it.

Q: Can I download software programs more than once?
Yes, you can download our programs as many times as you need to.

Q: What if I uninstall the software, but then need to download the software again?
No problem,just download the program again.

Q: How do I uninstall your software from my computer?
1. Select the Start button on your Windows task bar.
2.Select Settings, and then Control Panel.
3. Choose Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
4.Highlight the program you want removed from your computer, and then select the Change/Remove button.
5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Q: What if my computer crashes or I buy a new computer?
You’re covered. Download the software again free of charge.

Q: Where is the program installed on my computer?
By default it installs to C:\Program Files\??Name of program

Q: Can I change the program location on my computer?
Yes, but only with downloaded installation program. Bear in mind any files created will also need to be moved to the new location.

Common causes and solutions for unsuccessful downloads Demand for downloads can be high the first week after a product release. You may be able to download faster if you avoid peak download hours (9:00 am to 6:00 pm EST). There are a number of reasons why you might receive an error message during the download process, find that the process hangs, or receive an error message when you try to unzip or open the file.
Simply re-downloading may solve the problem, but check the following issues to see if they may apply: 1. The temporary internet file cache is too small to contain the file as it downloads.
Enlarge the temporary internet file cache: In Internet Explorer go to Tools > Internet Options
General tab Temporary Internet Files > Settings, and increase the “Amount of disk space to use” setting to 150 MB. (The default is 50 MB.)
2. You are using a download manager or download accelerator.
Download without the assistance of the manager or accelerator and this should solve the problem
3. The browser you are using cannot handle such a large download file. Try downloading using another browser (for example Firefox instead of Internet Explorer).
4. There is not space available on your drive to expand the installer into the default TEMP directory. Clear your default TEMP directory and free up space on your hard drive.
5. You are selecting Open rather than Save when asked if you would like to open the file or save to your computer. Select the option to Save the file, then open the file when it has downloaded to your hard drive.
6. If you are using a Modem you may need to decrease the transmission speed.
Try decreasing the data transmission speed before downloading.
7. There is a software conflict with third party software.
You may need to remove the conflicting software or download the trial on another computer.

Download Roof Calculator Writer

RoofCalcWriter Software

Self Installing Download

(No more sales)


Roof Calculator Writer 10.8
Version 10.8 RoofCalcWriter 10.8
Release Date: Nov 18,2016
OS: Windows XP,7,8 & 10
Size: 8806kb
No more sales


  • Get a complete detailed roofing material list.
  • Figure any kind of roofing material.
  • Create and print a detail price list.
  • Full illustrated context sensitive help.
  • Button click a weather report.
  • Add waste to your materials.
  • Round material units to the next full unit.
  • Click a button to add for pitch (2/12 to 24/12).
  • Save and recall all your detail calculations.
  • Automatic free program updates.
  • Full Money back guarantee.

Roof Calculator and Price Per Square

RoofCalcWriter 10             All credit cards
  New ! Version 19, release date: February, 2017  

roofing proposal and roof proposalAll programs in one integrated package.
 We have improved all our programs and put them into one package. Get a material list by entering a few numbers. A couple clicks enters your predefined price per square and your total price is produced. Click another button and produce proposals, invoices, change orders, certifications and letters. All documents and roof measurements are saved to one file.

   RoofCalculator 6.5             
   Version 6.4, release date: October 8, 2016   

RooFCalculator 6.4 New RoofCalculator 6.4 + New Price Per Square
We have improved both of these programs and put them into one package. Get a material list by entering a few numbers. A couple clicks enters your predefined price per square and your total price  is produced. See all your numbers entered in detail.


Classy Writer

Version 3.5, release date: October 8, 2016  

Classy writer  Create and print beautiful professional proposals, invoices,
change orders, roof certifications and letters. Fast and easy
to use.  All parts of your documents are fully customizable.
Insert pictures, word art, your logo or anything you can copy
and paste. Comes with an book that emails


We accept all credit cards


Roofing Nail Specifactions

Nail Specifactions
nail specifactions

Most Roofing nails have a large head diameter of 7/16 and are hot dipped galvanized or electrogalvanized to reduce rusting. Drywall nails have cupped head and are Phosphate coated to reduce rusting.

Nail Size Nail Length Shank Diameter Head Diameter
2d 1″ 0.070 11/64
3d 1-1/4″ 0.085 13/64
4d  1-1/2″ 0.1 1/4
5d 1-3/4″ 0.1 17/64
6d 2″ 0.115 17/64
7d 2-1/4″ 0.115 17/64
8d 2-1/2″ 0.131 9/32
9d 2-3/4″ 0.131 9/32
10d 3″ 0.148 5/16
12d 3-1/4″ 0.148 5/16
16d 3-1/2″ 0.162 11/32
20d 4″ 0.195 13/32
30d 4-1/2″ 0.210 7/16
40d 5″ 0.230 15/32
50d 5-3/8″ 0.250 1/2
60d 6″ 0.260 17/32

Roofing address book, emailer

The Address Book included in RoofCalWriter

The address book makes customer information truly organized. Save an estimate in the RoofCalcWriter program and your address book is updated. Need to email just click the email button. Sort by company name or last name.

Got repeat customers, just double click a name on the list or click the insert into estimate button. Search? Just start typing in the box provided and the names will be highlighted according to what you type. Click the address icon to display an online map to the selected customer being edited.

Address book

Send your proposals, Invoices and other documents by email with just a couple clicks. Or send a custom formatted html email to anyone.

About RoofGenius

Our business hours 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday thru Saturday. We answer emails usually within an hour and never more than 4 hours. You will not see any irritating popup window advertisements on this website. You will never receive unsolicited email from RoofGenius.

I am a former roofing contractor and i am the owner of this website. I have been in the roofing business for 41 years. 24 years as a shingler and 17 years as a roofing contractor all in California.
I started shingling when i was 14 after school and on the weekends. We nailed on wood shingles by throwing a handfull of 3 penny nails in our mouth.
We were given a roll of metal and made all of our step shingles, chimney flashings and any other flashings we needed.
How things were then is a whole another story. I will post some of those stories when i get time. I can remember some really neat inventions (Liftbed trucks, nail strippers).

My business philosophy was this: Do everything to code, use the best materials, do not cheat anyone, if we say we are going do something, do it and if we have a problem get it taken care of. At my tops I had 35 roofers, 2 secretaries, 2 estimators, 1 dispatcher, 2 liftbed trucks and 3 forklifts. We did mostly steep work with shakes, comp and some tile. We did about 80% new work.

Some of the general contractors i had we did all their work for the entire 17 years i was in business My job then was mostly ordering materials, collecting money, measuring plans and watching over everybody. I called it quits in 1996 after almost every roof changed to concrete tile and i did not learn Spanish in high school.


I bought a business program and 3 computers in about 1988 Not realizing how difficult computer programs are to learn i thought i could get my secretary to learn it and show me how. Wrong.

This program had the following modules; Job Cost, Payroll, Accounts receivable, Accounts payable, Inventory, Spreadsheet Interface and General Ledger. With me working after hours in about a month we finally got it to print payroll checks. In about 6 months everything else. This program did everything except estimating, so i developed an estimating program written in Lotus 123. This program made estimating a cinch.

A contractor could walk into my office with a set of plans and leave in 15 minutes with a written proposal. People used to tell me i should sell the program. I still have the program, but people would to have Lotus 123 on their computers to use it.

This brings me to the software on this site. In about March 2000 i was searching the internet looking at estimating programs and found many that would work. I noticed after studying them i found they were not easy to use ( i been down that road) and you could not try them first. Some were so packed with features, that in finally finding out how to use a particular feature if you don’t use it often you have to figure it out all over again.
So i decided to write the RoofCalcWriter program. The goal of the RoofCalcWriter program: Easy. What does easy mean? Easy simply means use it, not figure out how to use it.
The development process is ongoing with accuracy and easy in mind.