Daylight thru the roof

Sometimes it’s the simple things that trip me up. When I entered the attic of a home with a wood shake roof, I could see multiple instances (5 or 6) of light coming through the shake. My gut reaction is that we should never see daylight through a roof, but there were so many and not a lot of moisture issues (some dry stains around some areas) it’s making me wonder how to write it up. The exterior shakes were in fair condition, no immediate repairs required. Thoughts?



I have found it is possible to see light on shake/shingle roofs. But usually when the shakes were warped and showing heavy sign of deterioration. What sort of condition were the shingles in?

I think you’d have to write up what you see. Hole and water stains. If they’re not currently wet then say so and recommend monitoring. I find thermal imaging to work well in this circumstance unless it’s been very dry and hot for several weeks.

Hi to all,

we are getting way too used to thinking that all roof systems are designed to be air tight, when I lived in both the UK and New England it was very common to see points of light on older slate roofs. I would note that light could be seen between some shingles, but if I felt that there were no active leaks I would just advise monitoring the system (unless there were signs of damaged, rotting or warping shingles).

Edit after 2nd thought: how old is the home/roofing system? all manufacturers of modern cedar shingle recommend a felt paper substrate over the skip sheathing, if this were a shake rather than a shingle it would require felt/tar paper between every course.



Thank you both!

“Observe and report!” “Observe and report!” “Observe and report!”

I will document what I saw and recommend monitoring. Older roof (15 years?) but in pretty good condition.


That pic to me looks like a hole in the roof at a rafter, and I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be leaking. I agree with Gerry about shake and slate roofing in general, but in this case the hole looks like it’s in the middle of a shingle/shake, and I’d have recommended repair.