Leak testing a roof?

Hello, The other morning while on an Inspection, with the Buyer present, I was followed into the attic. Together, we noticed an automotive oil drain pan placed at the lower end of the valley rafter. Being there hadn’t been any rain for months, everything was dry. The Buyer wanted me to hook up garden hoses and soak down the roof, to check for leaks. Has anyone ever ran into this? I know that we are out there to do a non-intrusive inspection, how do you think this plays? :shock:

My PIA clearly states that I do not perform leak tests.

If you were to do so, and it leaked, are you ready to cover any damages that may result?

Unless you are going to soak the whole roof for several hours at different angles, you will not even begin to come close to discovering all the possible places leaks could be present, but you will have very successfully taken on the liability for all roof leaks due to your partial test.

Client satisfaction is not worth that much. :wink:

I would kindly explain that my insurance does not have a stupid clause so I can’t soak a roof to find leaks. If they get upset I ask if they read the Standards of practice I sent to them. I had a client asking me to verify that the underground sprinklers were working. It was January for god sakes!! :shock:You just can’t fix stupid.

I would state, as others have, that running a hose on this spot may not make it leak as it might under driving rain. There should be other conditions present for you to make a recommendation.

On the picture below, the roof had been replaced recently and they just left the buckets in place. It was raining at the time of this inspection so no recommendation for roof repairs was deemed necessary.

Hey guys,
Thanks for the responses, I’m fairly new in this profession, I appreciate the guidance!

put your location in your profile.


Ken, do not ever leak test a roof. You can use your moisture meter to help determine if stains are old (dry) or new (wet leaked recently).

What happens if you pour water up there and it does leak? now you ruined the dwelling and they will ask you to “make it right”.

What if you dont hit the right angle and it appears not to leak until the next rain, than they want you to fix it because you leak tested it and said it was good.

Lose, Lose situation, observe what you can, report what you see.