How to Determine Siding Leaks

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Siding, whether it's aluminum or wood, is meant to act as the outer layer of skin on your home and keep the wind and the rain out, while letting you remain dry and warm inside. However, time and the continued pressure of the elements can wear away at your siding and lead to leaks. These can sometimes be tricky to hunt down, but if you're diligent you can usually find out where the leak has sprung from.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Flashlight

Looking for leaks

  • Visually examine the siding for leaks. Look for gaps between the layers, for holes in the siding and for hanging or rotting caulk or sealant. Siding is put together like overlapping scales, meant to provide protection for the house beneath. If the areas between the siding are open, or if the siding itself is breached, it will result in a leak.

  • Spray the siding with a garden hose. Do this one wall at a time, soaking the wall for several minutes on the widest spray possible, making sure you get between the siding pieces as well as over the top. This will simulate rain and will give you a chance to see the potential damage that's being done, under controlled circumstances.

  • Turn off the hose and look at the interior of the wall. If the interior of the wall is dark, then use a flashlight to see where the water is leaking through the siding. Looking at the siding from the interior will show you where the water is coming through. Pay attention to joints between the siding, such as where the layers overlap and where they join at the corners.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that you examine any place where there are gaskets or seals, such as around windows or chimneys, where water might seep in.
  • Look at the interior of the wall when there is bright light shining on the other side. Gaps can be seen by sunlight shining in as well as by water leaking through.

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