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  • Writer's pictureElite Roofing

What Is A Roof Water Test?

Updated: May 9, 2023

A water test, also commonly referred to as a flood test, is a test that roofing contractors perform to ensure that your flat roof's membrane is still sealed and intact. To perform this test, your roofing contractor will use a controlled water source to fill your flat roof with a shallow layer of water (often less than 25mm) to check if the roof is leak-proof. If there happen to be any leaks inside the house prior to the test, this can help your roofing contractor pinpoint the exact location of the leak quicker than thermal testing would. Water tests are especially helpful as they can reveal leaks in the roof, HVAC units, walls, penetrations, or other areas.

a roof water test done by Elite Roofing in Jersey City, NJ

Although a water test sounds like just filling your roof with water, this is something we highly advise leaving to your roofing contractor and not attempting to do it yourself. By performing a water test on your own, you have the potential to oversaturate your roof which can lead to moisture becoming trapped in the insulation and decking, ultimately leading to wood rot and other major issues. It is necessary to have a proper plan for drainage in order to quickly remove the water once the source of the leak is located. Attempting to do a water test on your own is not only ineffective but can lead to a lot more damage thus leading to extensive and costly repairs.

A roof water test done by Elite Roofing in Hoboken, NJ

An advantage of a water test is that, unlike other procedures that need to be taken when performing work on your roof, a water test does not require your roofing contractor to remove any finishings off of your roof. A disadvantage of a water test is that although water tests are extremely useful in checking if your roof is sealed and if there are any leaks, a water test is unfortunately not able to inform your roofing contractor of where exactly water is traveling to. Yes, a water test can and most often will inform your roofer as to where the opening is that is allowing water to enter your home, but it cannot determine where exactly the water is traveling to other than a known active leak, thus allowing room for unknown/un-located leaks to become another issue.

A roof water test dine by Elite Roofing in Jersey City, NJ

In all, your roofing contractor will only recommend a water test if they feel it is completely necessary. It is important to remember that this is not something you should attempt to do on your own as it can lead to even more damage and costly repairs. If you’re currently having a leak and want to have a professional check it out for you, feel free to contact us! You can reach us by calling our office at (201)436-1011, sending an email to, or by filling out the form on our website using this link: Here at Elite Roofing, we have many years of experience with all types of roofs and can quickly assess and diagnose the problems of your roof. Contact us today for a FREE estimate!

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