The sooner you can address a leak in your roof, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to fix. Waiting until you can actually see water coming through your roof is waiting way too long. It’s especially important to keep an eye out for signs after a storm. Here are some of the first things to look for that might indicate you have a roof leak.
- Missing or damaged shingles. It’s a good idea to inspect your roof periodically. If you spot missing or damaged shingles, this is an obvious entrance point for water, which can rot the wood sheathing underneath and can lead to extremely costly repairs. Get the shingles repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
- Issues with flashing. Flashing (the material, usually metal, that covers the joints on your roof where water would otherwise get in) is a common source of leaks. Look for corroded spots, small holes, or signs of rust. There may also be places where the flashing is coming loose and allowing water to stream in.
- Problems with the ceiling. The first visible sign of leaks on the inside of your home will often be on the ceiling. Any sagging, bubbles, or soft places should be investigated right away. You might notice peeling paint or discolored spots, too.
- Problems with walls. Like the ceiling, water damage often takes the form of peeling paint or discolored spots. You might see moisture marks, or gray, yellow, or brown stains. Drywall may also come undone in places.
- Mold. When leaks go undetected for a long time, they are very likely to cause mold in your home. This can cause symptoms like sore throat, itchy skin, and coughing in you or your family members, so it’s a good idea to have a mold inspection performed if one or more people in your household are having these symptoms. After the mold is removed, the leak should be found and addressed.
- Signs in the attic. If you have an attic that you can access, go there and look for signs. If you have a leaky roof, they’ll likely be pretty obvious. You might see water stains, discolorations, or even moldy areas.
Take quick action when you spot signs that may indicate a roof leak. If you’re handy and you feel comfortable with DIY projects, you can try to fix small issues (like a damaged shingle) yourself. For larger issues or when you can’t figure out the cause of the leak, call in a professional.