Signs Your Roof Is Leaking (Hint: They’re Not All As Obvious As You’d Think)
Many parts of the country have experienced a very wet few months. Unfortunately, all that precipitation can spell trouble for your home, especially if you’re already in need of roof maintenance. Homeowners spend an average of 1-4% of their house’s value on repairs and maintenance every year, but it’ll be much more cost-effective to address a leak early on than make more extensive roof repairs (or even get a total roof replacement) later. To make matters a bit tougher, roof leaks aren’t always as easy to spot as you might believe. Yes, a drippy ceiling is a surefire sign, but there are plenty of other signals to keep an eye out for. Here are just a few of them.
- Buckled or curling shingles
If you have an asphalt or slate shingle roof, you might notice that the appearance of your roof isn’t what it once was. Curling or buckled shingles are never a good thing. There are several causes, ranging from improper installation to ineffective ventilation, and these occurrences can actually have a few different consequences. One is that they can lead to leaks. Even if your roof doesn’t start leaking (yet), you should still contact your roofing contractors to take a look and talk about making some repairs. These aren’t issues you should ignore.
- Roof rot
If your roof is rotting, you’ll probably know with just a quick visual inspection. Also known as dry rot, this occurs when there’s poor ventilation and too much moisture. The result is a black, gross roof that will eventually break down and cause water leaks. While you can prevent roof rot by making sure your attic has good ventilation and by removing debris from your roof, once it’s there, it needs to be taken care of right away. Otherwise, your entire roof could crumble. And at that point, leaks won’t be your only concern.
- Mold and algae
This is often a concern for homeowners in warm and humid climates, but it can potentially occur just about anywhere. If you see moss or mold growing on your roof or the exterior walls of your home, it could indicate an underlying issue with your gutters or downspouts. Those aren’t actually part of the roof itself, but they work together to create your roofing system. And if they aren’t working properly, leaks can occur and additional gutter and roof maintenance may be required.
A drippy ceiling is obvious, but water stains might not always be as evident. They can look like large puddles, but if they’re small and located in the corner of a room, you might not spot them. Discolorations can be hard to see with certain paint colors, too; it’s easy to mistake them for shadows. They can also appear around chimneys, vents, and even away from the original leak source. Carefully inspect the rooms of your home and seek out a second opinion if you aren’t sure whether what you’re observing is a water stain.
Fall and winter can bring along tricky weather conditions. The last thing you’ll want is to deal with a leaking roof during a seasonal storm. If you want to protect your home and your family, the best thing you can do is schedule your yearly roof inspection and deal with necessary roof maintenance sooner rather than later.