Water damage can be insidious. It can get into your roof, walls, floors or foundations without you even noticing. And once the moisture is in there, it can start to do some serious damage.
Since your roof is directly exposed to the elements, it can be particularly susceptible to water damage. Add to that the fact that people rarely get onto the roof or in the roof space. That means that you may not notice the damage until it’s too late.
But you don’t need to see the dripping water to know you need leaking roof repairs. Here are five obvious (and not so obvious) signs that your roof is leaking.
1. Water stains
Look high up on walls and on the ceiling for any water stains. Water stains look like a puddle and the edges are often brown. You may even notice that your walls are damp.
Some water stains can be hard to spot if they are in corners or poorly lit areas. They may also be more obvious on exterior walls.
Remember, where the water stain is not necessarily where the leak is. Water can travel along rafters before pooling on the ceiling or walls.
2. Mould or mildew
Mould and mildew grow best in damp conditions. Both can stain your walls and,in some cases, can pose significant health risks. Look for clusters of black, bluish-grey and greenish-grey spots on your walls.
Outside, look for mould or other damp-loving plants, like algae and moss, on your exterior walls and even your roof. This can indicate that water is collecting rather than running off your roof.
3. Drips from the ceiling
Dripping ceilings are particularly alarming. They may only happen when it rains or just after. Make a note of where the drip is and look to have it repaired as soon as possible.Remember that fixing the dripping ceiling may not fix the actual problem. Chances are the water is getting in through the roof before it reaches the ceiling. So, it’s vital that you trace the leak in the roof first.
If your ceiling is not immediately below the roof, like in a multi-storey house or apartment, a drip can be a sign of some other problem such as a burst pipe.
Make sure to turn off and unplug any electronics in the room where the ceiling is dripping. Catch the drip in a bucket to stop the floor getting wet.
The drip may not be obvious. It may present as condensation on the walls and ceiling.
4. Unpleasant smells
Oftentimes, you can smell hidden moisture before you can see it. If moisture is getting into your ceiling, walls of flooring it can cause a musty, mouldy smell. If you have persistent musty moisture smells around the house, there’s a distinct possibility you have a leaking roof.
5. Damaged roof shingles, flashing or tiles
After storms, heavy rain and windy days, it’s a good idea to check your roof for damage. Damaged shingles, tiles and flashing can cause roof leaks. You can also look for visibly sagging in the roof and roof structures as well as any standing water on your roof or in your gutters.
If you notice any of these signs, you should act quickly. Some leaks may be small and are suitable for quick DIY fixes. Others may be more extensive and may require the attention of roof repair specialists or other tradespeople, like plumbers or electricians. Whatever the extent of the repairs, you can’t afford to ignore the problem. Any amount of moisture can start to do serious damage to your home if left untreated.