The average cost to repair water damage to your home ranges from $2,700 to $7,500, and could be more depending on how much damage is done. Your roof is one of your home’s first defenses to protect against this water damage.
Worried your roof is leaking? If so, here are some telltale signs you have a leaky roof so you can get it fixed immediately to limit any water damage.
1. Water Stains on Your Ceiling
Water stains on your ceilings are one of the first signs that you have a leaky roof. A water stain may look like a large puddle with a brown ring around it.
Some stains are harder to spot if they’re in dark corners. The size of the stain doesn’t matter either, because even the smallest stains can be a sign of a large leak. If you see any discoloration on your walls or ceiling, you need to take a closer look for any other moisture or mold.
Leaks can travel from their source, so your leak may not be directly above this water stain. This is another reason you need someone to check out this leak.
2. Missing Shingles
If you have missing shingles, you could have some trouble with your roof. A patchy roof is prone to leaks over time. You may not see the leaks inside your home but could still have a leak in your crawl space or attic.
This is why you should check for any missing shingles. When you see any damage like missing shingles, you should contact a professional for an inspection.
3. Debris in Your Downspouts
Some granules on your roof will get loose over time. However, if you begin to notice more granules and roof debris in your downspouts, you may have a problem with your roof that can compromise its effectiveness.
4. You Have Drips
If you hear or see drips, you may have a leak. Even if the drips stop, you should still get it checked because you could have an ice dam, which happens from the thawing and freezing of melting ice and snow.
The thawed water moves beneath the shingles and will freeze again when temperatures drop. Any moisture issues can cause damage to your home even if the drips stop.
5. Growth on Your Walls
If you have any mold or moss on an exterior wall, this could be a problem with gutters on your roofing system. Your gutters move water away from your roof and into the ground. If your gutter system isn’t working properly, this could easily damage your roof and cause leaks.
If you see any growth on your exterior walls, this means the water isn’t running properly and you have a leak somewhere in the roofing system.
6. Mold on Your Roof
In addition to mold on the walls in your home, mold on your roof is also a sign of a leak. This may not impact the shingles but could be a potential problem, as fungi or algae could be growing on the roof from moist conditions or water leaks.
7. Buckling Shingles
Water absorption can cause your shingles to curl or buckle. If this happens, the roof could leak further. This could also happen if you have hot air trapped in the attic.
Either way, the shingles can allow water to build up underneath, causing your roof to leak.
8. Different Texture
Another sign your roof is leaking is if your shingles feel spongy if you walk on them. This texture means water is weakening your underlying deck.
If you shingles feel different, go into your attic. Look for any daylight peeking through the boards. If you see light, you have a leak.
9. Missing or Damaged Flashing
If you have any missing flashing, this could be a sign your roof is leaking. Flashing seals vulnerable spots on the roof, so if some are missing or damaged, water can leak through these areas.
10. Bubbling on Your Interior Walls
Interior walls can start to bubble from seeping water. Typically, you’ll see bubbling along with water spots on the ceiling.
These spots can actually take years to show up. This is why it’s important to regularly check your attic or crawl spot.
Dangers of a Leaky Roof
Along with damage to the structure of your home, a leaky roof can cause other problems. Your utility bills could increase with wasted energy because the water can compromise your insulation, forcing your air conditioner and furnace to work harder.
Mold and mildew pose serious health threats to you and your family, including nasal congestion, asthma, rhinitis, and other respiratory inflammations. Mold spores continue to produce until it’s killed, so this is a growing problem. Mold can begin growing once an area is wet in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
As soon as the roof leaks, it’ll damage the attic area and then the ceiling. This could compromise the structure of your home if it leaks long enough. If it moves to your ceiling, you could face electrical issues with the wires connecting ceiling fans and ceiling lights.
The ceiling joists and wall framing can also deteriorate. This requires additional repairs that are rather expensive.
With moisture in your attic, your electrical wiring could be a fire hazard by causing electrical shorts. Once you discover a leak, you’ll want to turn off electricity to surrounding areas and let an electrician inspect it.
See Any of These Signs? Contact a Roofing Contractor
If you see any of these signs of a leaky roof, it’s important to contact a roofing contractor immediately. Some of these signs may appear after your roof has been leaking for a long time. You’ll also need a professional to examine the cause of the leak to prevent future ones.