A good, reliable roofing system is important in protecting your home and for your peace of mind.
Not only does a well-cared for roof enhance your property’s curb appeal, but it also serves as a protective barrier against the outside world and shelters the interior of your home from wind, rain, hail, dust or debris.
But even the toughest roofs are susceptible to wear and tear.
As a homeowner or property manager, one of the issues you may have to deal with is a leaking roof.
A leaking roof, no matter how big or small, must not be taken lightly.
Even a seemingly small leak in your roof if left unrepaired, can lead to structural damage and thousands of dollars’ worth of roof repair or roof replacement costs.
Some roof leaks are easy to spot, while others are more difficult to detect.
Signs that you have a leak in your roof
Water spots on the ceiling
Discolouration or wet spots on the ceiling is one of the most visible indications that there is water leaking from your roof.
They may be caused by a damaged roof or lost roofing tiles or shingles.
While the water spots on your ceiling may not be easily noticeable at the beginning, they may worsen when left unattended.
As the water spots are left unrepaired, you may then notice the ceiling paint becoming darker or the plaster forming bubbles or cracks.
Over time, the spots may grow bigger and then spread to nearby walls, damaging paint and plaster there as well.
If your ceiling is made from wood or any porous material, you may also expect mould growth on the water spots.
Mould is attracted to organic matter, and they thrive in damp areas, making the water stains on your ceiling a perfect home for mould to grow.
Water damage on the interior and exterior of walls
Excess moisture from the roof may cause damage on your interior and exterior walls.
Look out for damp patches, uneven surfaces or peeling paint in your interior walls.
You may also inspect if algae or moss is growing in your exterior walls.
Water damage on either the interior or exterior walls may be caused by loose, torn or cracked flashings.
Roof flashings are thin pieces of metal installed on the joints of your roof that create a water-resistant barrier.
Roofers will seal the flashing, but the seal can eventually corrode, especially when constantly exposed to wind or rain.
Damage on walls may also be caused by broken or clogged downspout and gutters, causing water to overflow down to the sides of your property or seep through cracks.
Occasional water drip from roof
If water starts dripping from a hole in your ceiling down to your walls or directly on the floor, it could mean that there is heavy water runoff on the other side of that hole.
A dripping ceiling will obviously indicate that there is a leak in your roof, which means your roofing materials are loose, missing or damaged.
It is important to act on it immediately and contact a roofer to inspect your damaged roof, before water accumulates and causes your whole ceiling to crumble or collapse.
Water damage: a damp smell in your home
Leaks in your roof may occur on hidden areas in your home, too.
Besides your sense of sight, your sense of smell is also a helpful tool in detecting possible leak problems.
If you smell something damp or musty, trust your nose to lead you to where the unpleasant smell is coming from.
Most likely, that area has a damaged or leaky roof, and excess water has begun to pool, causing mould and mildew to grow.
Broken roofing tiles
Roof tiles made of clay, slate or concrete protect the underlying layers in your roofing system.
While they are built to withstand the elements, such as wind, rain and hail, roof tiles can crack, or deteriorate over the years.
It is crucial to have your roof tiles inspected at least once a year to ensure they are in good condition.
The slightest crack must be repaired, replaced or removed. If ignored, broken, chipped or cracked roof tiles can allow water to seep through the roof, lead to mould growth, or cause extensive damage to your walls, ceilings and furniture.
There are many signs your roof could be allowing water inside your property. But leaks can occur in areas of your home such as above cupboards that aren’t necessarily that obvious.
These sneaky leaks will be causing damage to your home and belongings before you even notice them.
If you spot any of the above signs or if you suspect that there is a leak in your roof, it is crucial to act on it sooner than later.
It is always a good idea to contact a professional roofer to help you inspect your roofing system.
Experienced roofing professionals are equipped with the tools to determine the cause of the leaking roof and can undertake the necessary repairs needed to keep your roof in tip-top shape for many years to come.