Early Warning Signs that Your Roof Has a Leak: What You Shouldn’t Ignore

Most people don’t pay much attention to their home’s roof. It’s big, covered in shingles, and it gets the job done – until it doesn’t. A roof leak can rot your roofing beams, create large hidden mold growths, dissolve your drywall, and even put your home’s foundation at risk. But before the major (high cost) damages appear, there will be smaller warning signs. Watch for these early signs of a roof leak to stop further water damage to your home.

The Smell of Moisture and Mold Near the Walls

Never ignore a wet or mildew smell inside the home. There is a big difference between the fresh smell of a spring rain and the musty smell of water running between your walls and soaking into the wooden beams.  If you smell mildew where you shouldn’t or if your home smells “wet” indoors during and after a heavy rain, it’s time to search for leaks. 

Head into your attic. Touch the beams, then reach overhead and touch the underlayment to inspect for moisture. Take a deep breath and follow what your nose tells you. If you smell moisture or mildew, there’s a possibility that water is making it past your shingles and into the wood. This can cause dry rot (which is actually wet) and mold growth which eats away the wood over time and releases harmful spores.

Flickering Light Fixtures, Especially When it Rains

When water from a roof leak hits the wiring behind your ceiling, it is a very dangerous situation. Watch out for any electrical irregularity during storms. Power outages may be normal, but flickering lights and shorts when it rains are a bad sign. Do not change the light bulb. Look closely at the fixture to detect if there is any moisture in the ceiling, running down from the power cords, or around the base of the fixture.

Water Pooling in the Ceiling

You don’t need a light fixture for water to pool in the ceiling. Water from above, often from a roof leak or upstairs plumbing failure, can cause water to pool within the seal of the ceiling’s paint. You may see the paint start to form a bubble, and if the bubble breaks or is pierced, water will fall out. This is a troubling sign for your home maintenance, but often one of the earlier signs that water is flowing through your home where it should not.

In a one-story house or on the top floor, water in the ceiling is almost always a sign of a major roof leak.

Water Running Down the House – Interior or Exterior

If you see water running down a wall or beam when it rains, call for roof repairs immediately. Homes have wide eaves (roof overhang) and gutters to direct water repelled by the roof to a safe distance away from the house. These elements protect your home’s structure and foundation. If you are concerned about these regions of your home, contact our roofing experts to inspect.

Broken or Malfunctioning Gutters

Take a look at your gutters. Any damage to your gutter – or clogged gutters in need of cleaning – can cause the incorrect flow of water around your home. Damaged gutters may be the cause of a roof leak as they fail to effectively direct water away from your home. Make the smart decision to contact a professional roofing company as they will need careful reinstallation along with an inspection to make sure the rest of your roof is in good condition.

You Can See Sunlight Through the Attic Roof

Finally, take a look at your attic on a sunny day. Simply look up. If you can see sunlight filtering through the shingles, this is like seeing a hole in the top of your tent: bad news. Your shingles should form a solid, light-proof double-layer of asphalt between your home and rain or sunshine. If you can see sunshine, contact a roofing specialist immediately.

If you detect early signs of roof damage in your home, contact Happy Home Roofing for an inspection. We’ll make sure your home is safe and secure for the next heavy rain.