In many cases, roof damage is easy to recognize. Dripping ceilings and missing shingles are obvious indicators that you should call a professional right away for an assessment. Many homeowners aren’t aware, however, that there are other subtle signs of issues that – left to linger – could cause expensive projects down the line.
Silent killers like excess moisture in the attic or walls can endanger both the structure of your home and your health. A little detective work can go a long way in making sure your home and your family stay healthy and strong.
In this series, we will cover the subtle signs of roof damage beginning with red flags you might notice indoors. Next week, we will discuss signs to look for on the exterior of your home.
Related Article: How to Perform a Routine Roof Inspection
Often, the first sign of a leaky roof will be small, faint discolored spots on the ceiling. Do a spot check around your home, clearing the ceilings in each of your rooms. Don’t forget to check corners and underused areas as well, especially inside closets.
While you’re touring your home to check your ceilings, make sure you also check down around your baseboards. Water will naturally work its way down inside your walls and pool at floor levels, so you’ll want to watch out for any discolored areas.
Finally, head up to the attic. Roof joists might show dark spots or areas that signal water infiltration. Practice safety by being careful where you walk and using a flashlight.
Some pipes vent up through the roof. If you are in the basement or attic where these pipes are visible, make sure to run a light or hand over them to check for dampness. If it is a hot and humid day, there could be condensation, but it could also be water leaking down from the roof.
If you have a wood stove or pellet stove and notice a rusty area on the vent pipe, it could be poorly flashed where it passes through the roof. If you’re noticing any water where it doesn’t belong or rust in general, you should assess for damage.
Beyond looking around for spots and rust, it’s important to open up your senses to other nonvisual signs. If you hear any dripping sound in the home of which you cannot find the origin, it should be investigated as quickly as possible. Many times, it is a leaking pipe or faucet, but it could also be water working its way through the roof. Take a flashlight to dark areas and look for anything shiny that may be wet.
Homeowners should also be very responsive to odd smells in the home. If you notice a mysterious musty smell, it could be due to damp building materials, mildew, or mold growth in the walls, attic, or basement. Any excess moisture should be addressed quickly, especially if it’s due to roof damage.
Finally, if windy days are recently causing you to hear a whistling sound indoors, it’s possible that air is entering your home through roof damage. You could have loose roofing materials or a new hole in the roof or overhang.
Paint starting to bubble or peel on interior walls can be a serious indicator that water has worked its way into your walls. Water leaking in from the roof can travel along beams and wall joists and cause damage to show up almost anywhere.
One of the most concerning signs is sagging ceilings, which indicates that water infiltration has saturated your joists, sheetrock, or plaster and is causing it to dip and curve.
Related Article: Roof Replacement: What to Know Before You Begin
Ask any professional: ignoring even subtle signs of roof damage can leave you and your home in danger. Make sure you keep up with the regular inspections of your home and pay special attention to the signs listed above. If you have noticed any of these red flags, call a professional right away for a roof inspection.
Here at Advance Inc., we are happy to inspect your roof and help you keep your home healthy and happy. Contact us today and speak with one of our consultants.