Signs That Your Roof Needs Repair

A well-maintained roof protects everything else inside a home. It stands up to rain, snow, sunlight, wind, and a host of other things that can damage it.


However, no one wants to be repairing a roof in howling gale force winds or during a blizzard. It’s important to get the basics in place so that when damage does occur, a repair can be accomplished quickly. Visit to learn more.

A well-maintained roof protects everything inside it. From the tiniest of cracks to massive holes, a faulty roof can lead to rotting in the substructures, mold, mildew, interior damage, and a host of other problems. That’s why it is important to know the signs that your roof needs repair – and to be aware of the difference between emergency repairs and preventative maintenance.

The most obvious sign that you need a roof repair is water leaking into the home. You can usually spot this problem by looking for puddles on the ceiling in the lower part of the house, or by seeing discolored areas of the walls and ceiling. You should also check your attic regularly for signs of leaks – look out for water stains and the presence of fungal growth or algae.

When a leak is not repaired quickly, it can become more severe and cause even more serious issues with your home’s interior. For example, it can allow water to penetrate the insulation and drywall. This can be a very expensive problem to fix and can even require that the entire roof be replaced.

Similarly, if you notice that the shingles on your roof have begun to crack or curl, this is another sign that the roof is in need of a repair. You can sometimes repair this by replacing the individual damaged shingles, although this may not completely correct the problem. In the long run, a full roof replacement is often a better option.

Finally, if you find a lot of granules in the gutters or downspouts, this is another sign that the roof needs repair. These granules are the result of the natural degradation of the shingles due to weather or lack of ventilation and should be addressed immediately.

You should also look for any signs of rot or mold on the underside of the eaves, or in the attic. This can indicate that the roof is rotting or infested with vermin. If you do find any of these issues, it is a good idea to call in a professional to inspect the roof and make a recommendation for the best way to proceed.

Inspecting the Roof

If you suspect a leak in your roof, it’s important to inspect the exterior of your home and your attic space before calling a professional roofer. This will give you a chance to see the extent of the damage that could be caused by the roof leak.

Depending on how long the leak has gone undetected, you may find extensive black mold growth or even structural damage to your home. Before you do any further inspections, make sure to clear the area of any standing water. This will help you avoid any further damage and prevent the water from continuing to enter your home and cause more damage.

If you are unsure where the water is coming from, there is a good chance that your attic will show signs of water staining or wet insulation. If you have a ladder, it’s a good idea to get up there and look around for any loose or damaged shingles that might be the source of the leak. You should also look for areas that seem to be sagging or balding.

Once you have a good view of the roof from the outside, take pictures with your super duper 21st century smartphone or the selfie stick that your millennial relative gave you two years ago (but never used). Ideally, you will want to see a picture that clearly shows the areas of your roof that are affected by the leak.

Next, head into your attic or crawlspace and examine the ceilings of the second floor. If there are any water stains on the ceiling, it’s a good indicator that you have a roof leak somewhere in the house.

If the attic does show signs of a leak, use a flashlight to examine the areas of your roof where you have a suspicion that a leak is occurring. If you have a suspicion that the roof is leaking near a skylight, valley or vent, try spraying the area with water from a hose while you’re up there. This should simulate rainfall and help you find the source of the leak. If you can’t locate the source of the leak, start pulling up a few shingles to examine the decking underneath. Discolored paper, rotted wood and water stains should be easy to spot.

Identifying the Cause of the Leak

When a leak develops, it’s crucial to identify the source and make repairs as soon as possible. This will help limit damage and reduce costs in the long run, especially since unchecked water damage can lead to costly mold remediation and roof replacement. Thankfully, there are many telltale signs that it’s time to schedule a roof repair or inspection.

One of the most common indicators is water stains on the ceiling. These typically have tints of brown around them and are a sure sign that it’s time to get your roof checked out. Leaks from a damaged roof often occur as a result of missing shingles, deteriorated flashing and vulnerabilities in the seals around roof vents.

In addition to stains on the ceiling, look for wet spots in the walls and at the base of interior doors and windows. You’ll also want to take note of rusty gutters and debris in downspouts, as these can be caused by improper installation, weathering and other issues higher up on the roof.

The most difficult area to locate a leak is in the attic. If you’re unable to access your attic, you can use a smoke pencil or other detection tools to help you find the source of the problem. However, this can be expensive and damaging, so it’s best to leave the detection process to a professional.

If you have attic access, look for dark spots on the ceiling and any sagging in the drywall. The sagging may be the result of water pressure building inside the attic, which can lead to a ceiling collapse. In these cases, it’s a good idea to remove any personal belongings from the room and move large furniture out of the way until the leak is repaired.

Check for wet insulation and holes on the underside of shingles as well. These are easy to miss, but they can lead to rot and other serious problems down the road if left unchecked. You should also replace any shingle caps that have fallen off or were removed due to wear and tear.

Repairing the Leak

It’s always best to do a roof repair as soon as possible. Even a small leak can lead to major problems over time, including rotted framing and sheathing, mold and damaged ceilings. The longer you wait to fix a leak, the more expensive it will be.

The location of the leak will impact the cost of the repair. If the leak is near a structural element such as a chimney, an attic vent, or a wall, it may be more difficult to track down and fix. Repairs that involve removing large sections of the roof or replacing flashing and shingles are more costly than simple sealant repairs. The extent of the damage and labor requirements will also impact the cost.

If you can’t afford a professional roof repair, there are some things you can do yourself to help mitigate the problem. If you have attic access, start by looking for water stains in the ceiling. If you can find one, trace it to its source in the attic. Look uphill from the stain and scan several feet in each direction. Penetrations such as plumbing and roof vents, dormers, and attic fans are a common source of leaks.

You can often spot these penetrations by their metal or plastic caps. If the cap is missing, cracked, or rusty, it’s time to replace it. You can find replacement caps at most home improvement stores or online.

Leaks can also form where shingle edges meet, especially in areas that aren’t well sealed or covered by the eaves. These areas are also prone to water collection from wind-driven debris.

For these areas, a good option is to use a strip of adhesive ice and water barrier, available at most home improvement stores. It’s easy to apply and will give you extra protection until a more permanent solution can be put in place. For a more serious leak, it’s worth hiring a professional to replace the flashing and shingles in the affected area. The process is similar to a valley repair but requires extra care to ensure the new shingles match up with the surrounding ones.