4 Signs Your Roof is Leaking — and What to Do About It

Leaking ceiling
Water damage from leaking roofs doesn’t just cause cosmetic damage; the results can be devastating structural problems. (DepositPhotos)

A roof leak is a serious structural issue that must never be taken lightly.

Even a relatively minor leak could cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage in a matter of days, and that is why you must keep an eye out for any signs that your roof might be damaged.

Look out for these signs of a leaky roof.

Woman pointing out water stains to man
Notice water stains on the walls or ceiling? Those could indicate a leaking roof. (DepositPhotos)

1. Stains on the Walls or Ceiling

Over a few years, some of the surfaces in your home are sure to become stained.

While minor discoloration is natural, be wary of distinct stains on the walls or ceiling. They could result from a few pinholes letting water into your home.

Luckily, any local roofing company should be able to patch most small leaks within just a few hours.

Man smelling something bad

2. Unpleasant Smells

As a homeowner, your nose will be an important tool in the coming years.

If there are distinct smells in your home that last for more than a few days, you will need to get to the bottom of the situation.

When a roof is leaking water, you might notice a musty smell whenever you turn on the heating and cooling system or crack open some windows.

That smell is sometimes the result of wet insulation, and you will need to head to into your attic to see if any batts or rolls are damaged.

Repairing roof, replacing shingles
Water damage can cause roof shingles to curl, requiring repairs. (DepositPhotos)

3. Dripping Sounds and Curled Shingles

Immediately after you turn off a faucet or showerhead, you could hear a faint dripping sound.

That noise is normal, but be wary if you constantly hear dripping water.

In addition to checking your attic for signs of damage, you should visually inspect your roof from the outside.

A leak could cause some shingles to curl or crack, and you will need to have a roofing contractor replace the damaged shingles and patch the holes.

Regularly check your home for signs of mold.

4. Mold or Mildew

Indoor mold has been linked to a wide variety of serious health problems including respiratory tract infections, asthma, pneumonia, and certain forms of cancer.

At least once every few months, you should look over every inch of your home to see if there are any signs of mold or mildew. A leaking roof will often result in mold outbreaks around the vents, ceiling fans and light fixtures.

If you believe that your roof might have a leak, you need to contact your home insurance provider right away.

You might only have a few days to notify the insurance provider of the damage, and you want to be sure that you are going to be fairly compensated in a timely manner.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. The source of most roof leaks is hard to find because it originates away from where the leak shows up. There are certain ways of finding a source of roof leaks. Anyone can find it with the help of professional advice. Finding roof leaks is not only the solution because roof leak is considered a major structural problem and it is advisable to have a proper structure inspection of your building by a certified professional.

  2. I had NO idea that stains on the walls or ceiling indicate a leak. I’m off to The Home Depot to take care of all the inspections and repairs, stat!!!

    • We’re glad this content could help, Victoria!
      And those are our favorite words — “I’m off to The Home Depot.”
      Good luck with that roof leak. 🙂


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