How to Know if Your Roof is Failing Before You See Water

Learning how to recognize the signs that a roof is failing before you see water can be a very important skill for a homeowner, saving you lots of money, time and aggravation. There are many signs that you may need a new roof very soon, and if you notice them early and act on it instead of waiting, you won’t have to have an emergency roof replacement or live with tarps on the roof while you wait.

Most of us don’t go up on our roofs very often, if at all, so we don’t tend to think about the condition of the roof until we find a puddle indoors. That’s a definite sign you need a new roof, but it might also mean that you need a new ceiling or new furniture because the water has caused additional damage.

If you notice any of the following signs, it would be a good idea to have a roofing professional take a look at it.

Signs of a Leak Inside the Home

Bubbling and staining are signs that a roof needs to be replaced.
Bubbling and staining are both present in the corner of this closet.
  • Staining – If you notice a change in the color of the paint on your ceiling or exterior wall, even if it doesn’t look or feel wet, it can be a sign that water is starting to get through in very small amounts. This can happen in any part of your roof, but the area around vents and chimneys is particularly susceptible to leakage.
  • Bubbling – If you find that the paint on your ceiling or walls is bubbling up or peeling, and it’s not from age, once again, invisible water coming from a leaky roof may be the cause.
  • Black Mold – The main cause of black mold in a home is the long term presence of water where it doesn’t belong. Water may seep in unnoticed and saturate the plaster or sheetrock without bursting though to an active leak. Over time, it creates the perfect environment for black mold to flourish, and black mold does not contribute to an environment in which people can flourish. If you see black spots on a ceiling or wall where there are no plumbing fixtures that can be causing it, the most likely source is the roof. If you try to eradicate the mold without repairing or replacing the leaking roof, the mold will just keep coming back.
  • New Odors – If you find a musty odor in your home that you don’t remember being there before, this can be another sign that water from a leaking roof may be getting behind the plaster or sheetrock and providing an environment for unhealthful organisms to grow. There may be no visible signs, but the odor may be your first clue.

Signs of a Leak on the Exterior of a Home

Lifted shingles and organic growth are signs of a failing roof.
This roof shows signs of lifting and organic growth.
  • Lifting – If you notice that your roofing shingles aren’t laying flat, they may be beginning to lift. Once this happens, water can make its way underneath and cause damage to your home.
  • Vegetation – If there are living plants growing on your roof, it may be an indication that your shingles are decomposing, creating a soil of sorts that allows this kind of growth. Green growth on your roof may look quaint, but it’s not a sign of a healthy roof. AAA Roofing uses Iko shingles for our roof replacements, which are resistant to the growth of algae, moss, mold and mildew, an Iko is very responsive to any claims against their guarantee. Having growth resistant shingles is especially important for homes that have a lot of shade, as that can contribute toward the unwanted growth on the roof.
  • Shingle Debris Around the House – If you are finding pieces of shingles on the ground after a storm or windy day, the odds are that they came from your roof. It could indicate that shingles are old enough to be cracking, or that they weren’t sufficiently attached to the roof. If the winds were strong enough, this could even happen to shingles in good condition. However, the are that is now missing one or more shingles may begin to leak.
  • Sagging – When you look at your home from the outside, all of the roof lines should be straight. If you see sagging along the crest or depressions anywhere on the roof, it can be a sign that the supporting wood under your shingles is failing. This can be the most critical of all signs that you need a new roof.

If your home is showing any of these signs of needing a new roof, Contact Us for a free estimate.