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How to Identify Water Damage From a Leaking Roof

Noticed water damage on your home ceiling? Learn how to determine if it's caused by water damage from a leaking roof and how to locate roof water damage.

Worried about water damage from a leaky roof? Maybe you’ve recently looked up at your ceiling and wondered how long a suspicious damp patch has been there—or you’ve noticed your roof itself is looking a little worse for wear. Roof water damage is common, and it's not something that should be swept under the rug. A sustained leak can wreak havoc on your home’s structure and lead to mold and mildew growth.

The first step in fixing a problem is always identification. Read on to learn how you can become an amateur roof leak sleuth and find out when it’s time to bring in the professionals.

Why Is Roof Water Damage a Problem?

Small roof leaks that cause damp spots in your home might not seem like a big deal at first. However, remember that a small leak can quickly grow into big problems. For example:

  • Dampness can encourage mold and mildew to grow in your home, which can then travel through your HVAC system and cause health problems for your family.
  • Dripping water may damage possessions in your attic or ruin your wallpaper.
  • A sustained leak may make its way past your attic floor. It isn’t uncommon to find spots, stains and damp patches on the ceiling or walls of your home, should a leak go unchecked.

Worst of all, moisture can rot the wooden structure of your home. This may make parts of your home unstable. This can lead to problems for future renovations and may make it difficult to sell your home.

How to Determine the Source of Roof Water Damage

Outside of regularly monitoring the condition of your roof and checking for signs of leaks in your attic, there are few ways to discover roof water damage. If checking your attic and scanning the outside of your home for potential damage isn’t part of your routine, we recommend doing so at least bi-annually or seasonally.

Should you notice any signs of damage to the exterior of your roof or water damage in your attic or top floor rooms, act quickly. Begin by:

  1. Determining the location of the leak.
    If you have an attic, you might just be able to go upstairs and find the leak on a rainy day. Otherwise, look for clues like water or mold stains on your ceiling. The leak will probably be “upstream” from that spot. Leaks often appear around structures that penetrate your roof, such as chimneys or vents.
  2. Investigate the extent of the leak.
    Note every area of your home that has been damaged by the water. Don’t forget to check your basement or any possessions stored on the floors below the leak.
  3. Make a list of potential causes.
    Think back to any past weather patterns or causes of damage. If all else fails, think about any incidents or weather events that could have damaged your roof recently. This may have caused the leak.

Rainbow International for Roof Leak Water Damage Repair

So, you’ve investigated the leak and are ready to repair it? Resist the urge to climb on your roof and attempt to repair the leaky roof yourself! Roof and water damage repair requires an expert’s touch. Climbing onto a roof is dangerous any time of the year and should always be left to the professionals. Water damage repair is a multi-step process that should include drying the space, inspecting for mold, identifying structural repairs, preventative measures and more. Learn more about our mold remediation and water damage restoration services.

Choose Rainbow International

Trust Rainbow International with all your water damage repair and mold remediation needs. If you suspect a leak in your home, don’t wait. Our local technicians can be on the job quickly to determine whether your property is in jeopardy and if you have water damage from a leaking roof. Call (855) 724-6269 or request an appointment online to get started.

It shouldn't come as a shock that roof work is best left to the professionals! But what about other home projects? Check out this list of projects you shouldn't try on your own from our friends at Mr. Handyman®. Like Rainbow International, Mr. Handyman is a member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.