It is important that you know the signs of water damage on the roof since you will then be able to take corrective action before the problem exacerbates and leads to leaking. Dangers of a leaky roof include:
- Interior mold and mildew problems, which can cause health problems
- Damage to rafters, wall framing, ceiling joists, exterior trim, and fascia boards, leading to compromised structural integrity
- Ceiling and attic damage
- Shorting of wires in the ceiling or attic
- Slip and fall accidents
- Higher utility bills due to compromised insulation
Signs that a roof has sustained water damage are not always obvious. Below is what you should be on the lookout for.
Leaks and water spots
This is the most common sign that your roof has sustained water damage. Leaks and wet stains or spots down the wall or in the ceiling tell you the roof has already given way. Visit the attic for signs of water damage such as mold, sunlight shining through the beams, leaks, exposed seams, and sagging areas in the roof.
Wet stains or spots down in the ceiling and down the wall are indicative of a slow leak while leaks are indicative of a larger leak. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of the leak with a slow leak and you should hire a professional for inspection and repair.
Missing or damaged shingles
Rainwater and the associated strong gusts and wind lead to missing shingles, missing pieces of shingles, cracked and bent shingles, and shingles that are curled at the corner. If you have asphalt shingles, water damage will cause curling up at the edges.
Missing or damaged shingles expose your roof not only to further water damage due to the exposed wood decking but to other elements as well. Replacement is the only solution.
Granules in the gutters
You should check the downspouts for granules. Whereas it is expected that shingles will lose granules occasionally, seeing a lot of granules after rains is a sure sign that the roof has sustained damage.
Debris on the roof
Even if you do not see a visible sign of shingle damage but you see debris like branches on the roof, chances are that you have some degree of water damage. Note that in most cases, large debris hide obvious damage to the roof and you should, therefore, hire a pro to remove the debris and do a thorough inspection.
Spongy or softwood decking
If, after rains, you find that the wood decking is spongy or soft, this is indicative that there has been longstanding water damage. Water damage, over time, causes rotting and leaves the roof susceptible to future leaks.
Other common signs that a roof has sustained water damage are exposed seams, discolored or decayed roof, and water spots on the wall exterior. You should leave water damage inspection to a professional because he will know exactly what to look for and because most water damage such as hail damage is not visible to the human eye.