Other times they are subtle. If water is not pouring down into your living room currently, then you might be ok… This “alien looking” roof leak was found by our inspector, Joe, while performing a rental home inspection. This is definitely an extreme example, but even subtle warping and rippling of ceiling drywall can be a tell-tale sign of a roof leak. Even worse, drywall is the last layer before entering the home, so there is a good chance your roof sheathing and insulation have water damage as well.
Roof leaks are very common and if they aren’t taken care of as soon as possible, they can cause significant and costly damage to your home. Water intrusion of any kind can also lead to mold growth in hard to reach places, or cause damage to drywall or ceiling material as in the picture above.
What can I do to fix a leak?
Most of the time a roof leak occurs where the roof starts, stops, or changes direction, or where penetrations in the roof are present. Older shingles or worn down edges on a skylight are problem areas, along with edge and corner flashing. Sometimes leaks can be caused by improper installation or wear of attic vents or piping. In all cases, it is very important to stop the source of the leak immediately. A good roofing company should be able to determine the problem and correct it.
From there, you will have to dry out and mitigate any moisture from the leak to avoid mold growth in that area. Mold will only grow if there is a continual water source, so once you have stopped the leak and dried out the affected area, no further mold will grow. Replace moisture damaged building materials as needed.
Preventing is always better than fixing:
The best way to prevent a leak from happening is periodically having your roof inspected by an unbiased professional, at least annually, but particularly after a strong wind storm. Scott Home Inspection inspects the roof of a home as part of its general home inspection. We’ve seen it all – even “alien-looking” moisture bubbles, and we can help pinpoint the signs of a roof nearing the end of its life or identify other issues that may cause a future roof leak.
Chris Scott is an ASHI certified home inspector with multiple years of experience in home inspections, blower door testing, duct leakage testing, and Boulder Rental License Inspections. Chris is also the Website Coordinator for Scott Home Inspection.