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Roof leaks are a serious structural issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Some holes are large enough to wreak havoc on your walls, foundation, and the exterior of your building. However, even a relatively minor leak could cause significant damage in just a matter of days. Delaying repairs will only lead to more complicated and expensive repairs.

Unfortunately, leaks are not always discovered early. An untrained eye can have trouble finding one until they become large enough to become obvious. In some cases, it can be left undiscovered until a complete roof replacement is the only solution.

As a homeowner, you need to keep an eye out for any signs of a leaking roof. That way, you can get ahead of any potential water damage before it becomes too late. Below are some warning signs that indicate that there’s a leak.

Signs of a Roof Leak Infographic

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Shingles serve as the main shield of your roof against the elements. Every shingle counts when it comes to your roof’s integrity. Once a roof shingle becomes broken, missing, or damaged, it won’t take long until water finds its way between the seam of the felt that is underneath the shingles and cause your roof to leak. It compromises your safety as it also affects the foundation’s integrity.

A routine inspection on your roof can help you check the condition of your shingles and notice the damage before it becomes too severe.


Stains on your ceiling and walls are one of the most obvious signs of roof leaks. When there is roof damage or missing shingles, water can easily enter your home. The moisture brings dirt and dust as it drips further down into your house. This creates a dark or brownish stain on your surface or your ceiling and walls.

Ignoring any new stain is an unwise move. A small stain does not mean a small leak. It may not be very obvious at the beginning, but it can gradually get worse to the point of structural or electrical damage. Investigate the source of the stain no matter how small or lightly colored it is. The damage will only get worse the longer you wait. It will also cost to repair.


Mold needs water and shade to grow. When a roof is damaged, it can allow water to get into the fabric of your home, which provides the perfect conditions to encourage mold growth. These leaks will often lead to mold outbreaks around the vents, ceiling fans, and light fixtures.

Mold is not only a sign of a roof leak, but it can also damage a structure as it breaks down building materials and can weaken what it is on. For some people, exposure to mold can pose a danger to their health. A wide variety of serious health problems has been associated with indoor mold exposure, especially to people with weak immune systems.

Unpleasant Smells

When there’s mold, you can also be certain that an unpleasant odor will follow. Water damage caused by a leaky roof can fill your home with an unpleasant musty smell. The awful smell can last for weeks or even months after your roof starts leaking.

Since the smell is related to mold growth, it’s not enough to just mask the terrible odor with an air freshener or scented candles. Even if you can’t see it, mold and other conditions are harmful to your health and safety. If you suspect the distinct smell is coming from a leak, you need to get to the bottom of the situation by finding the leak location.

Sometimes, the moldy or mildew odor will remain even after the leak is repaired. In such cases, it can be a result of wet insulation. For this reason, any wet, stained or smelly insulation should be removed and replaced.

Flashing Damage

Many corners and joints in your roof are the weak points of your roof. This only invites moisture to wear down your roofing materials and invade your home. Roof flashing acts as an added guard in between the joints in the roof to prevent water damage or leaks in the first place.

Flashing is built to be tough. However, it can still crack, warp, and create “blow-offs” in parts where the flashing is torn away completely. They can slip out of place, or the caulking may dry and crack over time. When flashing gets cracked or damaged, it may allow water to make it past the roof and into your home.


A leaking roof means that water is not draining correctly. As a result, water can pool in the same area for a long time. Leaks retain moisture and add weight to your roof. While roofs are designed to support a large amount of weight, it can only hold so much before it starts to sag.

Over time, a sagging roof can cause severe structural problems that will compromise the structural integrity of your home. When the damage gets too harsh, you may end up needing a roof replacement. When it falls, it can cause serious damage to not only your home and possessions but also cause serious injury to your family.

Energy Bills Increasing

Roof insulation can function for many years, but it can easily deteriorate when it gets damp. The water damage caused by water damage can result in irreversible damage to your insulation, even after it dries out.

Wet insulation will be less effective at blocking the transfer of heat through your roof. As a result, your HVAC system has to work twice as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. This will boost your energy bills.

An active leak is an urgent problem. Now that you have an idea about the signs of a leaking roof, you can take action as soon as you suspect there to be a leak. Get in touch with a professional roofer to determine its exact location and get it fixed immediately.

Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. Visit our website today at www.faheyroofingcontractors.com or contact us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia or (740) 523-0380 for Ohio to learn more.