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A leaky roof can do a lot of damage to your home. Knowing how to identify the signs of a leaky roof and when to contact a contractor can help you take care of your property and prevent expensive water damage.

Leaks and water damage are the primary reasons that most homeowners need to get roof repair, but recognizing the signs of a problem can be a challenge for some people.

Stains On The Ceiling Or Walls

Stains on the ceiling or walls of the home are likely an indication of a leak. However, it’s important to remember that not all stains are the result of a leak from the roof. Stains located on the walls of the bathroom or kitchen can easily be the result of leaks from pipes, while stains that appear in the living room, bedrooms and other parts of the house are more likely to be signs of a roof leak.

When trying to determine the source of the stains, take a note of when they appear and when they seem to grow. Stains that appear when the weather is wet can be another sign of a roof leak. Stains that appear or grow even when the weather is dry may be the result of a pipe leak or condensation.

Blistering Or Bubbling Paint

When water enters the wall from behind or above, many types of paint will expand and bubble to accommodate the moisture. This blistering will subside when the leak dries up, although the paint is unlikely to return to its old shape before the leak appeared. Watch for this kind of damage, as it could be an indication of a roof leak.

Moisture Around the Skylight or Chimney

Chimneys and skylights both need proper flashing and protection in order to maintain water resistance. Damaged or improperly installed flashing and cracked caulking can cause problems. If the flashing or casulking around your skylight or chimney needs repair, you may notice problems such as:

  • Stains on the frame around the skylight.
  • Mold around the skylight.
  • Water damage on the wall to either side of the chimney.

Know the Signs Your Roof Needs Replacement

A leaky roof can often be repaired, but in a case where the roofing materials have become worn and old, this is a sign that the roof needs to be replaced all together. Homeowners can identify these problems by inspecting their roof and looking for signs that the shingles are in poor condition. Some problems to look for include:

  • Granules falling off the shingles in large clumps.
  • Curling, cracking or damaged shingles.
  • Missing shingles.

When inspecting the roof for these problems, check the gutters for granules from the asphalt shingles, and look at the downspout outlet for granules as well. Get on a ladder to view the shingles on your roof up close, then look in the yard for missing shingles from the most recent storms.

Finally, look at the shingles for bare spots to determine whether or not they’re nearing the end of their lifespan. These are issues that should be remedied as soon as possible, especially if you’re looking to sell your home. If your prospective buyers are using any sort of home buyer guide they will know that problems with your roof will be a huge red flag even if it’s a fixable problem.

Work With A Reputable Contractor

Working with a reputable contractor is the best way to ensure that your home gets the roof repair (or replacement) that it needs. When looking for a contractor, ask about the license number and insurance. This is a project you want to do right the first time.