You can say a lot of things about roofs, and most of them might be true. But one thing that nobody can argue with is that roofs are tops. This statement can be taken in several ways. A roof does for the top of your home. It can also act like a "top" or lid for your home, keeping the rain out. Then, there's the third meaning, which is the one we happen to like the most: roofs are the best. (People say things are "tops" when they really like them.) Since we like roofs so much, we've decided to write about them, and you've discovered the blog where we do that.
Knowing you have roof damage is one thing, but finding the source of the damage and a resulting leak can be more challenging. Fortunately, there are some hints provided by the type of leak.
1. Ceiling Stains
Ceiling water stains range in color from yellow to brown. They also don't always provide the best guide for the exact location of the leak, as it isn't always in the roof directly over the stained area. Water can flow downward along the slope of the roof until it finds a low area to drip through the ceiling. A visit to the attic so you can trace the water to its source may be necessary.
2. Hearth Wall Moisture
Fireplace leaks are a common issue, as water will sometimes breach the flashing that seals the chimney to the roof. One of the most obvious signs of this type of leak is water stains on the walls around the fireplace and hearth in your home. The paint may discolor, bubble, or peel. In severe cases, the wall boards may warp or even begin to crumble.
3. Internal Vent Discoloration
Many things vent to the roof, such as the water heater, furnace, and even the bathroom and kitchen vents. These vents are sealed where they emerge from the roof with rubber boots, which can degrade over time and develop leaks. You may notice rust on the internal portions of metal vent pipes or water stains on or around plastic vent covers. These types of discoloration means there is a leak.
4. Peeling Soffit Paint
Not all leaks are a result of roof damage. Peeling paint on the soffits, which are the underside of the roof eaves, means that moisture and condensation are collecting This can be a result of poor ventilation in the attic, which means more roof vents need to be installed. Issues with the gutters, such as dirty gutters or poor alignment with the roof, can also lead to damp, peeling soffit paint.
5. Leaking Light Fixture
Water coming in through the roof will choose the path of least resistance, which often means that the first sign of a leak is when water begins dripping out of a ceiling light fixture. The drilled hole for the fixture to pass through provides that easy outlet for the water. The actual source of water will likely be upslope on the roof. You can trace the fixture conduit in the attic to find the path the water is flowing and the source of the leak.
Contact a roofing contractor for more help if you notice the signs of a leak.