How do you know it’s time to get your roof replaced? Generally, there are several red flags.

A roof leak is a serious issue which requires immediate action to prevent further damage. This article outlines how to spot a roof leak, what to do if your roof is leaking, and simple steps to help you prevent a roof leak in your home.

1. Interior Damage

Perhaps the most telling sign of a roof leak is a ceiling stain on the top level of your home. These can result from water leaking through your roof and pooling, leaving a yellow or brown stain. If you find a ceiling stain, it’s essential to get your roof inspected immediately. Time is of the essence to prevent mold in your attic and insulation.

Even small stains the size of a drop of water can indicate a roof leak. It’s essential to address any issues as soon as possible. Catching a small leak could save you thousands of dollars in repairs later.

Although ceiling stains can be the most common, any staining or apparent water damage on your walls and doors can be a tell-tale sign of a roof leak. Severe water damage is often accompanied by a musty smell in your home.

2. Missing Shingles

As your roof ages, weather events such as hail and high winds can loosen and even blow shingles off your roof. Some homeowners may be inclined to simply replace missing shingles. This may be applicable in some instances, but shingles starting to become loose on your roof is a sign of a larger issue.

While one or two missing shingles may not seem like a significant problem, they should be handled soon. Even small issues can cause you a major headache.

3. Faded/Worn Appearance

If your roof looks worn and torn – it probably is. It’s crucial to pay attention to the appearance of your roof if it’s over ten years old. 

One of the critical signs to look out for is any granular loss on your shingles. Shingles thin over time as UV rays and the weather dry out the oils, leading to granular loss. If the fiberglass mat is visible (the texture or color of the shingle appears worn and discolored in places) – your roof is at significant risk for a leak.

Another method to identify granular loss is to check your downspouts. As granules come loose, they flow off your roof through your gutters and downspouts to collect on the ground.

4. Significant Weather Event

Significant weather events that could damage your roof include hail storms, high winds, or other major storms. After these events, it’s good practice to have your roof inspected. Inspections are typically free, and if there is damage, your homeowner’s insurance would likely cover the repair or replacement.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies require claims to be made within 6-12 months after a major weather event for the damage to be covered. While this may seem like an extended grace period, it’s easy to put off a roof inspection and miss the window for filing a claim.

It’s worth noting that your insurance company typically has roof inspectors. Our recommendation to clients is to get an inspection from an independent roofing contractor. Inspectors from the insurance company may have a higher threshold for reporting damage and typically do not have the same training or experience as a roofing contractor.

Call a trusted roof contractor today if you think your roof may have a leak! Most roofing contractors (us included!) offer free evaluations. Not sure how to go about finding a reputable contractor? We give you all the tips you need to confidently interview and select a roofing contractor.

Preventing Leaks

A roof leak is a serious issue that should be addressed immediately. Here are two preventative measures you can take as a homeowner to prevent roof leaks.

  1. Regularly cleaning your gutters is critical to the health of your roof. Clogged gutters can cause water to run into soffits and fascia boards, causing leaks and wood rot.
  2. Additionally, cleaning leaves and debris off the valleys, dead walls, and chimneys will help prevent water from pooling. This is especially important in the winter, as debris can hold water and freeze, creating an ice dam.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! And when it comes to your roof, preventative maintenance could save you thousands of dollars in damage.

Wrapping Up

If you suspect you may have a leaky roof, don’t put off repairing or replacing your roof. Acting quickly could save you thousands in damages.

AIC Roofing has replaced over 10,000 roofs in Lexington, KY, and the surrounding area. Our knowledgeable staff perform free inspections and can give you honest evaluations based on our many years of experience. Contact us today to get started!