A leaky roof can lead to a host of problems for your home. Unfortunately, if your roof is leaking, the water is likely seeping into an attic space that you rarely use, so it’s not unusual for the leak to go unnoticed for quite some time. By the time water actually starts leaking into your living spaces, you have a major problem on your hands. If you can detect and fix the leak before this happens, you can likely avoid a much larger repair to your home.
How do you spot a leak in a space you never use? Here are a few tips.
Look for Warping and Discoloration
If you wait until water is actually dripping into your home, the leak in the attic will have progressed to a point that requires serious repairs. So, instead of waiting for that to happen, periodically check for any warping or paint discoloration on your ceiling. Dripping water will cause white paint to turn to a yellowish brown color, or may even cause the paint to bubble up.
As soon as you notice any changes to the paint on your ceiling, get up in the attic and search for the leak. You’ll still have some repairs to do, but they’ll be much more less expensive than they could have been if you’d waited for the water to seep through the ceiling.
Check the Attic Regularly
Of course, it’s even better to catch the leak before the warping and discoloration begins to occur. The best way to do this is to get up into your attic on a regular basis and look for any leaks. While it may not be pleasant to climb up into your attic, it doesn’t have to be done very frequently. Simply examining the space with a flashlight twice a year should help you to spot any water that may be coming inside.
It’s best to do this during or immediately after a rainstorm, since it’s much easier to spot an active leak than to find traces of dried-up water in your attic.
Inspect Your Roof
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that concept applies to your roof as well. While detecting leaks early is an excellent way to avoid major damage, the best thing to do is to take measures to prevent the leaks from ever occurring. You can do this by regularly inspecting your roof, or having it inspected by a professional. Again, this doesn’t have to happen very frequently. Once a year should be enough, though you may want to do an extra inspection if you have a major windstorm that could have caused damage to your roof.
You’ll want to look for missing shingles, stripped shingles (ones that have lost their asphalt covering), and exposed flashing. All of these indicate that the roof is wearing thin in those areas and may be in need of repairs. Staying on top of such issues can stop you from ever having to deal with a leak in the first place.