7 Warning Signs of Roof Leakage

As a homeowner, you understand the damage that water intrusion can cause to your home, furnishings, and belongings. However, you may not necessarily be able to identify the biggest threats of water damage by sight alone.

When it comes to your roof, for example, many leaks do not become visible or audible until and unless they progress for a long period of time. Leaks that progress to this point often leave a significant trail of damage that’s worse than the effect of flowing water directly interacting with your possessions.

Luckily, other characteristics can help you spot a leak before it becomes extensive. In this blog, we list seven common warning signs that your roof has sprung a leak.

1. Damaged Shingles

Some of the earliest signs of roofing trouble appear on your shingles. Shingle damage can indicate age or improper installation, which often means your roof has other problems beneath its outermost layer.

Perform visual inspections of your roof in the spring and fall each year. Look for any shingles that have chips, curled edges, or cracks.

2. Exterior Discoloration

Many roof leaks don’t create flowing water the way you might imagine. Instead, these leaks allow moisture to seep into the structure of your home. Leaks near the edges of your roof may affect your exterior just as much as your interior.

Look for water spots, discoloration, and damaged flashing to determine if you have a leak.

3. Gutter Debris

As your shingles age, they may deteriorate to one degree or another. Even if you can’t see any visible shingle damage, you could still have vulnerable spots on your roof. When you clean your gutters, pay attention to the debris you find.

If your shingles are no longer doing their job, chances are that you’ll find granules or shingle pieces in your gutters.

4. Interior Water Spots

When your home’s interior surfaces become exposed to high levels of moisture, they begin to change. Roofing leaks can create visible damage to your ceilings and walls over time.

Look for sections of your interior that appear warped, stained, or otherwise discolored, as these signs may indicate a leak in that area.

5. Missing Shingles

Loose and missing shingles create vulnerable areas on your roof where water could penetrate more easily. When you inspect your roof, look for any bare areas.

In addition to checking for missing shingles, pay attention to your roof’s flashing and other components. These elements must maintain a water-tight seal in order to prevent leaks.

6. Pooled Water

In most cases, water damage progresses gradually. One of the earliest warning signs of conditions that may cause leaks comes in the form of pooled water.

Healthy roofs should direct water into the gutters and downspouts. If you notice pooled water on your roof, have the issue evaluated as soon as possible.

7. Rooftop Stains

Improper moisture can leave visible marks on your rooftop, just like your walls. Look for any dark or black patches on your roof.

These stains may represent algae or mold growth, indicating the presence of excess moisture on your roof.


If you notice any combination of these warning signs, schedule a roof evaluation as soon as possible. Even if your leak never bursts through your ceiling in a torrent of water, it still poses a significant threat to your roof’s integrity, your attic’s safety, and your home’s health.

Looking for ways to protect your roof from future problems? Start by asking your roofing contractor for recommendations during your next scheduled inspection. You can also read our blog on “5 Common Causes of Roof Damage” to learn more about the biggest threats to your roof.

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