A roof leak is nobody’s idea of fun. Water is beginning to enter your home and damaging your property. The issue is likely up on your roof. The same roof that normally keeps you safe and dry from the elements outside. Some common roof leaks start off small. They seem almost insignificant. It feels like you could ignore them, and maybe they’ll go away. Unfortunately, it’s that attitude that can lead to far greater problems.

Even the smallest roof leak can escalate quickly into something that causes serious damage to your property and your possessions. That’s before you consider the potential health implications that can be associated with a leak. Mold growth, dampness, and physical hazards, to name a few.

The key is to act and to act fast. Leaks can usually be fixed quickly. Do that, and you’ll protect your home and the integrity of your home. Plus, you’ll secure the value of it and avoid spending a great deal of money on a new roof.

Why Detecting Common Roof Leaks Early Matters

The dripping of a leak is often enough to drive people to action. There are, however, more reasons to act quickly than just annoyance.

The first is to protect your home. With a leaky roof, your normally stalwart shield is compromised. Moisture is entering your property and quickly damaging the structural integrity of it. Your insulation, the timber, all the way down to the foundations, all of this is affected adversely by moisture. Each of them is weakened and eventually corroded to the point of collapse.

Moisture is also the breeding ground for bacteria and other organisms. It won’t take long for mold, mildew, and other unsanitary growths to appear and then spread quickly. These pose hazards to your health and everyone living in the home. It’s very possible that allergies can be triggered or, worse, respiratory conditions.

Suffice it to say that your bank account will want you to fix a leak quickly. Left to its own devices, a leak will cause substantial damage. Damage that will cost considerably more to fix than a simple repair. If the leak affects your insulation, it will be doing a less effective job. That means you’ll have a less energy-efficient house and higher bills.

Common Roof Leak Causes

Getting to know what causes roof leaks is one of the best lines of defense. This is definitely a scenario where prevention is better than remedy.

The Weather

Try as we might, the weather sometimes gets the better of our roofs. Hammering rain, heavy snowfall, or a deluge of hail each tests the integrity of your roof. Large volumes of water can quickly seek out even the smallest of flaws in our outer layers. Loose shingles can flap in the wind, allowing in rain or even come off altogether.

Roof Age

Roofs aren’t built to last forever. Materials degrade and require repair or replacement after time. Left to their own devices, they’ll eventually deteriorate completely, leaving a damaged roof to contend with.

Flashing Damage or Faults

Your main materials might be absolutely fine, but if the flashing isn’t sealed properly or is cracked, then water can enter your home. Flashing seals around items such as windows, skylights, chimneys, and vents.

Missing or Broken Shingles

Homeowners who use shingles need to keep a close eye to be sure that they’re all still in place and intact. Each broken or missing shingle creates an easy route for water to permeate the structure of your roof.

Identifying Common Roof Leak Sources

If you can’t stop the cause of a roof leak, the next step is to identify a leak quickly. These ways will help you to spot a leak, and then you can spring into action.

Water Stains

Not every leak manifests as water pouring or even dripping through the ceiling. You might notice a slowly growing brown, copper-colored, or yellow patch on the ceiling or walls. The patches come in all shapes and sizes but are irregular in shape and spread. They spread particularly in bad weather as more water enters the home.


You might not be able to see dripping water, but if you can hear it, that’s an obvious indicator of a leak. If you can see it, then the source is often easier to identify. Relying on your hearing to find a leak is a harder task to complete.


If you see black or brown mold or mildew appearing in your home, then you likely have a leak. These biological growths require water to thrive. No water, no mold or mildew. You’ll likely spot it at the top of a wall near the ceiling connection. If you can smell a musty odor, that could be mold or mildew that you haven’t seen yet.

Damaged Roof Material

If your roof materials are visibly damaged, that doesn’t mean that you’ll see or hear a leak. It is, however, highly likely that you’ll have one. A physical hole in your roof is the easiest way to get a leak. Even a single missing tile or shingle can be a cause. Make sure that you regularly inspect your roof using a roof inspection checklist to ensure this isn’t the case.


Rotten wood will bow, bend, and sag. It’s quite an obvious sign visibly and is one of the worst indicators of a leak. For the wooden structure of a roof to be damaged this way, it will have been a substantial leak for a considerable time.

Key Takeaways

Dealing with these common roof leaks isn’t something that anyone particularly wants to deal with. You do, however, have to deal with it, and deal with it quickly. The longer you leave a leak, the more damage it will cause. That will make it more costly in the long run.

  • Prevention is definitely better than remedy.
  • Regular inspections will help you keep on top of any issues.
  • If in doubt, call in a professional to complete a roof inspection.

Need a roof leak dealt with immediately by a professional? Contact Trenton Roofing, and we’ll be happy to help you with any issues you might be dealing with.

Alex Valentino

Alex Valentino – Vice President

Leading the way for the company’s second generation of family and employee ownership, Alex’s mission is to create lasting relationships built on trust and respect by providing uncompromising workmanship and unparalleled customer service. With a focus on safety and consumer education, Trenton Roofing strives to set the bar for the advancement of the roofing industry and the betterment of our local communities. When he is not working, Alex can be found traveling with his fiancée, watching football or playing a relaxing round of golf with his friends.