What Are The Signs of a Roof Leak?

February 8, 2021by Bob The Builder2

Roof Leaking Checklist

If you’ve noticed a wet patch on the ceiling or a dripping sound that you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from, you might have a hole in your roof. This frustrating problem can be a cause for concern, especially if you have an older property, and it might be tricky to fix. Water damage from a roof leaking, if left to get worse, can lead to mold, wood rot, and your roof cave-in. It’s best to find out where the hole in your roof is, how big the repair will be, and what steps you need to take to fix your roof. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the most common causes for a roof leaking and how you can repair the damage yourself, or at least assess the problem and be able to discuss your issue with a reliable roof repair company confidently.

what to do if roof is leaking

Signs You’ve Got A Hole In Your Roof. 

First, what are the signs of a roof leak? Do you have a ceiling leak or a wet patch on your ceiling due to a roof leaking, or is it a burst pipe and an issue with your plumbing causing the problem? If your roof is leaking, it will often worsen when it rains and during a stormy night. You might be able to hear the wind howling and notice doors slamming. On the other hand, a ceiling leak due to plumbing should stop within a couple of minutes when you turn the water supply off. Here are some tell-tale signs that you’ve got a hole in your roof.

  • You notice mold starting to form in the corners of your walls and towards the ceiling.
  • You can see that some of the shingles on your roof are distorted or falling off.
  • There are yellow or dark stains on your ceilings. 
  • The external walls of your property are damp.
  • The gutters are dripping water.
  • There is flashing damage around the joints and corners of your roof.

If you happen to notice any of these typical roofs leaking signs, you need to take action fast. A hole in your roof is a home emergency, and leaving the problem will only make it worse. Either you need to address the issue yourself or bring in the experts to repair your damaged roof.

roof leaking from ceiling

What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking 

The main thing to remember is not to panic. Yes, this can be annoying to deal with, but this is not the time to stress. Instead, follow these simple steps to deal with your leaking roof quickly and effectively to minimize further damage to your property, and get back to normal as soon as possible.

1: Decide Which Leak You’re Dealing With

The first thing to do if you’re not sure where the leak is coming from is to turn off the water supply in your home. If the water keeps dripping, it’s probably not going to be a plumbing issue. If the water stops, call a reputable plumber to assess the damage and give you a quote to repair the problem. If the water continues to drip, you might have a hole in your roof, so it’s time to take some urgent and essential steps to fix the problem.

2: Remove Valuables & Reduce damage 

Remove any valuable items from your loft or the room where the ceiling is leaking, especially photo albums and important documents. If possible, cover bulky furniture that can’t be moved with plastic or a sheet to protect it while you access the issue.

3: Locate The leaky roof damage

The first step is to venture outside and take a good look at the property. Can you see any loose roof tiles? Is there water dripping down an external wall? Pay attention to skylights, chimneys, roof vents, and anything else that could be letting in water. If you can safely check the property’s loft, do so with a flashlight, and see if you can follow the leak and find the problem’s source. Look out for black mold, water stains, and damp spots.

4: Simulate A Rainy Day

If you still can’t find the leak, and your roof only seems to leak when it rains, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands by simulating a rainy day. Using a garden hose, safely gain access to the roof, and pour water over the roof using the hose. This will allow you to pinpoint where the leak is. Ensure you have a family member or friend ready inside the property to tell you where the water starts to drip. Once you find the spot, turn off the hose and go and inspect this area of your roof for damage.

5: Check Roof Tiles & Window Seals 

Even when you’ve found the hole, water can also be blown by the wind into cracked window seals, damaged roof vents, and missing or worn flashing. So you should assess your whole roof and replace and repair roof tiles and window seals as needed. If you don’t feel comfortable attempting to repair your roof leak yourself, you can always hire a professional and reputable company.

what can cause my roof leaking

What can cause my Roof leaking?

If you have a hole in your roof, it’s often due to general wear and tear rather than anything you’ve done yourself. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might be experiencing a leaking roof.

1: Damaged Flashing

Flashing can become damaged or dislodged during storms and heavy showers, and this can expose your roof and lead to a leak. To prevent issues in the future, check your roof every couple of months to damage the flashing. If you notice any problems, repair the flashing before your roof starts to leak.

2: Rotting and Cracked Shingles 

Older properties are more vulnerable to rotting and cracked shingles. If the shingles fall off your roof, this can expose the underlayer of your roof to the elements and lead to water damage and a leak. If you own an older home, make sure to check the shingles for cracks and signs of rotting.

3: Roof Nails 

Nails in your roof, holding everything in place, can become worn and damaged over time. If a nail falls out, this hole can start to let water in. You might not even notice a small nail hole, but a professional roofer should be able to spot this issue pretty quickly. Replace the nail to prevent problems in the future.

roof leaking repair cost

Roof Leaking Repair Cost 

A roof leak repair cost will depend on whether you’re going to repair the leak yourself or you plan to hire a professional team to carry out the work for you. Assessing the extent of damage and how long the hole in your roof has been left will impact the overall price. You should check your home insurance policy to see whether the damage caused by a hole in your roof will be covered as well as the cost to repair the leak. Failing to report a problem with your home insurance provider or waiting for weeks to repair a hole in your roof could invalidate your insurance, so make sure you know your policy’s terms and conditions relating to water damage and repairing a damaged roof.


  • Afton Jackson

    February 9, 2021 at 7:56 am

    When you mentioned that older properties experience cracked and rotting shingles more often, I thought of my uncle’s old ancestral house. He’s been trying to live there for his retirement so that he doesn’t need to spend money to go anywhere else, but that house is so old that I can already bet the roof is cracking. I’ll look for any roofers in the area that can help him get some repairs so he can live there in peace.

    • Bob The Builder

      February 9, 2021 at 8:19 pm

      Hi Afton! Thanks for the input and for responding to our blog. We think that is a great idea and any time you can help family especially during these trying times is a win-win for everybody. From our experience “old ancestral houses” can sometimes hide leaks well and before you know it a little leak can turn into a bigger problem so maintenance is key for those types of properties. Hope it works out well and thanks again!

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