Interior of a damaged ceiling and roof.


Here in the Southwest, we’re usually grateful for any rain. However, unmaintained roofs, older roofs, or wild monsoon storms can let some moisture inside your home and wreak havoc.

Roof leaks can cause damage that only gets worse the longer you allow the leak to go on. The sooner you can identify a leak, the easier it is to repair. So how do you know your roof is leaking?

Signs of a Roof Leak Inside Your House

Leaks aren’t always those simple drips caught by a bucket. Sometimes, they show up in more subtle ways.

Once the moisture seeps through the roof, it can damage interior features. Sometimes this damage is cosmetic, but over time, this damage can become more serious. Keep your eyes open to these signs so you won’t need more serious repairs.

Ceiling and Wall Stains

Mysterious discoloration on walls and ceilings can indicate a roof leak. They’re usually easier to spot on lighter-colored paint since the stains will look like big brown spots.

We most often see water stains in corners and ceiling-wall connections. Every so often, look up to see if any of these stains are beginning to appear. These stains aren’t just unsightly. The larger they grow, the more likely there is water damage and rot behind them.

Ceiling discoloration

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments. They have that musty, earthy smell familiar to most of us, but you can sometimes spot them as discolorations. You’ll usually notice them on exterior features such as window sills or around vents.

Attics are usually a bit musty because they don’t get much airflow, but they are usually the first place that a roof leak will appear. You can often see the leak itself, but if there’s no recent precipitation, you can see mold where water usually gets in.

Rusty Pipes Inside the House

Rust might not be a sign of a roof leak that you can identify by looking at your walls and ceilings, but it’s still important. Water will “stick” to vertical surfaces, like plumbing or heating system pipes.

Usually, you’ll notice these rusty or wet pipes in the attic, but none are immune. Keep your eyes on all the metal in your house for rust.

Exterior Signs of a Roof Leak

The outside of your house, while meant to be hardy and keep the extreme weather out of your home, isn’t immune to water damage from a roof leak.

Rusted Gutters

Gutters are built to keep water moving and then away from your home. They shouldn’t usually be exposed to standing water. However, roof leaks will give gutters persistent, consistent exposure to water.

Rusted gutters usually mean water isn’t moving through them like it should, indicating a leak or blockage.

Mold, Moss, and Fungus

These intrusive organisms can be just as present on the exterior of your home as on the interior. If water isn’t moving away from your home, it creates an environment in which mold, moss, and fungus thrive.

They can be quite aggressive growers. If left to thrive, they can seriously compromise the structural features of your home.

Damaged or Missing Shingles

If you can look up and see patches of missing or damaged shingles, there’s a high probability of water getting through there. Storms with hail or high winds can be powerful enough to damage the waterproofing that your roof typically provides.

Asphalt shingles or tiles are the easiest to see damage on. Keep your eye on rust on the flashing and any metal parts. If you have a metal roof, any patches of rust are good indicators of collecting water that can cause roof leaks.

Exterior signs of a roof leak

How to Tell Where a Roof is Leaking

Most of these roof leak signs tell you your roof is leaking, not necessarily where the water is getting in. Once you find out where and how the leak is happening, you can start to take steps to repair it.

Check the Attic

The attic is usually the first place that the water gets in. It’s what’s between the rest of your home and the roof, so it’s the best location to identify leaks. Look for dripping, rotting wood, mold, and mildew. The indicators in the attic are often true to the leak’s origin.

Grab a friend and your garden hose if you can’t find the leak immediately. While you’re in the attic, have your friend soak the roof with the hose to replicate rain. Sometimes you need actively running water to see the roof leak. As soon as you find the drip, trace the trail to where the water is getting in.

Get a Roof Inspection

Looking in the attic isn’t foolproof, and sometimes you can’t always get there. So you need to check out the exterior of the roof. You can inspect your roof on a ladder, but stepping on your roof yourself is dangerous.

If you can’t see any damage from the ground or a ladder, call a roofing contractor to inspect your roof. They’ll be able to identify the damage and explain your best options for repair or replacement.

Call Legacy Roofing to Fix the Leak

Roof leaks are annoying, but if you let them fester, they can be far more than irksome. It’s essential to keep your eyes out for less apparent indicators so that you can catch leaks early and make necessary repairs.

Think you have a leak and need a roof inspection? Or do you know that you have one that needs repairs? Legacy Roofing is here to help. Call us for an inspection and free roof repair and replacement estimates.

Schedule an appointment or inspection with Legacy Roofing today!

If you would like Legacy Roofing to inspect your roof and offer a free estimate, please call us, or fill out the contract form below. Legacy will send a trained estimator to inspect and offer an experts opinion on the size and scope of your job.

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Servicing All of Northern Arizona

Legacy Roofing

Legacy Roofing LLC - Prescott