At some point during your life as a homeowner, you’ll probably deal with a roof leak. If you suspect you have a leak, you’re sure to have questions. What are the signs of a leak? What causes leaks? Do you need to contact a roofer? Keep reading to learn some basics about leaky roofs.

What causes a leaky roof?

People often associate leaks with missing shingles, but this is only one possible cause. Usually, one of these six issues is to blame.

1. Broken or Damaged Shingles

In addition to missing shingles, broken or damaged shingles can cause leaks. Shingles may be torn off or ripped in half by a strong wind. They can also crack over time due to normal fluctuations in humidity and temperature.

2. Damaged Flashing

Flashing is the metal surrounding roof penetrations. Penetrations include your sewer vents, your chimney, and anything else poking through your roof. If the flashing develops rust, starts peeling, or lifts away from the roof’s surface, this could cause leaks. High winds and long-term moisture exposure can damage flashing.

3. Clogged Gutters

If your gutters are full of leaves and aren’t draining, water can pool on the roof. If there are small cracks along the edge of the roof, this pooling water can enter them. Over time, exposure to water from clogged gutters can make shingles crack and peel, too.

4. General Neglect

Sometimes roofs leak because they’ve been neglected. If you don’t inspect your roof and take care of issues early, then a leak can form. Failing to take care of any moss or algae growth can also lead to deterioration and leaks. It’s essential to have your roof regularly inspected to catch issues early and make sure it’s in good shape.

5. Old Age

Roofs can develop leaks due to old age. Old shingles often lose their granules, which allows water to seep down into your home. If your roof is near the end of its lifespan, frequent leaks mean it’s ready to be replaced.

6. Poor Installation

A roof not installed correctly will be prone to leaks. If the nails are exposed, water can seep in around the nailheads. If drip edge isn’t used, leaks may develop along the edge. This is why DIY roof installations aren’t smart.

What signs suggest your roof is leaking?

You must know how to detect a leaky roof so you can spot problems early. The following are signs your roof is leaking.

Indoors, you may notice:

1. Drops of Water

If you go into the attic, you may see water coming in after a storm. These drops may travel along a beam before tumbling down.

2. Unexplained Dark Spots

Any dark spots on your ceiling, walls, or attic structures could be due to moisture exposure from a roof leak.

3. Mold on Ceilings and Walls

Mold loves moist environments and will soon start growing in an attic after a roof leak. You may see mold on the ceilings and upper walls of your top floor, too.

4. Mildew Odors

Sometimes you may not see the mold, but it may still give off a musty odor.

5. A Humid Feeling

If your home, particularly the attic and top floor, are always humid, this could be due to a leaky roof.

6. Soft Spots on Walls and Ceilings

Leaks can cause drywall and ceilings to develop spots which feel soft to the touch. Often, the soft areas show up, and then mold grows a few days later.

Outdoors, you may notice:

1. Missing or Damaged Shingles

Even if you don’t already have a leak, missing or damaged shingles mean you’ll have one soon. 

2. Exposed Flashing or Underlayment

If your flashing is flapping around in the breeze, or if you can see the roof’s underlayment, leaks are imminent.

3. Gutters Peeling Away

Without gutters in their proper place, your roof will soon start leaking.

4. Loose Boots Around Vent Pipes

If the boot around your vent pipe is loose, then water can easily seap underneath it, causing a leak.

5. Tree Branches on the Roof

If a tree branch lands on your rooftop after a storm, your roofer should check for damage which could cause a leak.

6. Moss or Mold Growth

Mold and moss cause a roof to deteriorate, making leaks more common.

Roof leaks start small, but they can quickly become a big problem. If you notice a leak or signs of a possible roof leak in your Tulsa home, contact Perfection Roofing Inc. Our roofing experts can come thoroughly inspect the roof, detecting any and all sources of leaks. They can safely climb onto the roof, take a good look, and make any necessary repairs.