It is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Roof leaks and the issues they cause can not only affect the interior and contents of your home but also become a breeding ground for unhealthy mold growth. Having even small leaks repaired as soon as possible ensures that your roof will remain in good condition for years to come.

But often, it’s difficult to determine where a leak is coming from. Sometimes, you may not even be aware of a leak but you detect a lingering musty odor. So how do you locate and diagnose a roof leak if you’re not a professional?

Obvious Signs

Examination of your home can uncover obvious signs of a leak such as water stains on walls and ceilings and bulging areas with peeling paint. These signal that water is coming from your roof or your plumbing, either of which is a problem.

Inspect Your Attic

If you suspect a roof leak, your first point of investigation should be your attic. Take care to look for any water stains, dark markings or even mold or mildew growth. These may be on the structural elements or your insulation.

If there are observable signs of water intrusion, you may have located the point in your roof where the leak originated. But often it isn’t as simple as this.

Depending on your roofline, water may show up in a different interior area than the outside problem altogether. That’s because water will follow gravity and a path of least resistance. By the time it shows inside your home, it may have traveled rooflines and rafters before showing up as a stain that is detectable.

Shingle Inspection

Often, all it takes for a leak to happen is some missing, corroded, buckled or otherwise damaged shingles. Your shingles are your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your home from the elements. Make sure yours are in good condition. If not, have them replaced, as needed.

Check Your Flashing

The purpose of flashing is to divert water away from areas where it may want to pool or seep into your home. Flashing will be installed around areas such as vents and chimneys or along roofline intersections.

If your roof’s flashing is not properly sealed or has become damaged, water will find a way to get underneath and into your home. Look for any missing, ripped or loose flashing and have it repaired and sealed properly by a San Mateo roofer.

Skylights and Other Roof Openings

While we’re at it, areas that allow openings on your roof such as skylights, vents and chimneys are usually a leak just waiting to happen. The more of these you have, the more opportunities for a leak. These should be inspected periodically to make sure that flashing is in good condition and that these areas are properly installed and sealed from the elements.

Contact a Roofing Professional

Most homeowners are not equipped to deal with a roof repair on their own. Whether you have a roof leak or you are looking for a routine inspection, professional help is around the corner. Here at Shelton Roofing, we have been a trusted roofing contractor in the San Mateo area with years of experience and references. Contact us today.