Residential roofs are dangerous. Among professional roofers, falls from roofs accounted for 1,200 fatalities in 10 years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Residential roofs are no place for amateurs! Please, stay off your home’s roof. But, how can you tell if your roof is leaking?

Inside Job

You can safely assess your California home’s roof, and determine if it is leaking, from inside your home. You need a few simple tools:

  • A stepladder
  • An LED flashlight
  • Protective gloves
  • A dust mask (for the attic)

Let’s start with the obvious: if you see water dripping from interior ceilings or down walls, it is coming from somewhere. If you know your plumbing is fine, the water is coming from a roof leak. But many roof leaks are far more subtle than this. 

Observe and Report

Remember, your job is to realize you may have roof leaks, not fix them…or even really find them. You’ll contact your local, reliable roofing contractor for repairs, but you can observe these trouble spots and report them to your roofer:

  • Damp, moist, or cold interior walls
  • Signs of mold, discoloration, brown stains, or mildew on ceilings or walls
  • An odor of mold or mildew (this often intensifies in periods of high humidity)
  • The air in your home feels damp or clammy
  • Unexplained soft spots in ceilings or walls (use a stepladder to feel the ceilings)

Attic Action

If your attic is easily accessible, climb into your attic. Use your flashlight and wear protective gear, and be careful not to step on anything other than the joists. 

Shine the flashlight on the sheathing (the wood sheets on rafters). Inspect the sheathing for mold or mildew. Check for:

  • Damp insulation
  • Dripping water
  • Water stains on wood, chimney elements, and insulation. 

Damage Done

What can a roof leak do to your home? Consider this: one hole in your roof the size of a roofing nail’s shaft (roughly 1/8th inch) can let quarts of water into your attic space during a typical rainstorm.

Water can destroy insulation, rot roofing timbers, and saturate drywall. It can foster mold and mildew growth, ruin indoor air quality, and make your home uncomfortable.

At your first suspicion of a roof leak, do not climb onto your roof. Instead, check inside and then contact us at Straightline Construction. We can put a stop to those roof leaks fast. We repair, maintain, and install roofs for California homeowners.