The roof, as a whole, is one of the sturdiest structures in a building. It is built to withstand the force of winds, the weight of snow, the heat of the sun, and the drag of rainwater. But in spite of the toughness of the roof, many of the individual parts that make up the structure are quite delicate themselves. For instance, roof shingles and flashing are easily damaged, the wood that is used in the roof’s interior is also susceptible to rot, insect attacks, and mold.

But most times, homeowners are blissfully unaware of their roof’s vulnerabilities due to the structure’s overall durability. This is one reason why roof damage often goes undetected until the problem becomes serious. Additionally, the roof is not always in the owner’s line of sight, unlike the walls of the home, plumbing fixtures, or the lawn. Furthermore, as McKenna & Vane Property Management explains, homeowners typically focus on projects that immediately improve the home’s aesthetics and roofs usually don’t fall within that category.

Another reason why early detection of roof damage is difficult for most homeowners is because roof inspections are not straightforward. A homeowner can easily get on their knees to look under a sink if they suspect a leak. But inspecting the roof requires some preparation. They have to get a ladder and get as close to the structure as possible to discover any damage. This is why it is important for homeowners to know other ways to detect the signs of damage to their property’s roof.

Roof damage manifests on the surface of a roof, within its internal structures, and inside the interior of the home. But sometimes the interior signs of roof damage are overlooked because homeowners do not understand the implications of the signs they are seeing.

By knowing the signs of a failing roof may show in the interior of their home, owners can increase their chances of catching roof problems early and minimizing their impact.

Below are the ways that roof damage reveals itself in the interior of a building.


1. Leaks

Water drops

This is the most obvious sign that a roof is damaged. But a leaky roof does not always manifest as gallons of water cascading from the ceiling. The problem often presents in subtler ways. Most leaks begin as tiny holes that do not even lead to water falling to the lower levels of the home. The water just dampens the area around the leak.


2. Inexplicable water pooling

A damaged roof may result in water pooling on the floors of the home. Often the source of the water is not clear because it does not pool directly under the area where the leak is. Instead, it may travel along the rafters, onto the walls, and finally to the floor. Such water pooling is often attributed to a nearby window.


3. Signs of interior damage

Roof Stem

If a roof is leaking water directly onto the walls of the home, there may be no visible dripping or pooling. But the surrounding areas may become soaked in water. This could lead to all kinds of damage such as damp plaster wall, soaked insulation, cracked or bubbly paint, peeling wallpaper, and damaged electrical fixtures.


4. Sudden spikes in energy bill

The roof forms a critical part of the building envelope. It is essential to the home’s ability to regulate the movement of warm or cold air in and out of the structure. But when the roof is damaged, its ability to perform this function is impeded. The result is that the HVAC systems have to work harder, resulting in higher energy bills.


5. Ceiling and attic damage

Brown stains and watermarks on the ceiling of the home or the attic is a clear sign that the area above is leaking. Also if the ceiling is sagging, it means it has been soaking up water. A stained or sagging ceiling may not always feel damp, because the water in it could have dried out.


6. The presence of mold and mildew

Tile Roof

Mold and mildew in the HVAC systems, ceiling tiles, windows, and walls may be due to a problem with the roof. Cracked and broken shingles create conditions that are conducive to the growth of mold and mildew by altering temperature and relative humidity inside the home.


7. Compromised structural integrity

Water intrusion can affect the structural soundness of the home when it leads to rotting and weakening of ceiling joists, rafters, and wood framing. These problems may show up as cracks in the wall. But over time it can lead to the ceiling caving in as the roof loses its support and starts to collapse.


8. Light in the attic


If it is possible to see daylight through the roof of the attic, the roof is damaged. And if light can pass through into the home, so can wind and water. The problem will affect the home’s energy efficiency and also expose the internal roof structures to water damage.

There you have it, interior signs to look out for roof damage.