Perform an Outdoor Inspection
A visual inspection of your roof can help you spot missing and damaged tiles. If this type of damage is localised, roofing repairs might be able to address the problem. More extensive damage might necessitate roof replacement. Also keep in mind that not only the roof itself, but the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, gutters and fencing can also become damaged. Be sure to inspect them for damage as well. If you suspect that your roof is damaged, here is a basic list of what to look for:
- Composition tiles: Broken, damaged or missing tiles
- Flat roof: Obvious patches, cracks or tears, several blisters and/or wrinkles (also check patched areas from inside the attic)
- Flashing: Tears, buckling around roof penetrations
- Soffits and fascia: Decay, stains
- Soffit and ridge vents: Clogged or damaged vents, flashing and tiles around broken or missing
- Gutters: Decay or rust, leaky seams, loosely attached to structure, bent or sagging, missing sections of gutter and downpipe, filled with debris. Clogged gutters can cause excessive weight on gutter fasteners.
- Chimneys: Leaning, loose or missing flashing, damaged bricks, pointing damage, chimney flashing is especially prone to tearing because a chimney settles independently from the house.
- Roofing cement and pointing: crumbling cement
Perform an Indoor Inspection
Moisture marks, brown, yellow, or grey stains, and peeling paint on walls and/or ceilings could all indicate a damaged, leaking roof. Also take a peek in your attic, where damp rafters or leaks could additionally point to roof damage. Please note the actual spot where the roof leaks is not always exactly where the water stains are appearing on your ceiling. Water can enter the roof at one point, and then run down to another before it starts to soak into the ceiling.