10 Early Signs of a Leaky Roof

Regardless of how strong your roofing material is, a leaky roof is an eventuality homeowners and business owners must prepare for. While this might sound harsh, it is a reality, we cannot shy away from.

Different factors are responsible for a leaky roof, and weather conditions play a significant role. Changes in temperatures affect a roof’s durability, making it essential to identify roof leak signs early. For example, the durability of roofing materials in Alberta’s cold climate is different from what to expect from Chinook’s warm air.

However, one common challenge homeowners and business owners face is how to identify a leaking roof. It is usually daunting to know when a roof leaks, preventing owners from taking necessary steps to fix the leaks. Identifying leaks in a roof early helps fix them, prevents further damage to the roof and water damage to your home.

Interestingly, there are a few common sure signs signifying a leaky roof, and paying attention to these signs will help you know when your roof is leaking. 

Here are a few early signs that your roof is leaking:

#1 Mould Growth

Mould is a common sign of a leaky roof, and it is often noticed on the ceiling or walls, especially where the ceiling and the walls meet. Most often than not, when water sips into the room and crawls down to the floor, it can also cause mould on the floor. Hence, you want to pay attention to the floor too. 

However, when you notice mould on the floor, ensure the water wasn’t through the windows or other openings. If the windows are closed and there are no other possible means for water penetration into the room, you can conclude that your roof is the culprit behind the mould.

#2 Flashing Damage

Flashing plays an important role in the functionality of a roof by protecting corners and joints in the roof that when the flashing damages, the corners, and joints become vulnerable to leaking. Hence, you want to look for damaged flashing as an early sign of a leaking roof. 

Furthermore, when your roof lacks kick-flashing, water will flow from the roof down the exterior walls, which can be a potential cause of more serious damage. When there are windows or doors right below the particular exterior walls, rots may ensue, spreading to the sheathing and framing systems and other parts of the building. 

Hence, it is important to regularly inspect your flashing to quickly identify cracks and splits. 

Don’t hesitate to contact your roofer when you notice damaged flashing.

#3 Stains

While mould is a common sign of a leaking roof, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you notice mould on your ceilings and walls. Stains on the ceilings and walls are an early sign of leaks on your roof. These stains can be simple discoloration but need immediate attention to prevent your property from losing its value.

Small stains on the ceilings and walls can result from algae or mould growing inside the walls, signifying a much bigger problem with the property.

 #4 Shiners

Shiners are a potential cause of leaks in a roof. Shiners are nails that missed their framing members, giving space for water to come in. You can quickly identify shiners by inspecting your attic. Do this by climbing into your attic during a cold night when the shiners are frozen and can quickly be identified, or better yet contact us!

Stain on a roof showing water damage

#5 Damaged Shingles

Damaged shingles are another sure sign of a leaking roof. When a shingle in your roof twists or distorts, it gives way for water to crawl in, quickly spreading to different parts of the building before showing visible signs in the interior, such as on the walls or ceilings. 

During your roof inspection, check for missing or damaged shingles on your root and let your roofer fix them immediately to prevent further damage to the roof and the property. 

It is worth noting that a roof inspection is important after a heavy wind and hail damage, as they are a major cause of missing and damaged shingles.

Stain on a roof showing water damage

#6 Blocked Gutters

Blocked gutters are often a result of damaged shingles. If your gutters are blocked, and roofing materials are present in the debris, you have a sure sign that your roof is damaged. This is when we highly recommend, you call a roofer around you in Calgary for an inspection and repair. 

Other similar signs of a leaking roof with your gutter include rusted gutters and a missing gutter apron.

#7 Holes from Previous Installations

Most installations on the roof are done using nails or screws to hold items to the roof, such as in antennas and satellite dish installations. When these nails and screws are removed, they result in tiny openings that let water into the home. 

Hence, if you have just removed items from your roof, you want to check if it is a potential threat to your roof’s integrity.

gutter filled with dirt

#8 Damaged Plumbing Vent Boots

Another area you want to pay attention to when looking for early signs of a leaky roof is damaged plumbing vent boots. A plumbing vent boot is commonly made of lead, but can also be made from plastic or metal. Regardless of the material, plumbing vent boots can crack, and when they do, water sips into the property. 

Hence, if you notice any cracks or holes around your plumbing vet boots, repair them immediately. Also, replace missing nails at the base to prevent leaking.

gutter filled with dirt

#9 Clogged Soffits

Adequate ventilation is instrumental to your home’s health, and besides roofline, soffits are a more effective means of ventilating a home. Soffit vents release old, stale air from the attic while inhaling fresh outside air into the attic.

However, soffit vents are prone to clogging due to mould growth and moisture buildup, which is unhealthy for the property. Hence, include these areas in your inspection when checking for early signs of a leaky roof.

Soffit damage

#10 Water Damage With No Leaks

You would be surprised to know that this can happen, especially during winter in Calgary. Have a look at our post about attic rain to learn more.

Home in Calgary with roof condensation freezing


A leaky roof is a common challenge every property faces at a point in its lifetime, regardless of the materials and roofing projects. 

However, identifying leaks early in a roof helps prevent more severe issues (roof replacements) with the roof and the property. Watch out for stains on the walls, ceilings, and floors during your inspection and replace missing shingles. 

If you notice any of these signs mentioned in this piece, call on your roofer immediately for repair, but ensure you hire a professional roofing company, so you don’t cause more damage to your roof. 

Do you need a professional, qualified roofing contractor around you in Calgary? Whalley’s Four Seasons Roofing is your go-to roofer for commercial and residential roof repair and new installations. 

Contact us today for your professional inspection and exceptional customer service in Calgary.

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