Problems with your roof can become extremely serious, potentially causing damage to your belongings and even to the structure of your home if left unchecked. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to detect issues until they progress to an advanced stage, which makes repairs more difficult.
Instead of putting yourself in danger climbing up a ladder to inspect your roof from the outside, you can often detect damage more safely inside your home. The key is to go up into your attic and your use eyes, ears and nose to spot signs of problems. Here's what to look for.
Using your eyes
If your attic doesn't have lighting, take a torch with you so you can see clearly. The first thing to look for is any signs of excess moisture. If it's rained recently, you might see droplets running down wooden beams or small pools of water in lower areas. Otherwise, look for water stains and signs of mould.
Next, inspect the lines of your roof and look out for any sagging or dips in the lines. If the shape doesn't look right, contact a roof repair company quickly.
Finally, turn off your light source and have a careful look around the attic space. Any light coming from outside suggests a gap where water will leak through, even if it's just from tiny pinpoints.
Using your nose
If you have a leaking roof, you should be able to detect the distinctive smell of damp as soon as you enter the attic. It's not always immediately obvious, however, so take the time to pay attention and notice any odd smells.
In addition to checking for damp odours, pay attention to see if you notice the smell of mould. Mould isn't always visible, either because it hasn't yet bloomed or it's in a hidden spot. However, the smell of the spores is unmistakable and will alert you to its presence. There's no mould without damp, so it's important to be aware of the problem.
Using your ears
With a particularly serious leak in your roof, you may hear water dripping, especially if it's raining or recently has been. It may not be very loud, so listen carefully while you're up there.
The second sign of gaps in your roofing is that noise from outdoors is louder than it should be. This is only normally noticeable if you regularly check your attic, so make sure you pay frequent visits and you'll be aware of any changes that suggest damage.