When your roof is old or has sustained weather damage, there are some common areas that tend to be culprits for leaking water. Keep an eye out for problems and take preventive measures to fix them before serious structural damage, or mold and mildew occurs.
Here are some of the ways water starts to come in:
Leaks at joints: Joints between the roof and the chimney or between two sloped sections of a roof are highly susceptible to leaking.
Broken or cracked shingles: Water can seep through the roof and into your home if your roof has cracked or broken shingles. Shingles usually deteriorate on the southern face of the roof first, because of exposure to sun, so inspect that side first.
Leaks along flashing: Roofers use flashing wherever something sticks up through the roof line -- the chimney, vent stacks, etc. Over the years, these can become weak spots where rain begins to find its way under the shingles. Caught early enough, a small gap can be resealed. Left untended, it could become a major leak requiring repairs all the way down to the rafters.
A small leak -- even one that doesn't yet reach the living quarters -- can result in wood rot and the growth of mold. When mold takes root inside a home, it can cause serious health problems.
When inspecting for leaks inside your attic, look for dark streaks on the boards that form the underside of the roof frame.