5 Signs Your Roof is Leaking

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021 by Cassie Saines

Ceiling and spiral staircase with paint chipping off of it.
Do you have a roof leak on your Dillsboro, Indiana home? Some signs are
easier to see than others.


Did the storms we had earlier this month leave you concerned about the conditions of your roof? If you have a roof leak, it's important to catch the warning signs as soon as possible. The cost of a roof leak and interior repairs adds up quickly. We wanted to help set your worries at ease by giving you a list of symptoms to look out for if your roof is leaking.


One of the first signs you’ll be able to notice is discoloration on your ceiling. When exposed to water, your drywall or plaster will begin to develop dark or light brown stains. Think of it as a tea or coffee stain. This discoloration could develop as quickly as 1-24 hours after exposure to water. A new spot on your ceiling will still feel firm to the touch.

If a roof leak goes untreated, you’ll begin to notice rings indicating long exposure to dripping water. The structural integrity of that spot will deteriorate over time as well. The material will feel spongy. You may even be able to poke your finger right through the wall.

Bubbling Paint

Bubbling paint isn't the most accurate way to determine a roof leak. According to Benjamin Moore, there are several reasons that paint might bubble. For the purposes of this article, it could be a sign that your roof is leaking. When moisture gets between the paint and drywall, paint loses its adhesiveness. Bubbling paint can indicate that water is leaking directly onto your wall or ceiling. It could also mean that the relative humidity is high enough that moisture is penetrating the wall and paint barrier. 


Moisture can do a lot of damage to your home. Depending on the severity of your roof leak, it will gradually raise the relative humidity in your home. It may take a while to show up, but once the relative humidity reaches 60%, the EPA states, mold will begin to grow. Mold also grows when water damage isn’t dried out properly. If you have a leak in your roof and your drywall gets wet, the perfect habitat for mold has just been created. 

Spotting mold, discoloration, and bubbling paint should be effortless in common areas. If you suspect a roof leak, the key here is to look for mold in the areas you don’t give a second thought. Check the ceiling and corners of your bedroom closets, coat closets, utility rooms, guest rooms, and unfinished attics.

Wood Rot

Many don’t know this, but wood rot is just a general term for multiple species of fungi that feed on wood. This is a serious indication that you have long-term damages from a leak. Houses are generally built out of hardwood. It takes a long time for wood this sturdy to start deteriorating. Since most of the wood in your home is behind your walls, this can be hard to identify if you’re not looking for it. If you have an unfinished attic or an attic crawl space you’ll want to check for wood rot in these areas. 

Rotten sheathing with large, gaping holes.
Roof replacement due to wood rot on an Indiana home

Exterior Signs

Sometimes exterior issues can be easy to see from the outside. If lower, more visible shingles go missing or blow up in the wind you can see that without climbing on the roof. Other times, small holes from hale or debris blowing in the wind can go unseen without close inspection. That’s when it’s time to call Klaus Roofing Systems of Cincinnati. We’ll come out to your home and give you a free estimate. We can inspect for holes, missing flashing, and wood rot on your sheathing. If you suspect you might have a roof leak from the December 11, 2021 storm please call us today. We are ready to help you!

About the author

Cassie Saines, Marketing Coordinator Find me on LinkedIn

My goal is to create content that you find practical and thought-provoking. I want to teach you things about your home you didn't know you ought to know.

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