There are few things more worrying than discovering a leaking roof. Brisbane homeowners may be tempted to ignore watermarks on the ceiling or the occasional drip, but please don’t! The damage caused by a leaking roof could prove extremely costly. It could result in widespread damage, mould, or even electrical issues which could be devastating to your family.

With Brisbane’s extreme summer storms, maintaining the integrity and water tightness of the roof is vital. To keep on top of roof leaks, Brisbane homeowners should read on. Spotting signs early will help keep your family safe – and could save your bank balance, too!

Leaking Roof causing stains and mould on internal ceiling plasterboard. A plumber can locate the source of the leak.

What are the most common causes of roof leaks?

When it comes to roof leaks, Brisbane homes can be impacted for a range of reasons. Here are the most common causes.

Debris in gutters

Gutters full of debris and leaf matter are one of the major causes of roof leaks. Leaving your gutters to become blocked with leaves, branches, dirt and other natural debris slows down or stops rainwater from flowing correctly – causing the water to overflow, potentially back into your eaves or roof cavity.

Worse, gutters that are full of leaves are susceptible to corrosion. The water sitting in the gutters leaches the tannins from the leaves, increasing the acidity of the water and this can cause your gutters to rapidly rust.

Water that cannot flow out of gutters efficiently in rain events finds other paths – possibly into your roof and wall cavities – leading to corrosion and dry rot in the structure of your home. This can encourage an infestation of vermin attracted to moist areas, such as white ants.

Roof damage or holes in the roof

Another common cause of leaks is damage or holes in the roof. These could be caused by storm damage, hail, falling branches, penetrations to the roof like solar panel fixings, movement of the house or structure over time, or just plain old rust. A patchy or damaged roof will also be prone to leaking over time. Even if you see no evidence of leaking inside your home, water can still make its way into the crawl space above your ceiling which will compromise roof trusses, joists and the ceiling over time, causing more damage.

Aging roof

Finally, the age of your roof can lead to leaks. Tiles, metal, and other materials used to build your roof only have a certain lifespan, so regular upkeep is necessary.

Is it a leaking roof or a leaking pipe?

Once you’ve noticed a leak, how can you tell if it’s the roof leaking, or a pipe? There isn’t an immediate way to determine if the roof is leaking or if it’s a pipe in the ceiling, other than looking directly for the source. However, there are several warning signs you can look for. Call in a professional like your plumber or builder if you notice any of these signs:

  • Water stains on the ceiling: surrounded by a dark ring, they may appear in corners, as discolouration on your walls, or look completely harmless.
  • Dripping water and bubbling spots on the ceiling: these are big flashing signs that your roof is leaking. Depending on the severity, it may require hefty repairs.
  • Mould: spotting mould growing on your walls is another symptom of a roof leak. This has the potential to be very toxic to your family and needs to be dealt with immediately.
  • Sagging internal ceiling panels or exterior eaves/fascia: this is typically caused by leaking water damaging the integrity of the cladding material and eroding its ability to remain properly secured to the battens.
  • Spots and stains on exterior walls: these occur when water has travelled from a leak in the roof down the structure and into your walls.

Do I need a roofer or a plumber for a roof leak?

Plumbers and roofers are good mates – we often work together – and we reckon you can’t go past a good roofer for roofing installation and major structural repair. That said, a qualified plumber is a great first port of call for identifying the cause of your roof leak. Brisbane plumbers will be able to help you with identifying the source of a leak – whether it is a leaking pipe, your roof, the gutters, or blocked and undersized pipework connected to your gutters and downpipes causing drainage issues.

Got a leaking roof? Brisbane plumbing experts, Salmon Plumbing can help you identify the cause of the problem fast! Contact the team NOW.