When you start to see water coming through your ceiling, your first inclination is probably to suspect that there is a leak. That’s what most people would think, though, but leaks are often confused with condensation, and you can learn to tell the difference between the two of them and decide what action take once you know what the problem is.
A Leaking Roof
You won’t always be able to tell if there is a hole in your roof just by looking at it. If you have shingles on the roof, then water can get in between those shingles without you see in an obvious problem. The water can seep down under your roofing and get into holes that you aren’t seeing. If you do have a leak, then it will probably be evident every time that rain passes over your house.
You can often see signs of leaking by check your roof either from the ground or getting up on it to look for damage. Look for parts of the roof that are bent, severely weathered, worn, or otherwise visible damaged. If you aren’t sure if a rough-looking part of the roof is actually leaking, then you may want to bring in an expert to inspect it for you.
Another way to tell if there is a leak is to look at your roof during a sunny day. See if sunlight is streaming in through the attic or the highest floor of the house. Anytime you see a leak in your roof or ceiling, you need to take care of it right away. The longer you wait to address the problem, the more serve it will become, damaging your home from the inside and outside and leading to more expensive repairs later on.
A Condensation Problem
You get condensation in your ceiling when moisture comes into contact with cold air. It is likely warmer in your house than it is outside, so on colder days you are more likely to see condensation.
If you see condensation forming inside your home, then the problem isn’t likely your roof so much as it is your insulation. Properly insulated roofs will keep condensation out and keep your ceiling dry, so you will want to take care of this problem soon. Condensation isn’t as big of an issue as an actual leak, but it is still something that will need to be addressed at some point. It will become an even bigger issue during winter months, when the lack of proper insulation causes your heating bill to go up higher than it would have to be.
Condensation is more likely to form in places in the house where water is already present, such as the bathroom and the kitchen. If you see water in those areas but nowhere else, then you probably have condensation and not an actual leak, but it needs to be addressed either way.
Anytime you suspect that you have a roofing problem, be it a leak or a lack of proper insulation, then you should consult with a professional to assess it and then take care of it.