Checking Your Home for Leaks and Water Damage

Heavy Rain can Cause Heavy Damage to Your Home

by Joseph Renteria

The rain is finally here and with more rain on its way to Southern California, there is no better time to inspect your home for leaks and existing water damage while there’s a break in the storm. As you may already know, water creates a lot of damage and can contribute to mold and or mildew growth in your home. However, water can also cause permanent structural damage to the home and erode its strength. From the roof to your home’s foundation, water will continue to find its way through cracks, holes, or punctures until you put a stop to it.


How to Inspect for Water Intrusion and Water Damage to your Home or Business

Before you begin, you should only complete as much of the inspection as you feel you can safely accomplish. If you are unable to do a thorough inspection, then you may want to invest in having a professional examine the integrity of your home.

Roof Inspection

The most obvious way to determine if a roof has a leak is during a brisk downpour of rain. You start to see water dripping along the walls or feel drops of water hitting you on the head while you’re watching your favorite television show. If you find yourself in this situation, do your best to stop the leak with tarps laid out over your roof and immediately begin clean up inside of your home. Then call your general contractor to fix the problem. However, we do not recommend waiting for El Nino to test the strength and durability of your roof. Instead, defend your home by stopping the leak before it starts.

All types of manufactured home roofs, shingled, metal, vinyl or fiberglass, should be checked once a year. Here is what you should look for as the list below are all signs of a worn and aged roof.

  • Inspect the overhanging lower edge of the roof, often referred to as eaves. Look for discoloration and water damage.

  • Look for excessive shingle granules in the gutters.

  • Check for improper installation or loose fittings around pipes and chimneys.

  • Look for warped or missing shingles. Curled shingles, particularly in sunny slopes of the roof, can be indicative of your shingles having reached their expiration date. Missing shingles along the “valley” of your roof could be more problematic as these are points with high leaking potential.

  • Check for sagging in the roof and signs of moisture, mold, or rot.


Walls, Doors, and Windows Inspection

If you begin to experience higher energy bills and notice a room is chillier than normal, you may have a breach in your home’s protection against Mother Nature. Where wind and air can enter and escape, there is a definite chance water and moisture can penetrate and cause even more damage to your home. Inspect outside walls, doors and windows for unusual wear or tear. Below is a list of telling signs that it’s time for regular maintenance.

  • Cracking or chipping caulk.

  • Worn weather stripping.

  • Cracked glazing, broken window seals and door seals

  • Exterior siding is missing or has damaged fasteners or screws.

  • Punctured siding, cracked or discolored stucco, or peeling Tex-Cote

  • Light coming through walls, door and window frames.

Foundation Inspection

Knowing the early warning signs of foundation troubles can head off problems that ultimately could cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. The sooner you identify potential problems, the easier — and less expensive — it is to fix them. You’ll want to be alert to these warning signs that you may have damage to your home’s foundation that may have been caused by heavy rain and water intrusion.

  • A door begins to jam or fails to latch.

  • Cracks appear in walls, especially over doorways, windows, or where walls meet ceilings.

  • Cracks open in vinyl or ceramic tile over a concrete floor.

  • Windows that used to open and close easily suddenly begin to stick or won’t close completely.

Inspect structural components. Foundation systems have other members besides the perimeter foundation wall. In your basement or crawl space, look for posts and concrete supports, or piers. Posts should stand straight and be firmly planted underneath the beams they support. Bottoms of posts should rest firmly on concrete piers.


Driveway, Walkways, and Paths Inspection

If your house has poured concrete and appears to be chipping and flaking, poke it in a few places with a sturdy screwdriver. The concrete should be so hard that you can’t damage it. If you manage to chip it or break a piece off, the concrete could be deteriorating because it is absorbing too much water.

Additionally, proper drainage of excess water should lead away from your home. If you notice a collection of puddles along your path or a soggy landscape, you may have cause for worry. Here’s what you should look for.

  • Driveway, Steps, or Room Additions are Sloping and Sinking

  • Cracks in Concrete Caused by Tree Roots

  • Soil Piled Up Against the House

  • Termites and Rot in the Paneling of your Home

  • Tilted or Cracked Retaining Walls

  • Step Cracks on Walls

  • Puddles of Water that Drain to Nowher

Avoid costly repairs and save money by taking the time to inspect your home routinely. Proper inspection and regular maintenance is your best defense against the natural elements. After every inspection, take meticulous notes and share them with your general contractor. For smaller repairs you can make the repairs yourself or contact a handyman. However, for larger more visible damage, the best choice is to contact a licensed general contractor.

For more hazardous problems that are harder to detect, only a qualified professional can determine the extent of damage water intrusion has caused. For problems like these, contact your home improvement specialists at Builder Boy. To schedule an appointment for a certified professional to visit your home for an inspection, call us at (877) 391-4648.


Established in 1994, Builder Boy is a full service licensed general contractor, license 986389, with in house technicians that specialize in home additions, kitchen and bath remodels, complete stucco services, cabinet refinishing, custom concrete work, epoxy floors, custom painting, complete drywall and texture service, electrical, plumbing, color and design selection, and historical renovations. Builder Boy is fully insured, and in active good standing with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in the State of California and possesses active general contracting, painting and decorating and hardscape licenses and is lead certified. Builder Boy DOES NOT use handy men to perform each specialized task. Builder Boy ONLY uses skilled technicians who specialize in their trade with a minimum of five years of experience. With over twenty years of construction experience, Builder Boy will ensure that no detail is missed.

The Builder Boy family of companies include Paint Boy, Stucco Boy, Cabinet Boy, and Hardscape Concepts. Each sub-division of the company is staffed independently and employs professionals that specialize in their respective fields which include expertise in license classifications of B (General Contractor), C35 (Stucco-Plastering), C33 (Painting), and C27 (Hardscape-Landscape).