Water stains on your ceiling and the walls are the first signs that you have a leaky roof. The leak may be minor, but if left unattended, the small leak can turn catastrophic. Water from the leak falls on the frames and other parts of the roof that can rot. The insulation and the ceiling are also prone to water damage. As such, leaks – even the smallest – should be addressed immediately after they occur. If you let a professional roofer inspect your roof at least twice a year, you will be able to avoid these leaks with ease. Read on to learn the dangers of a leaky roof.
Leaky Roof and Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew grow on damp places. The water from the leaking roof may find its way from the attic to the foundation of the home. In severe mold growth cases, your home will have black mold, which is highly toxic. Mold can not only cause respiratory health issues but can also affect the structural integrity of your home, your HVAC system, wood framing, walls, ceiling tiles, and floor coverings among others.
Mold and mildew can further damage the carpet on your floor, clothing, and furniture. You will experience the effects of mold when you start to sneeze, cough, have itchy eyes, or develop asthma attacks. The damage from mold and mildew can be costly to repair.
Water causes the ceiling joints and the wall frames to rot. If not corrected, the rotting continues and can lead to the collapse of the ceiling joints. This extends the damage to the ceiling and anything else beneath it. A major leak can also damage the exterior trim.
Your roof framing will be more affected from a major leak. The wood that forms the wood framing can decay, resulting in costly repairs. Before all these areas are damaged, the attic and anything stored there will be damaged already. Depending on the amount of water that leaks from the roof, the interior of your ceiling might also be damaged. This damage extends to the wall paint, plaster, and anything else close to your ceiling, such as lights and fans.
Increases Risk of Electric Fire
Although your electrical wiring should be insulated, water that seeps from the roof through the attic may come into contact with uninsulated sections of wires. In instances where the wiring insulation is off, the water can cause a fire hazard. Besides uninsulated wiring, water can also seep through to the metal junction boxes – wires here are not insulated. If you touch the box, you will be electrocuted. If you suspect there is a major leak in your home, switch off electricity and then call a professional to assess the damage.
A leaking roof causes dampness in the attic and in other areas of the home. The dampness, in turn, propagates the growth of mold, which may spread its spores from one part of the home to the other. These spores will enter into the HVAC system, which has to work harder to keep your home free of the spores.
Even worse, the dampness makes your home colder. Your home needs more energy to heat the affected areas. Depending on the extent and where the leak is coming from, water that seeps through your roof can cause fiberglass saturation. Fiberglass insulation absorbs water, and it takes a long time to dry completely. In the days or weeks that the fiberglass stays wet, your home loses hot air, which further causes the heating system to overwork. In turn, this raises your utility bills.
Might Cause Slips
If the leak on the roof is large, water might seep through to the floor. When that happens, you have to walk carefully, or you will slip and fall. This might not be a big issue for some, but a slippery floor is a danger to children and people with limited mobility. A child might be jumping up and down the home only to end up with a severe body injury.
No matter the extent of the leak, you need to have it checked by a professional. Some leaks might appear minor, but if you do not rectify them, they become worse and might cause so much structural damage to the home.
The longer you wait to fix a leak, the more you will spend repairing the roof and other parts of the home. Even in severe cases, you may even have to spend more treating asthma attacks and other respiratory conditions resulting from the growth of mold.
You do not have to wait for the leak to form. Call a professional roofer at least two times a year for a simple roof inspection. The roofer will notice the conditions of the shingles or the roofing material and rectify them before the leak develops.