A leaky roof is no small thing. Even the smallest of leaks can lead to big problems in the future. Those small, insidious leaks turn into significant issues.
The best way to stop a leak from doing severe damage is a two-pronged approach. First, do everything you can to prevent leaks from happening in the first place. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Second, know your roof. If you notice a leak or any other major or minor issue, deal with it immediately. Regularly inspecting your roof, especially after a heavy storm, is a great way to get ahead of tiny problems before they become headache-inducing and wallet-depleting problems.
While our roofs are meant to protect our homes from the havoc of the elements, damage can still happen at any time. Some of the most common reasons for a leak are;
- Storm damage
- Broken shingles
- Broken flashing
- Condensation in your attic
- Clogged gutters
- Homeowner negligence
- Faulty roof installation
If you notice a leak in your roof, contact Paramount Exteriors. Your roofing concerns are our concerns. We pride ourselves on being the best roofing company in Rapid City, SD, as well as Sioux Falls and all of the surrounding areas.
Before we get to that point, though, let’s talk about a few of the reasons a roof leak should concern you. Here are eight ways roof leaks can damage your home.
1. Attic and ceiling damage
Some of the earliest problems that come with a roof leak are damage to your attic and ceiling. If you have an attic, your ceiling has a layer of protection. If you don’t, your ceiling is at even more risk.
Extensive leaks will damage your attic and your ceiling. You will notice the problem if you begin to see a dark, usually circular stain on the paint of your ceiling. Additionally, the surrounding plaster may start to bubble or darken.
If the leak is severe enough, the paint and plaster on the surrounding walls will also be affected. Perhaps worse, though, is the potential damage to ceiling lights and fixtures. If these elements experience curroption, you will have to call an electrician as well as a roofing contractor.
If a leak is allowed to go untreated for enough time, a severe consequence you will face is the possibility of mold. Mold can be a massive problem because, if unchecked, it can spread throughout your entire house.
Mold needs three essential components to grow and thrive. These are moisture, heat, and a source of food. Anything you are storing in your attic is at risk from mold and rot.
When water enters your home through a leak, it begins to soak the interior elements of your attic and ceiling. Damp drywall and carpeting are ideal places for mold to grow. But it can also infect your insulation, wood beams, and even the grout around your tile.
The most common, and most dangerous type of mold homeowners with a leaky roof may face is black mold. Not all black mold is toxic, but all black mold is costly and challenging to eradicate.
Also, mold and mildew can lead to serious health concerns for you and your family. People who have existing respiratory issues, like chronic congestion or asthma, are especially susceptible to these risks.
3. Rotting wood
When moisture seeps into your wooden support beams, mold begins to grow. That mold and moisture may eventually lead to the reduction of the strength of your home’s entire support structure.
The longer the rot is allowed to fester and spread, the harder the problem will be to solve. You could be facing a sagging roofline or even a collapsed roof. You can easily prevent these dire circumstances by taking care of leaks as soon as you discover them.
4. Compromised insulation
Most houses are insulated with fiberglass, which works by creating a heat barrier through air pockets between fibers. When fiberglass is introduced to large amounts of water, the moisture is absorbed. This moisture causes the fiberglass to become very heavy.
As a result, the fiberglass insulation may begin to collapse. If this happens, the fiberglass no longer serves its primary insulation purposes. Additionally, this damp, ineffective fiberglass will add extra weight to your home’s support structure.
5. Fire hazards from excess water damage
Water and electricity don’t mix. If moisture from a leak is introduced to any of the electrical wirings in your house, the risk of fire is elevated. The wires may short and start a fire at any time.
For this reason, it is recommended that you turn the electricity to any area where a leak is suspected. Do not resume power until you have received an OK from a qualified electrician.
6. Fall Hazards
More detrimental than damage to your home, leaks may put you or your family at risk. Severe leaks with large amounts of water may lead to the pooling of water.
Those resulting puddles are accidents waiting to happen. Mop up any standing water to avoid slips and falls.
7. Higher utility bills and wasted energy
One of the main reasons your home is insulated is the keep the heat and cold from your HVAC in your home, where it belongs. Damaged insulation allows the treated air to escape to the outside environment.
As a result, you will be forced to spend more money to achieve your desired temperature inside your home. That is why all leaks should be fixed immediately. Don’t give the moisture time to destroy your insulation and support structure.
8. Compromised structural integrity
Here is the big one, folks. If the leak is allowed to remain untreated, over time, the damage will grow and spread. You will face issues with your insulation, support beams and structures, and of lesser importance but still detrimental, cosmetic damage to the interior and exterior of your home.
Basically, the longer you wait to repair a leaky roof, the more money you will likely have to spend to rectify the situation. Do yourself a favor, fix a leak right away.
At the first sign of a leak, contact Paramount Exteriors for your free estimate. Don’t let a small leak become a big problem.