What Damage Can a Leaking Roof Cause? Water damage is one of the most destructive types of damage that a home can suffer. But because of how water damage works, you may not even know that your home is being silently attacked by H2O. And, if left long enough, you could be looking at some costly repairs, not only with your roof but inside your home as well.
If you’re wondering what damage can a leaking roof cause, the answer is a lot. When it comes to home maintenance issues, a leaky roof is at the top of the list, and it can lead to just about any problem inside, depending on where the water is ending up. The tricky thing is that roof issues can be caused by many different things, such as improper roof installation or a previous repair gone bad, as well as wind or storm damage that can strike at any time.
Or, your roof could just be old. Most roofs aren’t permanent and are actually intended to last for about 20 to 30 years, not the entire lifetime of a home that could be pushing 50 this year. If you’re in an older home and the roof hasn’t been properly maintained or checked on from time to time, you might be due for replacement, or at least a comprehensive repair.
But when it comes to what damage can a leaking roof cause, there’s no one thing to be on the lookout for. Any leak can be disastrous, especially if it brings standing water into your home, and it also depends how long the leak goes undetected. For example, if a leak starts in the attic but works its way down to the foundation over the course of years, you could have a serious structural issue with your home from top to bottom. And even limited leaks can lead to the development of mold and other issues if they’re left unchecked for long enough.
As a homeowner, here are some ways that roof leaks can affect you and your family.
First up, and this is before any damage takes place in your home, you could be dealing with wasted energy and higher utility bills with any number of roof leaks. With a leak in the ceiling from the roof, your insulation will start to become water-logged, which diminishes its effectiveness. Left for too long, insulation in the attic and elsewhere could be destroyed entirely, leading to higher cooling and heating bills as your furnace and air conditioner struggle to keep up.
As for the damage that a leaking roof can cause, the primary concern is a health and safety one for you and your family. With prolonged exposure to rain and moisture, you’re turning your home into a Petri dish for the growth of mold, mildew and other types of bacteria. Once mold sets, it can also spread throughout the home via your HVAC system, tucking itself into every nook and cranny of your home. In a worst-case scenario, it can even invade your carpets, furniture and your family’s clothes.
The bad news is that once mold takes hold, it can lead to serious respiratory issues and other health complications such as asthma, rhinitis, inflammation and nasal congestion, especially among children that have higher sensitivities to the stuff than adults. From there, mold spores will be continuously produced as long as the mold exists, sending harmful particles throughout the air in your home and complicating preexisting health issues.
Ironically, a leaking roof can also cause fire damage if water ends up in your walls’ wiring, shorting out the wires and sparking a fire. If you have any type of water damage from a leaking roof, it’s recommended to have an electrician take a look to ensure that your home isn’t at risk for electrical fire.
When it comes to your attic and ceilings, roof leaks can also make their way inside, damaging the interior ceiling of your top-most floor and putting your walls at risk for other types of damage. If you notice any bubbling or darkening in your ceiling paint, the water has likely moved from your roof to the internal structure. But it won’t stop there. A leaking roof could bring water to nearby walls, working its way down to the next floor and eventually into the foundation, where it can cause cracks and other serious issues. When it comes to water damage, you may also see waterlogged areas close to ceiling-mounted lights and fans as the leak makes its way around.
But the biggest bit of damage that a leaking roof can cause is the compromised structural integrity of your roof and your home itself. As a roof leak develops, it might start with damaged rafters and ceiling joists, but it’ll quickly hit the wall framing, fascia boards and exterior trim, weakening and rotting your home’s bones with each passing day until something bigger happens, like a partial collapse of your roof or ceiling.
With a constant stream of water, you’ll start to see peeling paint, buckled wall coverings and, eventually, structural damage. The weight of waterlogged beams, drywall and other fixtures are no match for the quickly deteriorating structural integrity throughout your home, and it’s only a matter of time before something serious happens. After enough time, a sizable chunk of your ceiling could end up in your bed, injuring someone or worse.
That’s why it’s important to get your roof checked periodically, and to address any roof leaks as soon as they’re detected. After all, the answer to “What damage can a leaking roof cause?” is a quite a long list, and the longer you leave it the more costly the repair — and you might even be looking at full roof replacement. Don’t doddle; call an expert as soon as you witness the first signs of a roof leak and rest easy knowing that you’re doing right by your home and your family.
To learn more about regular roof maintenance, as well as roof repair and replacement, contact the experts at Ace Roofing Company. Our expertise, quality of work and excellent customer service means that we won’t call it a job well done until you’re completely satisfied. Contact us today for a free roof repair estimate so that we can fix your home and get you back on track.