Leaky roofs happen. Older shingles can tear away in a heavy storm, or a snowstorm can clog your gutters and leave water sitting around the roofline. But once you spot any signs of roof damage or a leaky roof, call in a repair service ASAP. Without new shingles or a more comprehensive patch, leaky roofs can cause these four dangers to develop:
- Mold and Mildew Growth
Image via Flickr by grongar
Any leaks in your home’s roof will allow moisture inside the structure. Not only does this include rain and snow, but it can even include ambient moisture that clings to the edges of your roof or the shingles. Once the moisture gets inside your roof, it can create damp spots in the felt underlayment, the wooden sheathing, and even the insulation batts between the rafters. The water damage won’t have access to adequate ventilation, and mold and mildew can start to grow within days. This damage will spread to the surrounding materials. Large mold and mildew growths can ruin materials, decrease your home’s air quality, and cause your home to smell.
- Structural Damage
If you don’t catch moisture or a leaky roof quickly, the water damage can turn into structural damage. Long-term exposure to dripping water, free and thaw cycles, and the elements can make even strong wooden support beams turn soft and weak. This damage can ruin wooden sheathing that supports the layers of shingles making up your roof. It can also threaten the integrity of the roof itself if load-bearing beams suffer damage. Replacing these beams, or even parts of the beams, is a costly project. The best way to keep your home safe and to reduce the risk of expensive home repair projects is to inspect your roof’s exterior and interior for signs of leaks.
- Increased Risk of Fire or Electrical Shock
Your attic holds wiring, air conditioning vents and unit connections, dozens of yards of insulation, and more. Even though it might seem like your attic is mostly empty space, it has several different fire and electrical risks that need to stay protected from the elements. Leaking roofs let water drip or collect near wiring connections and major electrical systems. Holes can also let in pests that chew through wiring or push flammable materials out of place. When all of these factors combine, they significantly increase the likelihood of electrical failures and fires in your home.
- Interior Water Damage
Water damage will rarely just stay in the attic. Long-term drips and drops will eat through drywall until you have soft, discolored patches on your ceilings. Water damage can spread through drywall, paint, and the flooring materials below until you’re left looking at an expensive remodeling project to make your home look nice again.
Do you think you have a leaky roof? If one of your shingles looks torn or you hear a tell-tale dripping sound in the attic, don’t wait. The sooner you investigate and call in a repair service, the less you have to worry about damage.