It’s not unusual for homeowners to delay some home repairs from time to time. While it’s not highly recommended to put any repairs off, it is totally understandable if you are dealing with multiple issues, and you want to prioritize based on urgency or extent of damage. However, in the case of roof leaks, you should always address them quickly even if they seem like a minor concern at the moment.
You can ask any professional roofer in your area, and each one will likely say the same thing – a roof leak, even a small one, has the potential to wreak havoc on your entire household. Keep in mind that leaks spread fast. So, if you ignore them long enough, they will likely develop into bigger problems and pose safety and health risks in your home.
Roof leaks can start due to varying reasons, including improper roof installation, lack of maintenance and wind or storm damage. When fixing leaks, it’s important to address their root cause first so that a recurrence of the problem can be prevented. That said, make sure that you are getting a long-term solution to a roof leak instead of a short-term fix. Otherwise, you will only be spending more money in the long run.
Today, we discuss some of the most common consequences of ignoring roof leaks.
Attic and Ceiling Damage
Your roof is designed to keep water out of your home. So, when you notice water seeping through your roof and into your home, it only means that one or two of your roofing components are failing. Typically, the first casualty of a roof leak is your attic. Due to its close proximity to your roofing, water can leak right into the room and cause damage to the wood and structure of the attic. If you are using your attic as storage, you can expect a leak to damage the stored items as well.
If you do not have an attic, then the first thing that often gets damaged is the ceiling directly below your roof. To check for water damage on your ceiling, you should look for dark spots or bubbling in the paint on the ceiling. Additionally, you might want to have a look at nearby walls, plaster and paint, and see if they have been damaged, too. If you have ceiling fans or lights, you might want to stop using them for a while until you have fixed the leak and ensured that the fans and lights have not been damaged by water.
Mold and Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew can easily grow in humid conditions. When water leaks through your roof, your home becomes much more humid, potentially creating an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can damage various parts of your home, including walls, paint, tiles, carpets, flooring and even your home structure. Apart from damaging your home, mold and mildew can also cause health risks for you and your family. Mold can easily infiltrate your vents and HVAC system, and then contaminate the air that you breathe into your lungs. Some health issues caused by mold include allergy symptoms (such as sneezing and headaches), asthma, nosebleeds, respiratory problems and lung disease.
Reduced Structural Integrity
If you have a major roof leak, your roofing contractor will likely be worried about the structural integrity of your home. Roof leaks can damage parts like the rafters, ceiling joists, fascia boards, exterior trims and wall framing. They can leave wooden components rotting and weakened. Once the rot reaches the roof framing and the ceiling joists, you’re in for an expensive repair since you may have to replace the entire roof frame, walls, rafters and parts of the ceiling.
Remember that insulation can be usually found underneath the roof and in the attic. So, when your roof starts leaking, the insulation in these locations has probably been damaged as well. Insulation becomes less effective when it comes in contact with water, so it will be harder for your home to cool down or warm up. This can lead to higher energy bills because your HVAC system would have to double its effort in keeping your home comfortable.
Higher Utility Bills
By putting off your roof repair, you are setting yourself up for higher energy bills. As mentioned earlier, damaged insulation can force your HVAC system to use more energy to cool and heat your home. Roof leaks can also cause greater humidity in your home. And, while you can use dehumidifiers to offset the moisture, this isn’t a long-term solution that can effectively address the problem. It will only cause you to use more power and deal with higher utility bills.
Slip and Fall Hazard
A strong leak can create a puddle on your floor. This may be a minor hazard in some households. But if you have active toddlers or older people at home, you would have to constantly mop the area to prevent slips. Placing a bucket under the leak may work in some cases. However, this bucket could still pose a hazard since people might accidentally hit it with their foot or step on it. Also, when you forget to empty the bucket once it becomes full, you will have to deal with spilling water. Again, this could still result in safety risks inside your home. So, when dealing with a roof leak, experts always recommend addressing it completely and quickly – it’s the only way to get rid of the inconvenience and save yourself from the trouble and expenses of a major roof repair.
Ben’s Construction Inc is one of the best contractors that you can work with. Whether your job is as simple as gutter installation or as complex as commercial construction, you can count on our team to deliver excellent workmanship. We have keen attention to detail, and we make sure that every task is done correctly. You can rest assured that you will be getting value for your money. Call us at (508) 962-2417, or fill out our contact form to request a quote.