When it comes to household maintenance and repairs, procrastination is common. But, when it comes to routine roof inspections and maintenance, this should be a high priority on your household to-do list, especially during the spring rainy season. There can be a wide variety of reasons why a roof may leak, but if there is even a small problem to begin with, heavy rains can end up causing significant damages to not only the roof, but the structure of your home as well. Although a properly constructed roof will generally last several years, without a roof repair when there are leaks the elements can cause more damages than expected. Here are just a few of the problems that can result from a leaky roof.
Staining and Discoloration
Staining and discoloration to the roofing underlayment is one of first signs of water damage caused by a leaky roof. Staining can also occur on the beams, rafters and ceilings and/or interior walls. As the water seeps through damaged areas of the roof, it carries chemical residues which cause the wood to look darker and ceilings and walls to have a reddish-rust looking color. If a roof repair is not done to fix the leak, the discoloration will spread and the stained areas will get bigger.
Damages in the Attic & Ceiling
A roof leak can cause significant damage to the attic area and the items you have stored there. If you do not have an attic or if the roofing repairs are not made soon after the leak begins, the damage will extend to the interior ceiling. The affected areas will have noticeably darker ceiling paint and the plaster may bubble and/or expand. The leaking water may also eventually lead to damage to the paint and plaster of nearby walls, not to mention the damages that can occur to mounted lights and ceiling fans.
Interior Mildew and Mold
When leaking water is trapped in a confined space, such as between the walls or under the floors, mildew and/or mold growth may occur. A leaky roof can result in the mold spreading throughout the structure of your home, your HVAC system and eventually into the carpets and your furniture. Black mold is the most common type of mold that occurs from chronic water damage. Not only is black mold extremely dangerous and difficult to get rid of, but without proper removal, it can be extremely dangerous for your health, especially those who already suffer with respiratory problems.
Electrical Wiring & Fire Hazard
Unfortunately, one of the worse problems resulting from a roof leak is a problem with the electrical wiring and/or the circuit box, depending on where the leak is located. If your electrical wiring is located in attic or the ceiling, a leaky roof can pose the risk of a fire from shortened wires. Over time, the water degrades and tarnishes copper wires, which cause the wires to short out or break. If the circuit box is located in an area where it consistently exposed to leaking water, it can short out the main breaker or the individual room breakers. Water that is leaking from the roof on the breaker box or the wiring is an extremely serious problem that should be immediately addressed in order to avoid the risk of a fire or other unsafe conditions.
The most obvious result of a leaking roof is damage to the rafters, fascia boards, ceiling joists and wall framing. This type of water damage can significantly compromise the structural integrity of your home by weakening and deteriorating the wood. This type of damage can cause serious problems throughout your home, which will require expensive construction repairs. One of the easiest ways to avoid these as well as other significant problems resulting from a leaky roof is to have routine maintenance and inspections. Companies like Affordable Roof Care can help with this.