When it comes to maintaining a home’s structural integrity against the elements, the roof is the pinnacle of protection standing above other home systems. Of course, that doesn’t mean your roof is fail-proof to developing leaks. Roofs in our area must contend with abundant snowfall, severe storms, and occasional hail. Ice dams are a contributing factor to roof leaks for some homeowners. And, there’s normal wear and tear due to constant aging which degrades a roof’s durability and eventually allows water to penetrate.
In order for your home’s roof to retain its resilience to the elements, it needs regular professional maintenance and timely inspections. Without a pro’s help, your roof and home could really suffer expensive consequences. What follows are five ways a leaky roof can damage your home.
When your roof is leaking water in any amount, your home is going to suffer water damage on some level. The greater the leak and the longer it goes undetected or unrepaired, the more extensive water damage will be. Water has the potential to damage the attic, ceilings, walls, floors, and all the way down to your home’s foundation. Paint, wallcoverings, flooring, and more may be damaged.
Telltale signs you have a leaky roof are water stains on the ceilings, walls, and/or floors. If you notice this, call Welter Construction right away. Your roof has a major water leak that needs to be addressed very quickly.
The insulation in your attic, walls, and floors functions to keep your home more comfortable and to reduce energy bills. Several types of insulation do not mix well with water at all. The most common type of home insulation is fiberglass. Once fiberglass batts, rolls, or loose fill becomes wet, it loses its thermal resistance. It’s ruined! And, it must be removed to prevent additional problems, such as the development of bacteria, mold, and mildew.
If you have safety gear (e.g. hard hat) and feel comfortable going into the attic, take a look at the insulation installed there. Are there any signs of water damage, mold, or mildew? In fact, look to see if there is any mold or mildew anywhere in the attic. This is a sure sign of moisture problems.
MOLD & MILDEW
In order to grow and proliferate, mold and mildew need an organic food source, hospitable temperature, and water. Since your home automatically supports organic food sources (e.g. wood, carpet, drywall) and a hospitable temperature, the only ingredient left needed for mold and mildew to thrive is water.
Molds are toxic and tenacious. They cling and adhere to just about any surface or object in your home. Molds can penetrate ceilings and walls and can spread quickly. Mold damage doesn’t have to be extensive to cause a homeowner to need to remove whatever object mold has infected, such as walls, ceiling tiles, and insulation. Don’t allow a leaky roof to cause a horrendous mold and mildew problem in your home.
ELECTRICAL AND FIRE HAZARD
Water from roof leaks and electricity are not a good mix. A leaky roof can allow water to flow down ceilings and walls and can soak sockets, switches, and light fixtures. If this happens, it can ruin the integrity of your home’s electrical wiring system.
Additionally, unsealed fuse boards are susceptible to electrical fires. If the fuse board is in the attic, it only increases the risk of an electrical fire. If the fuse board only receives a small amount of water, an arc flash can still occur (i.e. light and heat produced from an arc fault, or electrical explosion). Further, your home’s electrical system is an expensive system to repair or replace.
Your home’s roof is the first system to be damaged by water leaks. Common reasons for leaks are worn, torn, buckling, and otherwise damaged shingles. Another cause for leaks is the presence of ice dams. The buildup of ice on the roof’s eaves and gutters forces water under the shingles. Also, damaged or missing flashing is a sure sign of trouble.
If the water damage goes on too long without remedy, you may need to replace the entire roofing system from the decking to the shingles. Timber in the attic may have suffered water damage as well and need to be repaired.
Prevention is key when it comes to your roof and water leaks. Schedule a roof inspection with us at Welter Construction and we’ll give you an honest assessment of the condition of your roof. Call on us for all of your roofing, siding, gutters, and home remodeling needs 763-780-6007!