Roof leaks can develop due to storm damage or poor maintenance routine. While some maintenance issues like repainting the wall can be postponed, a leaking roof should never be ignored. Continued water intrusion can lead to a myriad of problems with severe consequences. Here are four main issues that could develop when your roof is leaking.
1. Spread of Hazardous Mold and Mildew
Leaking roofs work in tandem with condensation to accelerate moisture buildup in your home, creating the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to thrive. Dealing with mildew invasion can be relatively easy, but mold tends to be stubborn and expensive to eradicate. Mold and mildew growth usually starts in areas affected by roof leaks, but it can spread throughout the home after reaching your air conditioning or HVAC system.
Black mold is the most prevalent fungi problem in homes induced by roof leaks. It’s a fast-reproducing species that infects the roof frames, tiles, ceiling, and walls. Once it starts to spread, it will destroy your carpets, furniture, and clothes.
Mold and mildew contaminate the indoor air quality in your home and trigger multiple health issues like allergies and asthma. But for people with preexisting respiratory problems, black mold can cause severe complications. According to statistics, mold increases the risk of developing respiratory problems by 30% to 50%.
2. Deteriorating Structural Integrity
Regardless of magnitude, roof leaks allow water to pass through the roof membrane, thus damaging the deck, rafters, ceilings, and fascia boards. When it’s snowing, this could lead to snow accumulation beneath the laps and cause significant stress to the structure. If left unattended, roof leaks lead to rotten wood frames that support the roof, which often calls for expensive renovations.
Eventually, water will find its way to your walls, causing dampness, warping, and rotting. Gradual water intrusion through roof shingles or deck will lead to a sagged roof that can collapse without warning. Small leaks may seem insignificant, but the compounding effect can be disastrous. Unfortunately, by the time you notice the deterioration signs, structural damage will be too advanced.
Ignoring small leaks will only lead to hefty repair costs; therefore, it’s prudent to address the issue before it gets out of hand. For instance, water intrusion through the deck will compromise the roof system and may force you to replace the entire roof sooner than you had anticipated.
3. Electrical Faults and Fire Hazards
The unintended conjunction of water and electricity can be dangerous. However, it’s among the risks homeowners face when there are roof leaks. If exposed electrical wiring gets into contact with water, the chances of fire accidents increase. And since most electrical wiring is in the attic, even a small roof leak can close an open circuit and cause dangerous sparks.
Similarly, water can trickle into the junction box and make it hazardous to anyone touching the metallic casing. It is always wise to switch off electricity going through an area with a roof leakage and contact a technician immediately.
4. Damaged Insulation and High Energy Costs
Insulation membranes in the attic guard your house and its occupants from weather extremities. Wet insulation material has a lower insulation ability meaning your HVAC needs to work harder to cool or heat your home. And this can be a vicious cycle because insulation material takes a lot of time to dry.
But it doesn’t end there; prolonged switching between dry and wet states means the insulation quality will constantly deteriorate. If this happens during winter, the insulation can freeze and make it almost impossible to heat. When the insulating membrane becomes a conducting material, it stops saving you money and starts to inflate energy bills.
Your First Call For Help. Find a Professional.
Roof leaks can wreak havoc if left unattended; therefore, you should have your roof inspected to identify and repair any leaks. If you suspect a leaky roof or you want a roof inspection and repair, reach out to Meridian Restoration. We are a GAF Master Elite Certified Installers and roofing experts located in Chicago, IL, and we serve homeowners in surrounding suburbs like Evanston, Deerfield, Wilmette, and Glenview.