Procrastination is common when it comes to household maintenance and repairs, but when it comes to routine roof maintenance and inspections, it should take high priority on your to-do list, especially during the rainy spring season. A leaky roof can develop from a wide variety of reasons, but when you have routine maintenance and inspections, your roofing contractor will be able to identify potential problems much sooner, which can save you time and money in the long run.
Although a properly constructed roof will typically last several years, the elements can wreak havoc on even the most durable roofs. A leaky roof can cause severe and expensive water damage to the structure of your home, including the interior. Below are some of the problems that can result from a leaky roof.
Discoloration and Staining
Discoloration and staining to the roofing underlayment is one of the first signs of water damage caused by a leaky roof. Staining may also occur on the rafters, beams, and the interior walls and/or ceilings. As the water seeps through the damaged area of the roof, it carries various chemical residues, which cause the wood to look darke, and the walls and ceilings to have reddish, rust-looking color. If the leak is not repaired, the discoloration will spread, and the stained area will grow larger.
Damage in the Attic and Ceiling
The first danger of a roof leak is damage to your attic area and the items you have stored there. If you do not have an attic, or if the leak into the attic is large enough, it will cause extensive damage to the interior ceiling. The affected area will be noticeably darker, and the ceiling plaster may expand and/or bubble. The leaking water will also eventually cause damage to the paint and the plaster of nearby walls, not to mention the damage that the leak can cause to ceiling fans and mounted lights.
Interior Mold and Mildew
When leaking water gets trapped in a confined space, such as between the walls or under the floors, mold and/or mildew growth can occur. A leaky roof can result in mold spreading through the structure of your home, the HVAC system, and eventually into your furniture, carpets, and possibly even your clothing. Not only is mold dangerous and difficult to get rid of, but without appropriate removal, it could keep coming back. Mold is especially dangerous to those who already suffer from respiratory problems, such as asthma and/or allergies.
Electrical Wiring and Fire Hazard
Unfortunately, a long-term leak may also cause electrical problems, either with the circuit box or on the wiring itself, depending on where the leak is located. If your electrical wiring is located in the ceiling or in the attic, a leaky roof can pose the risk of a fire from shorted wires. Over time, the water will tarnish copper wires, which can cause them to break or short out. If the circuit box is in an area where it is constantly exposed to leaking water, it can short out the main breaker or the individual room breakers. Water that is leaking from the roof onto the wiring or a breaker box is an extremely serious problem and it should be addressed immediately to avoid the risk of fire and other unsafe conditions.
Rotting Structural Wood
The most obvious result of a leaking roof is damage to the ceiling joists, wall framing, rafters, and the fascia boards. This type of water damage can compromise the structural integrity of your home by deteriorating and weakening the wood. It can cause serious problems throughout your home and may require expensive construction repairs.
When a home suffers water damage, homeowners sometimes have to spend a large chunk of their savings on repairs. One of the easiest ways to avoid unexpected, expensive roofing repairs is with routine roofing maintenance and inspections. Your roof should be inspected at least once (if not twice) each year, and any damage should be repaired as soon as possible.
If your roof is in need of replacement, don't wait any longer to book your appointment. Hedrick Construction proudly serves Ames, Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.