5 Unexpected Dangers of a Leaky Roof



Procrastinating on household chores is a problem we all have. However, a roof leak repair should take the highest priority on your list of home maintenance issues. Roofing leaks can develop for a variety of reasons: improper roof installation, wind or storm damage, and lack of maintenance. Keep in mind that most roofs are only meant to last 20 to 30 years, so it could simply be time to replace your roof. Here are some ways a leaky roof can damage your home.

1. Attic and ceiling damage
The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and items stored there. If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is big, it will damage the interior ceiling. Affected ceiling paint will darken and ceiling plaster may bubble and expand. The leaking water also will damage paint and plaster on nearby walls. You can also expect damage on ceiling-mounted lights and fans.


2. Interior mold and mildew issues
In the long term, one of the most profound consequences of a leaking roof is mold and mildew growth. Mold can spread throughout the home’s structure, to the HVAC system and then to the rest of the house through the vents where it can invade carpets, furniture and even clothing.
Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. Toxic black mold growth is rare, but even non-toxic black mold attacks wood framing, ceiling tiles, and wall and floor coverings. Mold is difficult to get rid of, and it is rather costly. 


3. Fire hazard from water damage
If your electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended to turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine it.

4. Higher utility bills and wasted energy
High utility bills are another side effect of a leaking roof, as water intrusion is detrimental to the insulation in attic area. Your cellulose or fiberglass insulation becomes saturated and it takes a long time for it to dry out. If a roof leak repair is put off for a long time, chronic water intrusion will deplete the insulation significantly and your home will lose hot and cool air, resulting in higher utility bills.


5. Compromised structural integrity
The most obvious consequence of a leaking roof is the damaged rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing and even fascia boards and exterior trim can become victims of water intrusion. Chronic roof leaks lead to wood deterioration and weakened, rotten roof framing causes serious problems that require assistance from a professional contractor. You can also face expensive wood framing repairs if water leaks down into ceiling joists and walls.
Spongy and weak water-damaged wood can end in peeling paint, damaged ceilings, and buckled wall coverings. Structural damage is inevitable if there is a serious and long-standing roof leak. That means that a good chunk of deteriorated ceiling could give way and fall, damaging anything underneath. You would surely hate to find your laptop or television under a collapsed ceiling, but it would be even worse if you were under it.

JCF Construction provides free estimates on all of our services including roof repairs and roof replacements. If you see signs of a leaking roof, call us immediately.

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