How Water Leaks Can Destroy Your Roof

From an aesthetic point of view, the roof of a house is its crowning glory. But, a roof is also one of the most important factors when it comes to a building’s structural security.

If a roof is in a bad condition then it can have significantly negative impacts on other areas. Which is why it is crucial to keep on top of roof maintenance. Failing to do so, won’t just affect your bank balance, it could have dire consequences for your health and safety.

Because roofs are exposed to the elements, water damage is a common issues. Here are 4 major problems that can arise from water leaks in your roofs.

Internal damage:

The first thing that could happen when your roof leaks is the contents stored in your attic may be destroyed. But, it can also get a lot worse than that too. A hidden or untreated leak will continue down the house to its foundation, damaging ceilings, floors and walls on the way. If you have just moved into a new house, check for signs of leaking. The previous tenants may have been less than vigilant!    

In extreme circumstances, the entire roof could be weakened to such an extent that it caves in. The cost of this to repair would run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Wet insulation:

If insulation becomes wet it loses its thermal resistance. If the water damage is caught quickly it is possible for it to dry out - but this depends on its location. For example, wet insulation inside a closed wall cavity might not dry at all, or at least not fast enough to prevent other problems.

Wet insulation can also cause corrosion on roof fasteners and lead to the rusting of steel. Again, this could compromise the entire structure of the building over time.

Mold and mildew:

Trapped water is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This can lead to dire consequences for the building and its occupants. Mold is both toxic and tenacious and can penetrate walls and ceilings. Not only is it unsightly but it can be very difficult to eliminate.

Even more serious is the effect it can have on human health. Mold and damp causes respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Short term it can cause eye, throat and skin irritation but prolonged exposure to mold can lower the body’s white blood cells and weaken the entire immune system.

Fire:  

It will come as no surprise that roof leaks and electrics are never a good mix. Water flowing down walls and ceilings can settle in light fixtures, sockets and switches which can destroy the integrity of your wiring infrastructure.  

Unsealed fuse-boards are also susceptible to electrical fires - especially if they are located in the attic. Even a small amount of moisture in a fuse board can cause a flash-over. The very nature of a wooden frame roof means that it can quickly and easily catch fire from a flash-over. Apart from the safety risks, you could be liable to a full electrical reinstall which will affect your certification and insurance.

Avoiding water damage is just one of the reasons you should be careful about maintaining the condition of your roof. It’s also one of the first thing you should check when moving into a new home. If you suspect you have any issues, contact reliable roofing specialists immediately.  

 

Thanks to our friends at Bellhops for their help in creating this post