Recently, Joe Taylor Restoration responded to a call in Miami, Florida. The homeowner reported leaky roof water damage and needed water restoration services. However, she also informed us that the leak in her roof had not yet been repaired. We told the homeowner that we were happy to come out, but that she would likely continue to experience leaky roof water damage every time it rained until the roof leak was fixed. The homeowner assured us that she would have the roof repaired eventually, but that for now, her priority was the water damage inside her home. We were happy to oblige, but we continued to encourage her to get the leak fixed as soon as possible.
There are many different household problems that can be procrastinated. However, a roof leak repair should take the highest priority on the list of home maintenance issues. Why is even a small roof leak so critical? Most homeowners think a leaky roof is just a functional problem, but it can actually pose many more safety and even health risks. Constant water intrusion will eventually work down from the attic area to the very foundation of the house, causing plenty of costly damage along the way. Here are some of the ways an unchecked roof leak 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 large, it will damage the interior ceiling. Affected ceiling paint will darken and ceiling plaster may bubble and expand. The leaking water may also damage paint and plaster on nearby walls, as well as ceiling-mounted lights and fans.
2. Compromised structural integrity
Leaky roof water damage can affect rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing, and even fascia boards and exterior trim. Chronic roof leaks lead to wood deterioration. Weakened, rotting roof framing compromises the structural integrity of the roof and even the home, requiring assistance from a professional roofing contractor for extensive repairs.
3. Interior mold and mildew issues
In the long term, one of the most serious 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 home where it can take root in carpets, furniture and even clothing. Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion, and can lead to serious health issues for residents, especially those with higher sensitivity, such as allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and generally compromised health.
4. Higher utility bills and wasted energy
Water damaged attic or roof insulation can result in high utility bills and wasted home energy. Water intrusion saturates cellulose or fiberglass insulation and it takes a long time 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. Fire hazard from water damage
A surprising result of leaky roof water damage is the potential for fire. If electrical wiring is present in the attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could cause shorted wires, posing a fire threat. Property owners should turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine the situation.
Leaky roof water damage can be a disaster, but it doesn’t have to be. If it is detected early, and the leak is immediately repaired, restoration can be relatively quick and painless. If you see the “spotting” on the wall or the ceiling and suspect a roof leak, contact the professionals at Joe Taylor Restoration. The Miami resident was glad she did, promising to get her roof leak fixed more quickly at our recommendation, so as to save herself from any unnecessary additional property damage.