Problems a Leaky Roof Causes
The easiest thing to do when you have a leaky roof is put out a bucket, ignore the leak and use the water in your bucket to water your plants. However, this lack of attention to finding roof leaks can cost you big bucks if you do not hire a professional to find and fix the causes of roof leaks.
Problems a Leaky Roof Causes and Results if the Leak is Not Fixed:
- Mold: One of the more serious results of a leaky roof, mold can lead to weakening of a home’s structure, serious health conditions and/or allergic reactions. A big concern with mold that results from a leaky roof is that the spores can spread through a home via the HVAC unit, where it can infest the carpet, furniture, clothes, wooden floors, a home’s framing, ceiling tiles, wall coverings and toys.
- Structural Deterioration: A leaking roof will eventually lead to damage of the ceiling joists, wall framing, rafters, exterior trim and fascia boards. When wood collects enough water over time, the wood will weaken and deteriorate. Additionally, a leaky roof can lead to peeling paint, damaged ceiling materials and buckled wall coverings. Eventually, a leaky roof can pose a great danger to those inside the building.
- Energy Loss: Utility bills can reflect the problems of your leaky roof. Roof insulation materials take a long time to dry when they are wet, and insulation is only effective when it is dry. As a result, even a minor leak that is fixed quickly can still cause your home to lose precious heat or cool air. A continuous roof leak will deteriorate insulation and cause its R-value—its resistance to temperature change—to lower. Consequently, it will take more energy to cool or heat a home and keep it at the temperature you want.
How to Prevent Roof Leaks
- Replace or repair damaged shingles.
- Make sure the shingles in the valleys of a roof are cut correctly.
- Install flashing so it extends at least three inches over the shingles. The flashing for brick or masonry should bend and extend into a mortar joint at least one inch.
- Fix or replace rusted elements, holes or cracked rubber in flashing.
- Ensure that the flashing and counter flashing around a chimney and furnace are installed correctly. These areas are the source of many leaks.
- Prevent ice dams by having proper, dry insulation in your roof, making sure an attic is well ventilated and repairing any air leaks in an attic.
[ photo by: John Morgan ]