How Small Leaks In Your Roof Can Add Up To Huge Problems

Owning a home can sometimes be difficult and we all have issues that we put off for another day. That is the whole point of a ‘honey-do’ list, isn’t it? While we can typically wait on mowing the lawn or painting the fence, one obligation we always have to take care of is the roof. Roof leaks can develop over time due to storm damage, lack of maintenance, as well as, improper installations. It is important to understand that roofs are not meant to last an eternity. In fact, they typically only have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years.

How Small Leaks In Your Roof Can Add Up To Huge Problems

Many would not believe that a small leak can be devastating for a home. While many homeowners think that a leaky roof is a sign of structural damage, there are multiple health and safety risks that may occur. The longer a leak goes without repair, the more damage the house will sustain over time, eventually making its way down to the foundation of the home.

Compromised Structure Of The Building

Some problems that occur from a leaking roof include damaged rafters, joists, wall framing, as well as the fascia boards. As water enters through the roof, it begins leaking onto the attic flooring. However, it may run along the underside of the roof and drip directly down the framing of the house. Over the course of time, this dripping will lead to rotting wood, bowing of the walls, a sagging roof, and even a waterlogged foundation. The smallest of leaks have the potential to cause these problems and could take a few years for the damage to be noticeable. However, by the time the homeowner notices the telltale signs of a leak, the damage is already too extensive and becomes quite costly to repair.

Ceiling And Attic Damage

One of the dangers you are facing from roof leakage if you have an attic is that many people store their belongings there. If the house has been built without an attic, the leak is going to damage the interior ceiling. The paint is going to get darker and any plaster will begin to expand and bubble. You will also notice that the paint on nearby walls will begin to show signs of damage as the leak continues. Lights and ceiling fans could also be damaged.

Mold And Mildew Problems

One of the most serious consequences of a leak comes in the form of mold and mildew growth. As mold spreads throughout the home via the heating and air conditioning system, it can infiltrate every area of the home.

One of the most common forms of mold problems from water damage is black mold. This mold will attach itself to the framing, walls, ceiling, and tiles. Not only is this difficult to get rid of it can be rather expensive.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued that mold and mildew can be dangerous in the home, especially those who are already affected with breathing difficulties. Once mold is introduced into the home, it will continue to produce mold spores which will lead to further breathing problems as well as other serious health concerns.

Fire And Electrical Hazard

We all know that water and electricity do not mix well, yet that is one of the issues homeowners face with leaks. It is a possibility that water will connect with an open circuit in the home which can lead to a fire. Many times, the home’s insulation will protect the wiring but it is still possible for water to seep into metal junction boxes which contains wiring. This becomes a serious issue for humans who may happen to touch the box not knowing about water seepage and could lead to a potentially fatal shock. If you know that there is a leak in the home, it is best to cut off all power to that area of the home until a repairman can further examine the area.

Wasted Energy

You would never think that a leak could cause higher energy bills. However, as the water damages the insulation in the roof, more energy can escape. Over time, if the roof is not repaired, the insulation’s ability will continue to decrease and you will be forced to use more power to keep the air warm or cool.

Other Hazards To Be Aware Of

Electricity and water are not the only issues to be concerned about when it comes to safety concerns and leaks. In fact, it is quite easy for a puddle to form and causing someone to slip and fall. If water is allowed to constantly enter the home, it can cause the drywall to become unstable. After an extended amount of time, the drywall will crumble or cave in. Another hazard of a leaking roof is the degradation of the roof deck due to exposure to water. This can result in serious injury when trying to repair the roof as it becomes too easier to put your foot through the plywood.

Take the time and have someone inspect your roof on an annual basis. While it may seem like it is a costly solution, it is much easier and cheaper to catch these smaller leaks than after they have already caused much larger problems.

Joe Crivello is the owner of AmeriDri, assisting customers with water damage and mold removal and inspection. In business for 25 years, his firm is IICRC certified and holds an A+ rating with the Colorado Better Business Bureau. If you are in Colorado and need assistance with water or mold damage, learn more by visiting