While that leak from the ceiling may seem small and just an annoyance that needs to be fixed, there are in fact dangerous and severe consequences for ignoring a leaky roof. Leaks can be caused from a variety of factors including improper roof installation, wind or rain damage, and failure to properly maintain your roof.
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the leak.
Damage to your roof structure
- If left unattended to, a leak in your roof can cause rotting and damage to the wood structure that makes up your roof. This includes any ceiling beams, rafters or wall framing that keeps your home’s structure in place. In extreme cases, this can cause the collapse of your roof or the rotting of drywall.
Higher energy bills
- A leak in your roof can ruin the insulation of your home, causing your HVAC system to work in overdrive. Once the insulation is damaged, your home will lose energy at a higher rate, and cause your heating and electricity bills to increase as well.
Harmful mold and mildew
- With any water damage, there is the danger of mold and mildew beginning to grow. This can be extremely harmful to your health if left unattended to. Mold and mildew in the roof can also seep into the HVAC system and mold could grow in your vents and filters. Black mold, which commonly results from water damage, is costly to remove and can damage your home’s infrastructure.
Damage to electrical wiring
- If you have electrical wiring running through your roof like most homes, a leak can cause short circuit issues, and even potentially result in an electrical fire if left unattended. This can also affect ceiling structures like overhead lights or ceiling fans.
It’s important to watch out for the warning signs of a leaky roof, such as peeling interior paint, noticeable water collection, or the buckling of drywall. This can also manifest itself in the form of shingle damage or clogging of your gutters.
If you notice any of these side effects, or suspect your roof is leaking, make sure to contact a qualified and insured professional to address these issues. Attempting to complete roofing work yourself can cause more harm than good, and can be dangerous if you’re not a professional.