Your home is something to be enjoyed; a place where you can relax after a hard day, enjoy time with your family, and entertain guests if you like. What most people don’t want to do when it comes to their homes is dealing with expensive repairs such as fixing a roof or putting on a new one. And to be honest, most people don’t give their roof a second thought until it’s too late, which is why it’s essential you find and fix little problems now before they become big ones later.
In this article, we examine why it’s essential you take care of roof repairs, no matter how small, as soon as possible, and what you risk by putting them off.
The Leaky Roof
The most common roof problem homeowners experience is the leaking roof. And while a small leak might not seem like that big of a deal, the truth is if you let it go, it can develop into big problems that are expensive to fix down the road.
Before we go further, let’s look at what’s going on with roof leaks and how to spot them.
Keep in mind, not all roof leaks can be seen right away, but the quicker you find them, the faster you can facilitate repairs and save money on repairing further damage. Here are signs to look for that show you have water leaking into your home from the roof.
- Water spots on the attic ceiling. Whenever you have heavy rains, go up into the attic and check the limit for water spots or if you don’t have a ceiling, check the rafters for moisture. Even if you’ve not had a heavy rain recently, go up and check anyway, because if you did have a leak, the evidence would remain in the form of discoloration.
- Damaged shingles. It’s a good idea to inspect your roof a few times a year. Check for loose, curled or buckled shingles and replace them right away since they’re the armor that protects your home against water ingress. Buckling or warped shingles means there’s water trapped underneath and it can lead to rot if you don’t get it fixed quickly.
- Water damage on your ceilings. If you see evidence of water such as discoloration on the ceilings anywhere in your home, it’s evidence of a severe water leak, and you must deal with it quickly.
What Can Happen When You Don’t Fix Roof Leaks
Now we’ve looked at the signs you have a roof leak, let’s look at some risks in allowing these problems to go.
The first place water attacks and causes damage in the attic. An unchecked water leak into your attic can lead to water destroying your ceiling by rotting the wood. Also, as the water continues to leak, mold, and mildew growth, which can cause respiratory problems for your family. Another symptom of ignored water leaks in the attic is damage to any electric fans or lights you have up there. Water causes them to short circuit and could lead to a spark and fire.
From the attic, let’s look at your home’s insulation and how water leaks can damage it. When insulation gets wet, it becomes matted down, which makes it ineffective at insulating your home. When the insulation stops working, you lose money because of energy loss, and you run the risk of ice dams forming in winter, which causes even more damage to your roof and more water leaking in.
Mold & Mildew
As mentioned above, not promptly fixing roof leaks leads to the ingress of water into your home, which causes mold and mildew to grow. Once mold gets into your home, it quickly spreads and getting rid of all of it is a chore. And, if you thought mold growing on your walls and ceiling was bad enough, imagine what happens when it finds its way into your home’s ductwork. When your AC or heater is on, it’s blowing mold spores throughout the entire house.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold can cause a stuffed up nose, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, and skin irritation. Also, if you have compromised breathing because of lung illness, the presence of mold can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening infections.
Risk of Power Outage or Fire
As alluded to above, when rainwater seeps in, it can come into contact with lights and ceiling fans, or uninsulated wires which can cause them to short circuit. At best, a short circuit will leave you without power for a bit, but at worst, it can lead to injury or death from an electric shock or sparks that can cause a fire.
The last thing on our list is the loss of money. When you put off roof repairs and let small problems become big ones, you waste your hard-earned money on an issue that in most cases could’ve been fixed inexpensively. Imagine letting a small leak go and finding out you have mold throughout the house and you need to replace the wood in your attic because it’s rotted. Or even worse, think about having to replace the entire roof!
How To Avoid Big Damage
As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that’s just as true for your roof as anything else.
To avoid all of these problems, inspect your roof at least twice a year, in the fall and the spring. Look for things like warped, cracked or missing shingles; the buildup of lichen or moss; worn or cracked boots around pipes and roof penetrations; loose gutters, and cracked sealant. If you don’t feel comfortable getting up on your roof, or aren’t sure what to look for, call a professional roofing contractor for an inspection. A roofing inspection is inexpensive and can save you thousands if you fix those little problems now before they become big, expensive ones later.