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Serious Problems From Spring Rain and a Leaky Roof

Many homeowners procrastinate when it comes to household repairs and maintenance. But roof maintenance and inspections should be high priority on your to-do list, especially during the rainy spring season.

Shingle roofs generally last several years, but the elements can cause leaks, which can lead to more serious problems. Some of the most common problems that may result from a leaky roof can include the following:

Expanding Plaster and Bubbling Paint

The attic and the ceilings are the first areas that can experience severe damage from a roof leak. Not only can a leak cause damage to the attic, but the water can cause damage to any items you have stored in the space. Drywall ceilings that are affected will have spots of darker ceiling paint as well as bubbling paint, and plaster ceilings may expand, bubble, and gradually deteriorate.

If the leak is not repaired, the water will eventually damage the plaster or drywall and the paint of nearby walls, not to mention the damage that it can do to a mounted ceiling light and ceiling fans.

Interior and Exterior Mold

Mold growth can occur when water from a roof leak gets trapped, especially in a confined space, such as under the floors and/or between the walls. You may notice black streaks on the roof shingles, which is caused by fungal growth or algae. Water from a leaky roof can lead to mold growth that spreads throughout your home, including the HVAC system, the carpet, and your furniture.

A common type of mold, known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of mold that grows on high cellulose materials, including fiberboard and gypsum board (household drywall). The growth of Stachybotrys chartarum can occur in both indoor and outdoor environments from water leaks, water infiltration, and/or condensation. This type of mold is dangerous, extremely difficult to get rid of, and it can be dangerous to your health. 

Potential Fire Hazard

One of the most serious risks of neglecting a roof leak is a potential fire. Depending on where it is located, a long-term leak can cause electrical problems with the circuit box and/or the wiring itself.

For example, if there is electrical wiring located in the attic, water leaking into the attic from the roof can cause a short in the wires and potentially cause a fire, and if the circuit box is constantly exposed to moisture or leaking water, it can short out individual room breakers or the main breaker.

Stains and Discoloration

One of the first and most obvious signs of water damage resulting from a leaky roof is staining and discoloration of the roofing underlayment. There may also be noticeable stains on the beams, rafters and interior walls.

The water that seeps in from damaged areas of the roof contains a chemical residue that causes the wood to darken and the walls to have reddish colored spots. If the leak continues, the discoloration and stains will continue to grow.

Structure Deterioration

A leaking roof can cause extensive as well as expensive damages to wall framing, ceiling joists, fascia boards, and rafters. Damage to these areas can weaken the wood and compromise your home's structural integrity. In extreme cases, leaking water can puddle between the floor rafters, causing excess weight on the ceiling, which can cause the ceiling to collapse.

Water damage repairs can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. One of the most effective ways to prevent unexpected and expensive roofing repairs is to schedule routine roof inspections and maintenance.

Ideally, the roof of your home should be inspected at least once a year, and maintenance should be scheduled according to the recommendations of your roofing contractor. If there is a leak, it should be repaired as quickly as possible.

A roof leak is a warning sign that it's time for a roof repair or replacement, contact B & F Roofing today before any more damage occurs.