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Unforeseen Dangers of a Leaking Roof

Unforeseen Dangers of a Leaking Roof

As your roof ages and sustains various weather damage, certain areas can become susceptible to leaks. It is important as a homeowner, property manager, or business owner to keep an eye on your roof and address any leaks or damage, sooner than later, to avoid costly repairs and other unexpected dangers of a leaking roof you may not be aware of.

Roof leaks can happen for many reasons; age, severe weather conditions, improper installation, and lack of maintenance and upkeep. No matter the reason, a roof leak is a serious issue that must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid these unforeseen dangers of a leaking roof:

Black mold in a homeowners roof

Firstly one of the more serious dangers of a leaking roof: Mold. Mold spreads quickly through the structure of the home, into the HVAC system and subsequently through the home through the vents. Once mold has made it into the HVAC system of a home it can then get into the carpeting, your furniture, and even your clothes. Black mold is the most common mold caused from water intrusion, it is more than just an aesthetic problem; it can actually make you and your family very sick. According to HGTV the most common health concerns are respiratory related. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mold exposure.

Fire Hazard

Is your electrical wiring present in your attic or through your ceiling? This could pose a fire hazard if your roof is leaking. Wires can short out due to water and cause a fire in your home. It is recommended you turn off the electricity to these areas and contact an electrician as soon as possible as well as a roofing contractor to address the root of the problem; the roof leak. Any water in your attic or ceiling poses a threat to the integrity of your home, especially if electrical wiring is exposed to the water.

Slipping and Falling

Another one of the dangers of a leaking roof is for commercial building owners and property managers, mostly. Water from roof leaks can pool on the floor where people could end up slipping. This can be a serious risk for a commercial building that sees a lot of traffic daily. As a homeowner, you or your loved ones may slip and fall when a roof begins leaking in your home and you don’t catch it in time. Not only will you be facing a bill for the roof leak, but unforeseen medical charges may become an issue as well.

Structural Roof Damage

The structural damage that can occur with even a small roof leak is a major concern for homeowners and property managers. Letting a little problem turn into a bigger problem can mean huge problems with your homes structural integrity. Water travels and can find its way under the roof decking. Over time the water will then intrude the roof decking. It can then seep through a wall and then run down the framing. The wood will get soaked and begin to rot and lose it’s strength. The roof will begin to sag and the water will also begin to weaken the foundation. You can also face expensive wood framing repairs if water leaks down into ceiling joists and walls. The ceiling itself can even cave in and cause a huge mess, potentially hurt someone in your home, and will in the long run cost a lot more to fix. Fixing the roof leak early and not letting it get to this stage will save you lots of money in the long run.

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Ways to tell you need a new roof

Ways to tell you need a new roof

How often do you look at your roof, really?

While arguably one of the most important parts of your home, the roof is usually an afterthought to most home owners. When you see a dreaded brown spot on your ceiling it generally means your roof is leaking and chances are some damage has occurred. Can your roof just be repaired or is it time to replace your roof? What determines if you can get away with a roof repair or does your home need a total roof replacement? Below is 5 ways to tell you need a new roof.

How old is your roof?

The age of your roofing system is a huge factor when it comes to ways to tell you need a new roof. Most roofing contractors agree that an asphalt shingle roof for example will need replaced in around 15 years in Florida, give or take. With the Florida sun and rain storms, shingle roofs just don’t stand up compared to tile or metal. This is not to say that a shingle roof can’t last 30 years, especially with the shingles currently available. Unfortunately, an old roof that is constantly leaking and needing repairs is a bad mix and generally points to the need for a shingle roof replacement.

Follow your neighbours lead

While one neighbour replacing their roof may just be a neighbour looking for something new, pay attention to the homes in your neighbourhood. If a few or a bunch of your neighbours are replacing their roofs, it may be a way to tell you need a new roof. Homes in the same neighbourhood are often times built similarly, and built at the same time. If you have 5 neighbours replacing their shingle roofs, chances are yours may be getting close to the end of it’s life as well. This is also a good way to determine roof age if you’re a new home-owner and are unsure of the age of your roof.

Check your gutters

In the event that you have the most common roofing system in Florida, shingles, you should check your gutters regularly (and with other roofing systems too!). Gutters should be inspected regularly for debris and to make sure they’re draining properly. Clogged gutters can lead to bigger issues in the future. If you notice shingle granules in the gutters it could be a way to tell you need a new roof. Shingles toward the end of their life will start to lose more granules.

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