A leaky roof is a problem that many homeowners might be tempted to push aside for the time being. Unless it is raining, there’s not a lot of reason why homeowners should be concerned with fixing the damage. Because costs associated with roof repair can be rather steep, it is natural to want to push it to the back burner until you are sure that you can afford the costs associated with the repair of your leaky roof.
Unfortunately, even in mild weather, a leaky roof can cause serious problems that can shorten the overall life of the roof. These roofs usually last for 25 to 50 years and more with proper care, so this can be rather problematic. Moreover, if you address the problem as quickly as possible, the costs associated with the repair of a leaky roof don’t have to be as extensive as you might assume. For this reason, it is a good idea to get help as soon as possible. If left unchecked, you can experience the following significant problems in your home that are caused by a leaky roof.
Leaks in the roof can create a humid indoor environment that will make dark, untouched corners of your home perfect for mildew and mould to grow in. Mould in the house can be a severe problem that not only damages the structural integrity of your home; it also contributes to causing severe complications to your health. Certain strains of mould are highly toxic and can put you and your loved ones at risk. Black mould is toxic, and prolonged exposure to it can cause respiratory failure, nerve damage, and even death.
Even if you don’t get toxic mould in your home, mildew can also be problematic by triggering allergic reactions and skin allergies. These occur because mould releases spores into the air, which you then come into contact with. Getting rid of mould is not only a time-consuming process but a costly one as well. A leaky roof allows water to seep in again and again. To get rid of mould, you will have to fix the roof in order to properly address the problem. Check out our roof replacement Melbourne services.
Unexpected Hazards of a Leaky Roof
Water damage is serious business. Be on the lookout for roofing leaks before they ruin your
Many different household problems can be procrastinated. However, a leaky roof should take the highest priority on your list of home maintenance issues. Leaky roofs can develop for various reasons: improper roof installation, wind or storm damage, and lack of maintenance. Or it could just be time to replace your roof. Keep in mind that most roofs are only meant to last 20 to 30 years.
Even a small roof leak can be critical for your entire household? Most homeowners think a leaky roof is just a structural problem, but it can pose much more safety and even health risks. Constant water intrusion will eventually work down from the attic area to the very foundation of the house, causing plenty of costly damage on the way. Here are some of the less-obvious ways a roof leak can damage your home.
Higher utility bills and wasted energy
High utility bills are another side effect of a leaking roof, as water intrusion is detrimental to the insulation in the attic area. Your insulation becomes saturated, and it takes a long time for it to dry out. If a roof leak repair is put off for a long time, chronic water intrusion will deplete the insulation significantly, and your home will lose hot and cool air, resulting in higher utility bills.
Interior mould and mildew issues
One of the most serious consequences of a leaking roof is mould and mildew growth in the longer term. Mould can spread throughout the home’s structure, to the HVAC system and then to the rest of the house through the vents where it can invade carpets, furniture and even clothing.
Black mould is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. Toxic black mould growth is rare, but even non-toxic black mould attacks wood framing, ceiling tiles, and wall and floor coverings. Mould is difficult to get rid of, and it is rather costly.
Health concerns from mould
Mould and mildew can lead to serious health issues, especially for those with high sensitivity, including nasal congestion, rhinitis, inflammations, and asthma. Mould spores continue to be produced once it’s present and will lead to allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and more serious health problems.
Fire hazard from water damage
If your electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended to turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine it.
Attic and ceiling damage
The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and items stored there. If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is big, it will damage the interior ceiling. Affected ceiling paint will darken, and ceiling plaster may bubble and expand. The leaking water also will damage paint and plaster on nearby walls. You can also expect damage to ceiling-mounted lights and fans.
Compromised structural integrity
The most obvious consequence of a leaking roof is the damaged rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing and even fascia boards and exterior trim can become victims of water intrusion. Chronic roof leaks lead to wood deterioration and weakened, rotten roof framing causes serious problems that require assistance from a professional contractor. You can also face expensive wood framing repairs if water leaks down into ceiling joists and walls.
Spongy and weak water-damaged wood can end in peeling paint, damaged ceilings, and buckled wall coverings. Structural damage is inevitable if there is a serious and long-standing roof leak. That means that a good chunk of the deteriorated ceiling could give way and fall, damaging anything underneath. You would surely hate to find your laptop or television under a collapsed ceiling, but it would be even worse if you were under it.
10 Reasons Roofs Should Be Inspected
Roofs are often said to be like tires. We only think of them when a problem arises, and we only replace them when we absolutely must. But, when we do think of tires and maintain them regularly, we can extend their useful lives. Similarly, we need to ensure that the roof receives the proper maintenance to increase its useful life.
Extending roof life starts with regular inspections. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends inspecting all roofs twice a year: once after the coldest weather, once after the hottest weather. (And it’s always a good idea to inspect the roof following any major weather event.) But why should roofs be inspected, and what do we hope to discover by doing so?
All roofs should be inspected, whether they are low slope roofs or steep roofs. A downward slope roof is one with a slope of less than 3:12, whereas a roof with a pitch greater than 3:12 is considered to be a steep roof. All low slope roofs should have at least a 2 per cent slope, which is approximately 1⁄4-inch per foot.
Weathering and Aging
The benchmark life for multi-ply bituminous low-slope roofs is 20 to 30 years and approximately 15 to 25 years for most single-ply roofs. All roofs undergo normal weathering and aging, and the effects of those factors are usually visible. As roofs weather and age normally, openings may occur, leading to water infiltration. Regular inspections call attention to weathered areas and enable an owner to schedule maintenance on these deficiencies to prevent further damage. We have a wide range of Melbourne roof replacement services at Top Glaze.
Routine Maintenance Damage
If your roof is not protected properly, damage can occur from tradespeople performing maintenance on air conditioners and other systems. This sometimes occurs because of trades failing to close mechanical access panels on roofs or leaving refrigerant containers. In addition, maintenance trades often fail to clean up their debris. Items left on roofs can become flying objects in high winds. A regular inspection program incorporates roof cleaning into the ongoing maintenance cycle.
High winds, hail, and other weather events can create damage to roofs that may trigger repairs or insurance claims. Roofs should be inspected immediately following weather events to prevent further damage due to water infiltration. Damage from winds or hail can be slight and require little more than minor maintenance, or the problems can be major and require roof replacement. Insurance loss adjusters have reported that a significant amount of storm damage is actually caused by material, components, or debris blown from roofs in high winds. Tree limbs and branches can fall on roofs creating significant damage. Roof blow-offs start at the perimeter, and when roofs are not properly designed or installed to provide proper perimeter securement, severe damage can occur. Storm damage may require emergency repairs costing even more money.
Leaks after heavy rain are the primary trigger for most inspections. But a leak is only symptomatic of a problem that may have been building for some time. In some cases, if you’re looking for a silver lining, a leak is actually good news. That’s because, without evidence of a roof leak, a festering problem of undetected moisture infiltration may continue to create unseen deterioration, such as rotting wood, mould, wet insulation, or corrosion.
It takes an experienced professional to conduct a thorough leak investigation and diagnosis because the entry point for moisture may be far away from the visual evidence or detection point. Leaks can be evidence of serious roof problems or minor local issues. Many roofs in excellent condition occasionally have leaks due to minor flashing problems.
As a general rule, low slope roofs rarely leak in the open field of the roof. Leaks tend to occur around discontinuities, such as changes in elevation, penetrations, expansion joints, and flashings. On the other hand, severely deteriorated roofs may not show visible evidence of leakage, particularly over concrete decks where water may migrate a great distance before reaching an entry point through the concrete. When such a condition occurs, damage due to moisture saturation of the roof insulation may be so significant that the roof must be replaced.
Few characteristics are as important to roof performance as roof slope and drainage. Water standing on a roof increases the likelihood of leaks and moisture infiltration many-fold. Ensuring good drainage is a very important reason for regular roof inspections. Leaves, trash, debris, and thrown objects often clog or obstruct roof drains, thus creating standing water conditions. Regular cleaning of roofs can help remove such obstructions and permit water to drain efficiently, thereby reducing the likelihood of leaks. Moreover, water is heavy — weighing approximately 5 pounds per square foot per inch deep. Poor drainage also accelerates the deterioration of roofing materials, leading to a shorter life of the entire roof assembly. If a leak occurs from standing water, insulation can become saturated over a wide area, requiring complete roof replacement.
Vegetation can grow on roofs when gutters and other low areas are not cleaned regularly. Birds land and nest on roofs. They also deposit seeds, which promote the growth of vegetation. Gutters are a particular source of vegetation growth because of the accumulation of dirt, seeds, and moisture. In addition, tree branches scraping on roofs during wind can cause significant damage. Gutters should be cleaned regularly, and trees near roofs should be trimmed to prevent contact with roof surfaces.
Regular roof inspections also draw attention to the need for regular roof cleaning. No task can provide a better payback than the low-cost practice of cleaning trash and debris from the roof. A clean roof is less likely to have wind damage. Loose trash and debris not only may cause wind damage in a storm, but trash tends to wash to the low points at drains or gutters. Trash obstructs proper roof drainage and creates leak problems that would otherwise not exist.
Thieves often break into buildings through unlocked roof hatches or skylights. Regular inspections can disclose security breaches and enable owners to reduce the likelihood of vandalism or burglary. While a broken skylight is likely to be a source of water leakage, unsecured skylights can also present a security threat.
Many owners pay for repairs that are covered under a contractor or manufacturer’s roof warranty. Leaks can be caused by many factors, only some of which are covered under a roof warranty. However, when a leak is detected, an owner should have a qualified person perform an inspection to determine whether or not to file a warranty claim. When a roof warranty claim is filed, the contractor or manufacturer will visit the site and make a determination whether the leak or repair is covered. The key for the owner is maintaining possession and ready access to the warranty document, as well as timely filing of the claim.
Regular inspections highlight the need for continual building improvements, many of which affect the roof. For example, the increased presence of electronic equipment, computers, security systems, and video displays has encouraged many owners to install lightning protection on older buildings.
Roof access is an important provision for all buildings. It is well known in the industry that roofs that are accessible are maintained while roofs that are difficult to access are ignored. Regular inspections are facilitated with improved safe access to roofs. Installing permanent ladders and safety rails around roof hatches greatly facilitates safe access to roofs. Top Glaze has a wide range of Melbourne roof restoration services.