A leaky roof is hard to ignore – every time it rains, the drips remind you that you need to get it fixed. But, while a pot can catch the leak as it drips from the ceiling, it’s the unexpected dangers that you really need to watch out for before a small leak turns into a major repair.
Here’s what also to watch for after you’ve repaired the initial leak, just to make sure you’ve also thought through any other potential areas that might also need repair.
Ceiling and attic damage
After you’ve patched the obvious roof leak, look at the surrounding ceiling, including any damage to the interior ceiling. Also, go up into the attic and make sure the leak did not damage any part of the attic or the belongings stored in the attic. Damaged ceiling paint will be darker and plaster will bubble. And be sure to check any ceiling-mounted lights or fans as damage could occur if the leak was nearby.
Mold and mildew damage – and related health concerns
For the health and wellbeing of your family, checking your home for signs of mold growth is one of the most important steps to take after repairing a leak. If not properly cleaned, mold can spread from the initial leak site throughout the home and then through the home’s HVAC system. Most mold that will grow from a chronic and uncleaned leak will be black mold. While usually non-toxic, this mold can decay wood, wood framing, baseboards, door framing, walls and sheetrock and flooring. When mold has been left untended to and has spread, it is both costly and difficult to remove. In addition, mold can make allergies worse and can cause inflammation and sickness for your whole family.
Structural integrity of the home
It sounds serious, but if the leak is big enough, it might be damaging the overall structural integrity of the home. Look for damaged rafters, ceiling joists and framing. On the exterior, look at fascia boards and trim pieces for peeling paint, buckled wood or bubbled paint. All could be signs of interior water damage. Be sure to repair any structural damage as soon as possible. Left unattended, structural damage means a wall could collapse or a section of ceiling could fall without notice.
Increased fire risk
You might think a fire is the last thing a leak could cause, however, a leak can short out wires to cause fires, if the water is near electrical areas like lightening, outlets or in the attic or ceiling. Before you examine any possible electrical issues, turn off your home’s power and consider calling an electrician who is versed in leak-related wiring issues.
Lower efficiency and higher energy bills
After repairing your leak, inspect the insulation in your attic. If the insulation was compromised, you could see higher energy bills for the months to come. While cellulose and fiberglass insulation will dry out, it takes a long time. If the leak has existed for a long time, you could see higher bills both before you fix it – and for a long time after you fix it as well.
Are you concerned with your roof’s integrity? Or do you need a roof leak repaired?Call us for a free inspection, and we’ll talk you through the entire estimate. For more information, call us at 918-258-2585, and we can come out and talk through how best to repair any leaks or look for anything you can do to avoid leaks in the first place.