Causes & Effects of a Leaky Roof
Published on March 17, 2020
The roof in a residential home is one of the more important components of the building structure. Whether you’re dealing with a conventional roof leak or confronted with attic insulation that is badly contaminated, it’s critical to maintain the attic and roof properly.
Like any part of a home, good roof maintenance will prevent potential damages and curtail costly repairs. Indeed, one of the most important things with the roof is to inspect regularly for leaks. Many homeowners actually have the entire roof structure inspected by an expert.
A roof leak should not be underestimated – having a leaky roof can result in a number of dire consequences. Repairs should not be put off, even in favour of saving some money in the short term. For roof professionals, a roof leak repair should climb to the top of the list.
Roof leaks can develop for many reasons – from substandard installation – to storm damage – to poor maintenance. The truth is, most roofs are only designed to last for 20 to 30 years, so age could also be the reason for a roof leak. Whatever the cause, repairs are a necessity.
Many homeowners see a leaky roof as a structural problem, but there’s more, especially if the water intrusion is constant. Beyond any potential damage to the roof and attic, water will eventually seep down into the home and cause additional damage that can be costly.
Some Common Causes for Leaky Roofs
Roof leaks are not an enjoyable experience – the ensuing damage can be costly and the associated discomfort can be annoying. While there are countless reasons for a roof to leak, there are also some common reasons. The key is to avoid them and avert future troubles.
Broken or Damaged Shingles
Given the age of a roof, damaged shingles are a common cause for leaking, something that the experts look for first. Because roof shingles are readily visible, damaged areas can be easily diagnosed. As a rule, after a violent storm, it’s advisable to check the roof shingles.
Broken or Damaged Flashing
Damaged flashing is more obvious to a roofing expert than a homeowner. Over the years, the material that secures the shingles and the roofing can deteriorate. This can predispose the flashing material to leaks, and even cause substantial water leakage into the attic space.
Condensation in the Attic
When the attic is not well ventilated, or when attic insulation is not performing at peak, it’s very uncommon for excess moisture accumulate and create condensation. In large enough quantity this can be a source of water leakage, and can be the start of a mold infiltration.
Over-Clogged Roof Gutters
Cleaning out roof gutters between the seasons is generally a pain, but it’s necessary in order to maintain proper water flow and drainage. Clogged gutters can present all kinds of issues to roof shingles and roof structure when overflowing with water or jammed with snow.
With the attic and roof, maintenance neglect has the potential for both short term and long term problems. On the flip side, seasonal maintenance (both personal and professional) will prevent and avert roof leaking and all of the associated problems that could be quite costly.
Negative Effects of a Leaky Roof & Attic
In many cases, a small roof leak will grow, and the resultant damage will worsen. Beyond the structural damage, leaky roofs can cause additional health and safety risks for house occupants. The best approach is prevention, and the best prevention is good maintenance.
Attic & Ceiling Issues
The natural consequence of a leaky roof is damage to the attic and attic insulation, and possible damage to the ceiling below. The signs will be obvious – ceiling paint will stain and ceiling plaster will “bubble”. With a big leak, there’s damage to adjacent walls, light fixtures, and ceiling fans.
Mold & Mildew Issues
Probably the most serious consequence of a leaking roof is the growth and spread of mold and mildew. When unattended, mold will spread slowly but surely throughout the attic and roof cavity, and with accompanying damage. Worst case, attic mold can infiltrate the rest of the home and contribute to poor indoor air quality, which can affect health with longterm exposure.
Associated Fire Hazards
Attics generally have quite a bit of electrical wiring and electrical connections throughout. If the roof is leaking, shorted wires can pose a fire threat. Where attic flooding is a possibility, it’s highly recommended to turn electricity off and seek professional attention immediately.
Higher Utility Bills
One side effect of a leaking roof is compromised attic insulation. When insulation is wet or saturated, the thermal performance is reduced and likely affected forever. As such, installed insulation doesn’t perform, resulting in heating and cooling bills that are higher than usual.
When the roof is leaking profusely, this is when the most damage can occur – to the rafters, to ceiling joists, even to the wall framing of the home. Water simply deteriorates wood, so the long-term outcomes of rook leakage are never good. Professional attention is required.
Attic & Roof leak Repairs by the Professionals at EcoComfort
For residential homeowners, the roof and attic quickly become important elements of the house. Regardless of house size, the roof structure (and attic cavity) comprises a working “system” – one that protects the building structure and provides home comfort below.
The simple story with the roof and attic relates to maintenance. It’s all about short-term maintenance that delivers long-term benefits. This is particularly true when it comes to repair work, and it’s especially relevant for homeowners dealing with roof leak repairs.
Roof Leak Repairs Require Professional Attention
If regular roof maintenance is neglected, roof leaks can perpetuate with resulting damage that could be serious damage. In a worst-case scenario, restoration work may even require emergency repairs. This is why annual roof inspection is so important year after year.
When the roof and attic are professionally assessed, it’s a preventive approach that can identify issues early on. Leaks can be identified before things get out of hand, and before bigger problems can emerge. In most cases, professional attention is the best strategy.
Trust EcoComfort Insulation & Contracting for Attic & Roof Leak Repair
EcoComfort Insulation & Contracting specializes in roofs and attics. Our team provides professional inspection, repairs, tune-ups, and roof replacement. We handle everything from missing shingles, to structural damage, to attic ventilation, to attic insulation.
At EcoComfort, all work comes with a labour warranty. We make every effort to do it right so that roof and attic repairs stand the test of time. Whatever the scope of work, we always suggest the most cost effective approach for required repairs, retrofits, and installations.
In Toronto, and throughout the Greater Toronto Area, EcoComfort offers the professional attention you need. Call one of our experts at 416-333-4554 to arrange for a FREE estimate.