June 23

Roof Leaks: 5 Consequences of Deferred Maintenance

Your roof is one of the most expensive – and important – parts of your home. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against weather and pests. If it fails and you don’t realize that it’s leaking, you can face costly repair bills to your roof, home, and contents.

Leaks in attics can stay hidden for long periods if you’re not regularly inspecting your attic for signs of moisture. By the time the drywall on your ceiling shows signs of moisture staining from a leak, it’s likely that the roof framing, sheathing, and insulation have been permanently damaged. Here are just a few of the problems a leaky roof can cause.

1. Structural Damage

When the water flow is high or prolonged, rafters, roof decking, attic floor beams, wall studs, and other structural components of your home can be weakened. Over time, they may begin to rot and deteriorate, compromising your home’s structural integrity.

2. Pest Infiltration

Any amount of water damage to your roof can be a potential entry point for pests such as insects, birds, squirrels, and other animals. Once they gain entry, they can damage insulation, electrical wiring, and any stored items in your attic. 

3. Electrical Fires

The ceiling is usually the first place you’ll notice a roof leak. Any electrical wiring in the path of a leak could create a spark when you turn on a fixture connected to the wiring. Call a professional electrician to inspect and repair any damaged wiring when you realize you’ve got a leak in the attic.

4. Mold and Mildew

A leak in your roof can cause severe mold or mildew problems. Mold spores in water-damaged homes can pass through HVAC systems, causing serious illness for people with asthma, allergies, and compromised immune systems. Mold can also ruin wall and floor coverings, wood framing, and ceiling tiles.

5. Personal Property Losses

In addition to costly structural damage, roof leaks can damage the contents of your home. Any items you store in your attic can easily be damaged or destroyed by a water leak.

Take Steps to Prevent Roof Leaks

Beyond the damage from a fire or natural disaster, repairs caused by roof leaks are the most costly issues affecting homeowners. Luckily, homeowners can take steps to prevent leaks and avoid expensive repair bills.

Clean Your Gutters

Clean your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris every spring and fall. Keeping them free of debris prevents water from backing up under your shingles or into your home. It also helps prevent the formation of damaging ice dams in the winter.

Clear Debris Off Your Roof

When things like leaves, sticks, and other debris collect on your roof, they can scrape against shingles and cause damage. And if they’re holding in moisture, they can gather mold and cause even more damage. After high winds or storms, check to ensure that debris has not collected on your roof.

Trim Your Landscaping

Trim back tree limbs and branches that have grown too close to your roof. Falling branches and tree limbs can cause significant damage if they fall on your rooftop during a storm.

Inspect Your Roof After Storms

Check for loose or missing shingles after severe storms. If heavy rain, hail, and wind are common in your area, you may want to upgrade to more impact-resistant materials when it’s time for a roof replacement.

Repair Damage Right Away

Even seemingly minor damage can become a big problem. Repair or replace damaged or broken shingles quickly. Loose or missing flashing around dormers, chimneys, or skylights should also be regularly inspected and repaired when necessary.

Even the tiniest leak can cause significant property damage when left unrepaired. Performing regular roof maintenance is the best way to spot and resolve problems early. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends homeowners do a self-check at least twice a year in addition to a professional roofing inspection. Having an experienced roofer perform an annual inspection and perform any needed repairs is the best way to protect your home from costly water damage.

Problems with Older Homes

Over the years, building materials have gotten better, and builders have gotten smarter about preventing roof leaks. New roof flashing requirements help protect weaker areas of a roof. However, many of these processes and products were not mandatory or available when older homes were built. Because of this, along with normal wear and tear, older roofs are more vulnerable to roof leaks. When it’s time for a roof replacement, it’s important to bring the installation method up to today’s modern standards. This will ensure that your roof remains leak-free for many years and that your home and family are protected when severe weather is headed your way.

Work With a Trusted Local Roofing Company

Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing has installed residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting. 

Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may be facing. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.


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