How a Roof Leak Can Cause Interior Damage
Everyone dreads a roof leak because of the damage it can cause to the structure, decoration, furniture, and sometimes, even the people living in a property.
Sometimes a roof leak is obvious, for example if your roof has been damaged by a storm. But it’s the leaks you can’t see that are scariest because they’re slow, prolonged, and can cause the most damage.
Find out how to spot the subtle signs of a roof leak inside your home with tips to figure out where a roof leak is coming from.
Types of Interior Damage Caused by a Roof Leak
There are many interior signs that there may be an invisible roof leak inside your property. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for and being aware of your surroundings.
A slow leak will begin to saturate a suspended ceiling. The ceiling will absorb a certain amount of water if the flow is slow. It will stain and discolor and mold or mildew may be apparent.
Once the ceiling reaches the limit of its absorbency, then it’ll break apart and fall down within the room, causing damage to fixtures and fittings and possibly even people.
Wall staining can be a gradual process depending on the severity of the leak. With brightly colored, painted walls or wallpaper, it can often be hard to spot.
Chemical discoloration usually presents as a dull gray if the leak persists unresolved over time.
Rapid and high-volume water inflow damages the rafters on your roof, which are made of wood, roof decking, attic floor beams and wall studs. This damage also occurs with a slower and prolonged low volume flow of water.
Anything wooden will be subject to mold damage and eventually rot.
Most people are aware that water ingress will damage attic or loft insulation, but it also affects walls due to the ‘trickle down’ effect. The insulation loses its R-value, becomes damp and moldy, and will require replacing.
Damage to Floors
Wooden floor beams and plywood floors will sag and warp when soaked with water.
Carpets will be wet, smell musty or moldy, and you’ll likely find damage to the flooring underneath when the carpet is pulled up.
What Happens If You Don’t Fix a Roof Leak?
If you don’t fix a roof leak, then the damage to both the interior and the structure of your home will just get worse. Roof leaks need to be professionally repaired and as quickly as possible.
Around 14,000 people in the USA experience a water damage emergency at home or work everyday.
Dragging your heels will just result in more expense as the damage becomes more widespread. If you fix a roof leak quickly, then this limits both the interior damage and the financial fallout.
An unresolved roof leak is a possible fire hazard as electrical wires in the ceilings and walls could become exposed to moisture or water.
Acute and long-term roof leaks will do enough damage to the structural integrity of your property to ultimately affect its value.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Tell Where a Roof Leak Is Coming From?
A leak may be obvious if there is a visible hole in your roof caused by tree damage or a storm. Otherwise, you will need to be a detective and trace back from the point at which you have found the water damage until you find the source.
This requires inspecting the interior of your attic and possibly even the exterior of the roof, which is a job for the professionals.
An experienced damage restoration company will search for leaks and understand the likely track of the water based on the roof design.
Can a Leaky Roof Cause Electrical Problems?
Yes. All houses have electrical cabling hidden in the ceilings and walls and possibly in the attic space too.
Sudden volumes of water and slow prolonged leaks can penetrate walls and ceilings and cause disruption to the electrical supply. This results in shorting out and may even cause a fire.
Can a Leak Cause a Ceiling to Collapse?
Both slow leaks and a sudden influx of water can cause ceilings to collapse. If a large enough section of the ceiling becomes completely wet, its weight will reach a point where it exceeds what the structure can support.
Most ceiling collapses are caused by water leaks from internal plumbing. This tends to affect ground floor rooms, particularly those beneath the bathroom.
A hole in the roof will cause a ceiling collapse upstairs, which can be sudden. A slow, hidden leak may create tell-tale stains on the ceiling and walls and alert you to a leak. Failure to act could result in a ceiling collapse.
Don’t Ignore a Leaking Roof – Speak to an Expert Today!
All Dry USA specialize in water damage repair, whatever the cause. Our highly skilled and experienced team offer an immediate local response 24/7 in Florida, New York, North Carolina and Texas.
We help protect your home, possessions, and family from the devastation of water ingress from a leaking roof. Don’t delay – call today!
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