Roof Leak Problem — The 5 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

A leaking roof could cost you so more than just a little bit in repair costs for water damage; it could cost you dearly, especially if the structural integrity of your home gets called into question, or that water damage leads to mould and then health problems that run rampant. The average roof is designed to last for between twenty and forty years, depending on the materials used and the structure type. However, general wear n’ tear, storm damage, and animal damage can mean that it will need attention before that time is up, and could even need full roof replacement — a costly business if you are not prepared for it. By performing regular inspections of the roof, as well as maintaining it properly, you can ensure that it doesn’t cause you costly problems in the future, or require replacement before the life expectancy is up.

In some cases, you’ll see the damage to your roof quite clearly and the necessary repairs are obvious. If a tree were to topple in the midst of a larger storm and land on your roof, you would see the damage just by looking at it — from both inside and outside the building. With a leak, on the other hand, things are slightly different. It isn’t always obvious that you have a leak at all, and the source of that leak could be hidden somewhere, virtually invisible to the untrained eye.

Are the lights in your upstairs bedroom starting to play up? Perhaps a few plug sockets aren’t working here and there? Those things could be a sign that you have water damage — the electrical systems are being affected by incoming water. Unfortunately, holes in the roof or attic won’t just let in water; they’ll also let in wild critters, such as rats and mice. These rodents will chew through electrical wires, leading to even bigger and more extensive problems.

Electrical items + water = a risk of fire. If your attic contains old documents or photographs, attic insulation, or highly-flammable materials (paints and other building materials, for example), the fire risk is increased. Again, rodents and other animals can also pose an increased threat of fires, chewing through protective covers of cables and wires to expose the live components inside.

Excess water usually comes with mildew or mould, both of which could be detrimental to the health of everyone in the building. This stuff spreads FAST, affecting the entire building, but by bit, everywhere that excess water or moisture is located. A small leak in the roof will confine the organism to that area in many cases, but as that leak grows the water has a way to make its way throughout the rest of the building.

If you have a two-storey house with an attic that you rarely visit, there is a chance that you won’t notice the early signs of a leak, but that’s why it is important to have regular inspections that allow for any problems to be diagnosed and then treated as quickly as possible. A small leak can affect the attic and just the attic, not intruding down into the middle and then bottom levels of the building. If you don’t go up into the attic for a year or so (the annual visit to get your Christmas decorations out), that leak could be up there, spreading water and damage around, potentially making the space very dangerous.

Water dripping and pooling on the floor of the attic can cause it to become weak and unstable, so that when you go up there and place your weight on it, you fall through or damage it. The same weakening and damage can happen to joists or rafters, causing part of or the entire roof to fall in; siding and exterior trims to become brittle and fall off; and, if enough water has a chance to pool up there, the entire ceiling of the floor below it caving in and flooding the rest of the property. These are all VERY costly problems, alongside being labor-intensive. ALL of those problems are easily avoided with regular roof and property inspections from qualified and certified tradesmen.

Weakened rafters can lead to slipped tiles, which doesn't look great. From the outside, a crumbling roof makes the rest of the building appear as though it has fallen into disrepair. Not only that, excess moisture in the building will lead to other problems with the way it looks — wallpaper will peel, as will paint, and things can become discolored or stained. Regular paint jobs or redecoration projects are required to keep the house in tip-top condition, which is - once again - adding extra costs onto the upkeep of it. And - once again - all of these problems are easily avoided if the leak is picked up and then put right quickly.

Whether you think you’ve got a problem with your roof or not, you should book a roof survey if it’s been a while since your last one. At the very least, you should recommend that the roof is given a good going-over once per year, before the winter hits, to ensure that bad weather, rodents, and other wild critters don't have a chance to get in when they need safety and warmth the most. We can offer you a thorough inspection — and we’ll ensure that you won’t have another roof-related problem for many years to come!

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