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Why a Leaky Roof Should Never be Ignored

Homeowner on roof uses crowbar to remove damaged flashing and shingles on leaky roof

Despite roofing accounting for just 2% of the cost of building a home, 40% of building issues are related to water damage.

Having a leaky roof makes it hard to feel comfortable in your own home. That said, many homeowners feel more comfortable living with a small leak than paying for repairs. This is a huge mistake in so many ways.

Leaks should be dealt with immediately upon discovery. If you try to ignore it, it’s only going to get worse and cause many more residual issues in your home. We understand how intimidating it can be to have your roof inspected, but doing so is going to save you a lot of money and prevent major headaches.

Today, we’re going to open up this discussion about leaky roofs and tell you just why you shouldn’t ignore them. Keep reading, and you’ll see that, when caught early, a leaky roof can be easily fixed. When ignored, it can spell disaster for your roof and your home.

Further Roof Damage

What you’re risking when you leave a roof leak to get worse is damage to your home. The first place you’re going to see this is, unsurprisingly, on your roof. Each day that the leak is ignored, it’s damaging your roof more and more.

leaky asphalt roof begins sagging due to water damage

Eventually, all of the wooden structural components of your roof will start to deteriorate. If the small breach in your roof becomes a larger one, then more will form and what was once a small leak will end up something much worse.

In the worst circumstances, you could end up with a sagging roof, which puts your entire home (and the people inside) at risk. You may have been able to patch up the leak for a few hundred dollars, and now, you’ll have to get a new roof at home.

Mold In Your Home

Excess moisture is never a good thing in your home. When you pretend a leak doesn’t exist, you’re ignoring the inevitable outcome, which is that the components of your roof, as well as the insulation, are going to start breaking down.

From there, mold and mildew will become prevalent, and you’ll need professional mold remediation as a result. You can’t let mold and bacteria fester in your home. It’ll weaken the structure of your home, but the more frightening aspect is the potential health effects of mold.

Many people are allergic to mold, but even those without allergies can suffer respiratory illnesses when exposed to various types of mold. There are also anecdotal reports of mold affecting people’s mental health.

It might not be immediately apparent how a small roof leak can degrade your indoor air quality. You won’t notice it right away, but if it goes un-dealt with, these issues start to arise.

Foundation Issues and Other Structural Damage

leaky roof causes water to pool at edges of basement damaging home foundation

As more and more water infiltrates your home and works its way down, leaving mold and mildew in its wake, the structural integrity of your home becomes compromised. The walls, rafters, and ceiling joints will all suffer, which leaves you vulnerable to structural collapse.

Of course, this is the worst outcome, but the better outcomes still involve extensive repairs to your home. As soon as a contractor has to open up your walls to repair beams and get rid of mold, you’re looking at thousands in repair costs.

Higher Monthly Bills

If you’ve got one or more water leaks coming through, that means there are literally breaches on your roof. It’s not just water coming in that you need to worry about; it’s also the flow of air going in and out. Your quality insulation and sturdy windows won’t matter if the air is flowing freely out of the roof.

When your HVAC system is turned on, it regulates the temperature in your home to stay at your desired level. A breach in your roof means that your system has to work that much harder to maintain temperature.

This puts a huge amount of strain on the system, which will eventually take a toll on it. You should only have to replace your HVAC system every 15 years or so, but if it’s constantly short-cycling, it could break down much faster. In the meantime, because the system is working on overdrive, your monthly energy bills are going to skyrocket. 

Higher Repair and Replacement Costs

As one of the top roofing companies in the Philadelphia area over the last 100 years, we’ve pretty much seen it all. One common theme with homeowners is that ignoring small problems always leads to more expensive repairs.

homeowner on phone and looking at papers deals with extra home costs due to leaky roof

In many ways, this is all you need to know about why you shouldn’t put off fixing your leaky roof. When the damage becomes more extensive, so do the repairs, and so do the costs associated with repairs. Each situation is unique, but ignoring big problems like this is never good for your bank account.

You can deal with most issues before they start by having a roof maintenance plan. Regular inspections will help you maintain your roof by catching leaks early before they can do major damage. Of all the roof tips we could give, regular maintenance would be number one.

Potential Fire Risk

However unlikely it may seem, your leaky roof could pose a major fire risk. If water trickles into your walls, it can come into contact with electrical wires. Most of these wires are isolated, but it’s always possible for water to hit a shortened wire, which will cause sparks and potential flames.

Deal With Your Leaky Roof Now

We hope we’ve made it clear just how important it is to patch up a leaky roof as soon as you notice it. Not every homeowner goes up to their attic on a regular basis, so many people don’t notice these leaks until it’s too late.

Being on a maintenance plan and getting maintenance tips from O’Donnell Roofing can help you prolong your roof’s lifespan. We’ve been helping homeowners in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs for nearly 100 years, so contact us today to schedule your inspection.

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