With summer now in the past and winter in the very near future, more rain is practically a guarantee. Unfortunately, wet weather can cause, or dramatically exacerbate, damage to a home. Over time, roofs become weakened due to exposure to the elements. And, while a typical roof will last between 20 to 30 years, it should still be inspected regularly, especially before rain and melting snow can lead to leaks.
For many, water damage does not become apparent until heavy rains shed a spotlight on the problem with a leaking ceiling or other noticeable issues. When a roof leaks, the water can damage many parts of the structure from top to bottom, so it is important to deal with the leak immediately by selecting a company that performs roof repair in Vancouver.
If you suspect your roof may have a leak that caused water damage, you may be faced with the following problems:
Water damage from a leaky roof can result in mold growth within just a couple of days. When water enters a home and has the chance to stagnate, mold spores begin to germinate on the moist surface. In fact, mold can begin to form in as little as 48 hours when the right conditions—water and food (any organic matter, such as wood flooring or carpeting)—are present.
Roof leaks can cause two types of mold growth: systemic growth and limited growth. Systemic growth occurs when the roof leak results in enough moisture buildup to cause mold growth throughout the entire attic area. In this case, mold remediation won’t be easy and you will need professional assistance in order to restore your property.
Limited growth, on the other hand, occurs when an attic has good enough ventilation to prevent condensation, so moisture accumulates only in the immediate area of the leak. In this case, it will be much easier to deal with the resulting mold issue as fixing the roof leak and killing the existing mold spores will be enough to get rid of the problem completely.
Either way, you will need to address the issue without delay as mold from roof leaks can quickly pose a serious health risk to anyone living in the home. The mold spores can spread through the house via the HVAC system and cause (or contribute to) severe respiratory problems, allergies, and various other health issues
Attic, Ceiling, and Wall Damage
Unfortunately, water damage to a roof rarely stays contained. The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and the items stored there. Because the attic’s main line of defense from outside forces is the roof, damage to the roof will often mean damage to the attic is soon to follow. Once the problem evolves past the roof and into the attic, the number of issues for the homeowner will begin to increase rapidly.
If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is really big, it will damage the interior ceiling. Plasterboard ceilings and walls are extremely vulnerable to moisture damage. They are highly absorbent and any moisture completely degrades the inherent strength of the panel.
Moisture also adds an enormous amount of weight to a material that is designed to be dry and relatively lightweight. The added weight and degraded lateral strength can cause ceilings to collapse without warning.
Moisture also causes the panels to swell, distorting the smooth surface and alignment with other panels, leaving no alternative aside from replacement.
Even when wall panels don’t appear damaged, they will need to be removed so that wet insulation can be taken out and the timber frames are allowed to properly dry to prevent any long-term damage.
Because the issues with the roof can cause fairly significant problems to the attic, ceiling, and surrounding walls, it is important to contact an expert roof repair in Vancouver as quickly as possible.
Increased Termite Risk
Termites live on cellulose-based materials such as wood, books, and vegetation. They also thrive in a humid environment. Timber wall frames that have become wet and are unable to dry out due to lack of air circulation and constant contact with moisture-retaining insulation create their ideal environment.
Once a termite colony becomes established in a home, they are capable of consuming vast amounts of cellulose material in a very short period of time. They can quickly decimate a timber wall frame and move seamlessly into the roof cavity via intersecting roof timbers.
Damage to Flooring
As mentioned, water damage to a roof will often lead to leaks. As the lowest point in the home, floors become the inevitable collection point for any water that has found its way inside the home.
If you have carpet, you can try to save the affected area by calling in a professional cleaner. Like carpet, laminated timber panels that have been laid over a concrete floor are also very vulnerable to water damage. Saving this style of floor requires immediate action and is definitely a job for the professionals who use drying equipment to remove any moisture.
Unfortunately, other flooring material like wood is harder to save if the water damage was extensive. In this instance, you may need to replace the affected panels or even all of the flooring.
Don’t wait until the damage gets this bad. If you suspect a leaky roof, reach out to a company that performs roof repair in Vancouver today.
Electrical Problems & Fire Hazards
Sometimes the only clue that there is water damage is a sudden loss of power. If it’s been raining and neighboring houses still have power, there is a very good chance that water has affected the electrical wiring in your home.
If you suspect this is the problem, do not try to solve the issue on your own. Water acts as a conductor and can easily transfer an electrical current from your electrical panel or light fixture to you. For this reason, it’s essential to contact an electrician, as well as a roof repair in Vancouver to seal up that leaky roof.
Similarly, if electrical wiring is present in your attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended that you turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine the problem as soon as possible.
Maintaining a home requires regular upkeep of the entire structure, including your roof. When this is put off, problems will arise and any delayed repairs will become more costly.
Roof integrity is one of the most important structural issues to pay attention to. A damaged or deteriorating roof can allow water to seep into the structure and quickly cause significant damage. Keep an eye out for any issues and consult a roofing expert immediately if you notice any problems arise.