How to Spot Roof Issues without Climbing on Your Roof
When it comes to home maintenance, you can procrastinate various tasks. However, if you have a damaged or leaking roof, then you need to attend to it immediately. Roof damage can occur due to various reasons, including improper installation, poor maintenance routines, and storm or wind damage. You should also remember that most roofs have a lifetime of 20 to 30 years. If your roof has provided protection for all those years, then it probably needs a replacement. Roof damage can sometimes be difficult to detect, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Here are some interior signs that indicated a damaged roof:
Higher Utility Bills
Higher electricity, gas, or oil bills can be the result of various factors, including a damaged or leaking roof. If your roof is leaking, water can penetrate all the way to the attic, thus damaging the insulation. Once the fiberglass or cellulose material is soaked in water, it will take a considerably longer time to dry. If you don’t locate and fix this issue, frequent water in your insulation will eventually deplete the insulation, and your house will lose the cool air in the summer and hot air in the winter that you are paying for. As a result, you will end up with higher utility bills as your system has to strain to maintain your set temperature. In addition, electrical wires present in the attic can be exposed to this water, which may cause a fire, as well as other forms of electrical damage. Therefore, if your energy bills have been increasing despite installing energy-saving fixtures, there is a high chance that your roof has a problem.
Ceiling and Attic Damage
One of the main indicators of a leaking roof is damage to the attic and top-floor ceilings, as well as the items you have stored there. However, if your house doesn’t have an attic or the leak is huge, then the top-floor ceilings will be extensively damaged. You will start seeing darker ceiling paint and expanding ceiling paint. Whenever you observe any of these signs, there is a high chance that your roof is damaged or leaking. As water continues to leak, it can damage wall paint, electrical fixtures, wallpapers, as well as wall plaster or sheet rock. It may also damage ceiling-mounted fans and lights. Also, this moisture may extend from the walls to the floor, leading to damage to the carpet, rugs, wood flooring, and other items in your house.
Signs of Mold or Mildew
Nature can also wreak havoc on your roof. For instance, sudden changes in temperature and humidity can lead to expansion and contraction, which will eventually lead to cracked shingles. The cracked shingles can then allow water to pass through, thus damaging the interior of your house. When combined with warmth, mold and mildew will start spreading in your house. Mold spreads fast. In fact, it can cover the entire structure within a few months. It will then extend to the HVAC system and proceed to the rest of the house through vents. Mold and mildew will further attack your furniture and carpets, as well as clothing. Black mold usually occurs due to water or moisture intrusion. As much as the toxic type or mold is rare, the non-toxic mold can attack your ceiling tiles, wood framing and floor coverings, as well as the walls. Mold and mildew can lead to serious health problems, especially for people who are allergic or asthmatic.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mold and mildew can lead to rhinitis, nasal congestion, and inflammation, among other health issues. Mold spores can spread sporadically, once they find a way inside your house. You need to address the root of the problem, the damaged roof, in order to start a mold abatement. Mold damage is difficult to eliminate. Therefore, it’s always advisable to prevent water intrusion into your house as much as possible. If the roof is leaking already, ensure it’s fixed immediately.
Compromised Structural Integrity
Some of the most obvious signs of a leaking roof are damaged: ceiling joists, rafters, fascia boards, wall framing, and exterior trim. Water intrusion can easily damage all these parts. Also, chronic water intrusion can lead to wood deterioration as well as rotten and weakened wood framing, leading to serious roof issues. Also, rotten ceiling framing can cause the entire structure to collapse, which may lead to bodily injuries and extensive property damage. As water seeps through the walling, it will weaken the joints, which may lead to cracks. You might end up requiring the services of a professional contractor to address this damage. You cannot fix structural damage without addressing the leaking roof first. Therefore, identify the leak or damage first and then call a professional to address the problems.
Slips and Falls
If your roof is severely leaking, water drops will eventually puddle on the floor. As much as it might not appear like something significant, it poses a serious health risk especially if you have an active family or tenants living in the space. You need to mop this water immediately when it forms to prevent it from spreading to other areas in your home or exposing your family to slipping and falling hazards. Also, as children or pets play with water on the floor, they are at risk of diseases.
Light Passing Through
As much as we all love properly illuminated living spaces, light passing through the attic is a sure sign that your roof is damaged. Your attic is usually exposed to various elements such as rain, storms, ice buildup, or snow. These elements will eventually weaken it, thus leading to cracks or holes. If you see the light coming through the attic when you have switched off the lights, then you have a damaged roof.
By the time you spot signs of roof damage, there is a high chance that you could be facing expensive structural and roof repairs. The reality is, most roof issues start small and then develop into major problems. These issues can allow water and moisture into the interior parts of your house, thus leading to more issues. To protect your house from such challenges, it’s always advisable to undertake regular, periodic roof inspections, as well as maintenance. As you probably know, prevention is always better than having to find a cure. Routine maintenance practices will save you money and preserve the integrity of your roof while protecting your assets and valuables.