Maintaining a home or business is hard work, and keeping tabs on the condition of the structure can be daunting at times; however, if upkeep and inspection are not done on a regular basis, you could be in for some serious, costly damage. 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 your structure and ultimately cause significant damage.
Over time, roofs become weakened due to exposure to the elements. A typical roof will last between 20-30 years, but should be inspected regularly. When a roof leaks, the water can damage many parts of the structure from top to bottom, so it is vitally important to deal with the leak immediately.
Results of a Roof Leak
- Attic and Ceiling Damage: Items stored in the attic and the attic walls and ceiling are all at risk of being damaged or destroyed by water leaking in through the roof. Water can cause paint and plaster to bubble and become discolored and can ruin ceiling lights and fans.
- Mold Growth: Water that leaks through the roof can also cause mold and mildew growth that can corrupt the wooden structure and infiltrate the HVAC system, which would spread the mold throughout the building into carpets, walls, and furniture. Mold can cause serious illness for those who are breathing the air or coming in contact with mold-infested items.
- Fire Hazard: If electrical lines are present in the attic, then standing or dripping water can short out wires and cause a fire. Turn off the electricity before inspecting the area.
- Insulation Damage: If unattended to, water leaks can deteriorate and compromise insulation, costing you excess money for heating and cooling your home or business.
- Structural Integrity Compromised: Water entering a building through the roof can cause significant damage to the support structure. Rafters, ceiling joists, framing, fascia boards, and exterior trim are all vulnerable to the weakening effects of water. If the problem is chronic, then wood and other materials that are integral to a stable structure can become weak, rot, or fall apart. This is a serious safety hazard to anyone living or working under the roof.
What to Do if You Have a Leaking Roof
If you see evidence of a roof leak:
- Move any property that the water may damage. Electronics, clothing, furniture and any other valuable items should be relocated to minimize loss.
- If possible, place a bucket under the drip so that the water is contained.
- Trace the water back to the entry point and repair the roof or damaged material if possible.
- Call a professional to help with repairs and/or location of the leak site.
Preventing Water Damage from a Leaking Roof
With conscious effort, leaking roofs can be prevented. The key is to maintain and inspect the roof, gutters, and flashing regularly. Hire a professional to inspect the roof and flashing at least once per year, and have your gutters and downspouts cleaned twice per year. These simple steps can allow you to avoid losing a tremendous amount of money, time, and property due to a neglected maintenance issue.
If your home or business has incurred water damage because of a leak in the roof, it is important to act quickly. Hiring a professional water damage restoration team like ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh is the ideal way to clean up a water mess. With special tools and equipment, our highly-trained technicians will clean up the damaged areas quickly and efficiently, restoring safety to the structure. Additionally, if the integrity of the structure or the building materials have been ruined by water, our licensed and insured construction services team can restore everything from framing, drywall, and paint, to roofing and siding. Call ServiceMaster today, and let us eliminate your water problems and beautifully restore your home or business. Assistance is available 24/7 at 412-826-1010.