Television and the media are responsible for more than a few of our misunderstandings about the trials and tribulations of homeownership. One of the worst is a leaking roof. If you’re not sure what we’re getting at, think about it this way: we bet that it you try to remember all the times you saw a leaking roof on TV or in the movies, they all, or at least the overwhelming majority, would be in a comedy or humorous situation.
Anyone who has suffered through the ordeal will assure you that there is absolutely nothing funny about a roof leak. But the TV misrepresentation doesn’t stop there.
Again, if you think of all the TV/movie leaky roofs you’ve ever seen, they are shown as water dripping from the ceiling. Right?
If anything, that’s the worst part of our (mis)understanding of the symptoms of a leaking roof. In most homes, water dripping from the ceiling is probably the last sign you’ll get that your roof’s leaking, and only one example of the sorts of damage your home can suffer from a leak.
To give you an idea of the reality of a roof leak, here’s a list of just some of the broad range of damage a leak can cause to your home.
1. Basement Leaks
We listed this one first to underline how the damage caused by water getting into your roof can be far-ranging throughout your home. Most roof leaks begin gradually. So, at least at first, not enough water gets in to actually drip onto your ceiling. Instead, it will run down the roof support structure and into your walls. From there, it’s almost a direct path to your basement. With nowhere else to drain, enough water can collect in your basement to damage carpets and furniture
2. Damage to the Structure of Your Home
From the moment moisture gets below the shingles on your roof, it begins a process that can lead to wood rot and the deterioration of your roof’s supporting structure, wall studs and floor joists – in fact, almost any wooden part of your home.
3. Mould & Mildew
Mold spores are constantly in the air. But they don’t do any damage until the find a nice, dark, moist place to germinate. Then they grow into the black, green and brown ugliness that you might need a professional to get rid of. But you won’t always know the mold and mildew is there, or the health problems it might be causing in your home, because it could be hidden in your walls or attic.
Leaky roofs are no joke. You owe it to yourself to have your roof regularly inspected and maintained to avoid all the problems a leak can cause.