Roofs can develop leaks for a variety of reasons, such as wind damage, poor installation, insufficient flashing around a fireplace and lack of maintenance. Age is often a factor, as most roofs need to be replaced every 20 to 30 years. You may think that a leaky roof is just a structural problem. But it can pose health and safety risks, as well. Ignoring a leaky roof can be very costly in more than one way.
Mold and mildew grow and thrive in and on moist, humid areas, such as on a ceiling that becomes damp. Mold and mildew are health issues for those with high sensitivities. The issues include nasal congestion, rhinitis, conjunctival inflammation and asthma, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dark spots on the ceiling or a musty smell indicate that mould is growing. Stop the leak and dry the area as quickly as possible.
Often, electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling. A leaky roof could pose a fire threat caused by wires that have shorted. Turn off electricity to the area that's affected, and have an electrician examine the area that's damp. Follow his recommendations and repair the roof as quickly as possible.
Slip and Fall Hazard
A severely leaking roof can cause water to puddle on the floor. This may not seem like a huge risk, but if you have an active family and especially if you have children who like to run, you need to get that water mopped up to prevent human spills. Again, get that roof fixed to eliminate the hazard.
A serious and long-standing leak inevitably leads to structural damage. That means a good chunk of deteriorated ceiling could give way and fall, damaging anything underneath. You would surely hate to find your laptop or television under a collapsed ceiling. It would be even worse if you were under it.
- Buildings; The Top 10 Most Common Roof Problems; Jana Madsen; 2004
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Mold and Moisture
- The Robesonian; Littlefield Roof Labeled a 'Hazard'; Mark Locklear
- Reliable Plant: Steps to Minimize Slip and Fall Hazards
- Roof 911: Roof Leak Diverter
- MSNBC: Leaky Roof Blamed for Tainted Peanut Butter