Dangers Of A Leaking Roof

Heavy rains are a common occurrence here in the Mid-South, and with these regular deluges comes the risk of leaking roofs. Whether you wake up to water leaking from the ceiling, or come to find a bulge or discoloration but no active dripping, it’s important that you take immediate action to avoid further damage to your home. It may be tempting to delay contacting a professional like Pinnacle Roofing and Restoration to check it out, but your hesitation could end up costing you a lot more than a phone call or email when it comes to money, health, or even a safe place to come home to. Allowing experts like us to locate and repair even a minor leak helps to prevent major roof issues from developing in the future. Let’s take a look at what you should do if you suspect you have a leaking roof, and why it’s dangerous to wait to ignore it.

Your first steps

In the case of an obvious leak, your first step should be to contain it. If you find water dripping from a bulge or discoloration in your ceiling, there is likely to be water pooling on the other side. Place a bucket, trash can, or some other container underneath the spot of the suspected leak or dripping. Locate the center of the bulge or discoloration where water is accumulating, and use a screwdriver to puncture it right in the middle. We know it might seem strange that we are advising you to put a hole in your ceiling to stop a leak, but this actually allows the water to drain smoothly and relieves pressure on the rest of your ceiling. If the water is able to accumulate and pool for long enough, the entire ceiling could collapse.

If you are confident that you know where the leak is coming from, and are able to safely get to the source, you can cover the exterior surface with a large tarp. If you aren’t sure where the leak is coming from, can’t reach it, or feel unsafe even trying, we encourage you to contact a roofing professional like Pinnacle. We offer 24-hour emergency roofing services, including emergency tarping. If your roof is actively leaking due to weather, we will be unable to repair the leak until the bad weather has passed. Our tarping service will act as a temporary fix to minimize the damage inside your home until we’re able to fix the source of the leak.

Our team will also inspect both your exterior and interior roof. The latter will typically be accessed through the attic.

roof with damage

The dangers of waiting to repair a leaking roof

The quicker you can act when it comes to a leaking roof, the better. These leaks never fix themselves or get better on their own. Even if you feel it is only a minor leak, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as you suspect it. Many homeowners have ignored stains or bubbling on their ceilings for a while, thinking it wasn’t serious, only to have major damage occur later on that was actually preventable!

Many times by the time you notice damage within your home it is already too late. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends inspecting your roof twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. When conducting this inspection, there are a few things you can look for when it comes to possible leaks.

On the outside of your home, you should be aware of any:

  • missing, warped, rotting, peeling, broken, blistering, or buckling shingles
  • clogged or slow-draining gutters and downspouts
  • loose material around chimneys or vents
  • excess wear and tear around chimneys or vents

On the inside of your home, look out for any:

  • dark or discolored spots on the ceiling
  • spots where the outside light shines through
  • any sagging or bulging in the ceiling

Knowing what to look for when inspecting your home for roofing leaks can help prevent a fixable issue from turning into a damaging and costly repair.

The dangers of waiting to fix a leaking roof

There are some home issues where you can safely afford to delay repair, but a leaking roof is not one of them. Leaky roofs can several dangers if not addressed immediately by a professional roofer like Pinnacle. When you take a “wait and see” approach with a leaking roof, any of the following issues are possible, and in some cases, likely. 

Mold and mildew damage

When leaks of any size are ignored, particularly over a longer period of time, your home is at risk for developing mold and mildew. In some home, a toxic black mold may begin to grow and spread inside your roof, then spread into your home’s interior. Mold spores can then travel through your air vents, putting you and your family at risk for developing respiratory problems and a number of other health issues, some quite serious. Mold and mildew can also damage the wood framing and walls in your home. This type of damage can be costly to fix, especially if it needs to be combined with mold remediation.

Structural damage

A leaking roof won’t affect just one part of your home. The water can drip down into the walls and wood frame of the house, and over time, this can cause the wood to rot and become weaker. This puts your home in danger of incurring serious structural damage. If you have a small leak, this might take a few years to happen, but why take the chance? More severe leaks can lead to wood rot in a much shorter amount of time, leaving your home structurally unsound. This can be extremely costly to fix. You will save yourself money, stress, and upset if you have even a small roof leak repaired in a timely manner.

Fire and shock hazards

Roof leaks can also cause problems that aren’t related to water damage, but are no less dangerous. If water seeps into your walls, it can come into contact with wires that have damaged insulation. This creates a fire hazard for your home. If any leaking water touches bare wires near metal junction boxes, it will create a shock hazard for anyone who accidentally touches the water. This is also a hazard, and can lead to potentially deadly shocks. If you have a leak, you should shut the electrical power off to that part of your home until it can be inspected for electrical problems, in addition to having the actual leak fixed.

Man fixing roof leak

Roofing services by Pinnacle Roofing and Restoration leave your Memphis home safer

Regular inspections are your best defense against a leaky roof, so stay vigilant, search for leaks at least twice a year, and consider contacting our expert team for a full-service roof inspection. If you do discover a leak, or simply suspect one, don’t leave it to chance! Let Pinnacle Roofing and Restoration fix your leaking roof before you are forced to deal with a much larger problem. Call us at 901.250.1361 or click here to schedule a free roofing estimate. We’ve been making roofs around Memphis and the Mid-South safer for years, and would love to do the same for you!