While Atlanta’s rainy season is January through March, we can have some pretty strong weather throughout the year! Our roofs protect us year-round from rain, snow, hail, wind, and the occasional hurricane. It can be easy to forget that roofs can be damaged, or just wear down over time, since this wear and tear isn’t always obvious. Sometimes, the realization that your roof needs maintenance happens when you first spot water damage from a leaking roof.
Common Causes for Roof Leaks
Common causes for roof leaks include shingle damage, old skylights, chimneys with debris clogged around them, roof pipes or vents, and roof flashing that needs repair or replacement.
Water Damage from a Leaking Roof
A leaking roof can cause thousands of dollars in damage since water travels downwards. What might start as a small drip could potentially ruin ceilings, walls, wiring, and even the structure of your house. Everything that is below the drip is at risk of being damaged or destroyed! Here are some of the most common places affected by water leaking from your roof.
- Attic and Ceilings: If you have an attic, your stored belongings will be the first items to be damaged. If you don’t have an attic, then you’ll start noticing dark stains on your ceiling. If left unrepaired, these can lead to further damage, including ceiling collapse in extreme cases.
- Insulation Damage: Insulation will be the next item which is at risk of severe damage. Improperly dried insulation can lead to mold and mildew, which can in turn spread throughout your house by way of air ducts or HVAC systems. Additionally, damp insulation will not insulate your home efficiently, and this could lead to higher utility bills.
- Electrical Wiring: Water damage to interior wiring can pose a fire hazard, as wiring exposed to water can short and cause sparks. If you do find that electrical wiring is in an area affected by water damage, you’ll need to shut off the circuits and have an electrician inspect the wiring to make sure it’s safe to use.
- Structural Integrity: Roofs, ceilings, walls, and rafters are all part of your home’s structural integrity. Extreme water damage will cause any of these to buckle and possibly collapse. Exterior facings can also be included in this classification, as water damage to the outside of your home can leak inside and affect interior structures.
- Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew is one of the most dangerous effects of water damage, as it can affect your home’s structure as well as your health. Once mildew or mold has taken root, it can easily reproduce and spread to other parts of your house by way of HVAC and ventilation systems. Mold and mildew can cause respiratory or allergic reactions, so it’s important to have your property cleaned and dried.
- Other Water-Related Hazards: Water dripping from the roof can easily pool into puddles. This can easily cause slips and falls! Pooled water can also damage your belongings.
Roof Maintenance Tips
Sometimes, in cases of extreme storms or outside damage, water damage is unavoidable. Most of the time, fortunately, you can take steps to maintain your roof and prevent leaks!
- Clean gutters and downspouts – twice a year for oak or broad leaf trees at the beginning of spring and fall; quarterly may be necessary for pines and other evergreens because they are heavy shedders.
- Inspect your roof regularly, especially in older homes; roofs are only supposed to last 20 to 30 years.
- Inspect your roof after storms to ensure there is no storm damage.
- Check inside the roof space to make sure that there are no wet spots, water stains, or light streaming in from holes.
- Make sure the area around your chimney or any skylights is clear and that water drainage systems are in good shape.
- Check any skylights you may have on a regular basis; they can leak too!
Water Damage from Your Leaking Roof? Call Tidal Wave Response!
If you’ve got water damage from a leaking roof, call Tidal Wave Response’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 770-693-4568. We guarantee to be at your Atlanta-area property in 30 minutes or less to assess the damage and quickly enact an action plan. We’ll minimize the water damage to your home, clean and dry out your home and belongings, and work directly with your insurance company to have your loss covered!