Different Ways Water Can Damage Your Roof

Mar 30, 2021

Your roof is designed to keep you and your home safe from hurricanes, thunderstorms, snowstorms, and other forms of inclement weather. A roof that’s installed correctly and properly maintained can withstand Mother Nature’s onslaught for over fifty years. Unfortunately, guarding against nature can take quite a toll on your roof. A powerful gust of wind can tear off shingles, hail can leave cracks and holes, and rain and snow can lead to water damage. It’s important to have your roof inspected after severe weather and, when necessary, have it repaired. If your roof is left in bad condition after a storm and never repaired, it will shorten the lifespan of your roof and can negatively affect other areas of your home, such as the attic. There are many things that can cause damage to your roof, but water damage is one of the most common and most hazardous of these problems. In this guide, we’ll go over some different ways water can damage your roof and the rest of your home.

Internal Damage

If water manages to get through an entry point in your roof, it can cause a lot of internal damage to your home. When your roof starts to leak, water will seep into your attic and can ruin anything that you’re storing there. But damage to your personal items isn’t the worst thing that water can do; if the leak isn’t treated immediately, it will move its way downward, eventually affecting the foundation. Along the way, the water will damage ceilings, floors, walls, and furniture. A roof that’s been severely damaged by water can even cave in. This is a rare occurrence, so don’t panic too much if you notice a minor leak. However, it goes to show just how much damage water can cause. If you’ve recently moved into a new home, it’s important to check for signs of leaking; there might be a major leak that the previous tenant never noticed.

Wet Insulation

If water is trickling from your roof into the attic, it can saturate the insulation and render it useless. This is because insulation loses its thermal resistance when wet. If you notice this problem fast enough, you can usually dry the insulation out; but in some circumstances, your only choice is to replace the insulation entirely. It doesn’t help that the two most common insulation materials, fiberglass and cellulose, take a long time to dry out. If your insulation is wet, you’ll likely experience uneven heating throughout your home. It can also cause corrosion to form on roof fasteners and rust to form on steel, which can compromise the entire structure of your home over time.

Mold and Mildew

There are two things that mold and mildew love more than anything else: darkness and moisture. This makes your attic the perfect breeding ground for these toxic and tenacious forms of fungus. When water enters the attic from holes, cracks, or other entry points in your roof, it’s absorbed by drywall and other porous objects that are laying around. These wet, often undisturbed places provide the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth.

Mold can be harmful to you and your family’s health. It can cause respiratory and allergic reactions, eye, throat, and skin irritation, and in extreme cases, it can even lower the body’s white blood cell count and weaken the immune system. In addition to being detrimental to your health, mold can also damage both the exterior and interior of your home. It promotes wood rot and can erode the asphalt in shingles. If the roof is rotted enough, mold can penetrate through roofing materials and spread throughout the home. Inside of your home, mold will eat away at materials such as wallpaper, drywall, carpet, wooden studs in walls, ceiling tiles, and floorboards.

Fire

This might not come as a surprise, but water and electricity don’t mix well. For this reason, a leaking roof can be a major fire hazard. Water can settle in light fixtures, sockets, and switches, destroying the integrity of your wiring infrastructure. Moisture can also get inside of unsealed fuse-boards in your attic and cause a flash-over. If your roof has a wooden frame, a flash-over can set it on fire in a matter of seconds. While they’re slightly more fire-resistant than wood, other roofing materials are also more susceptible to electrical fires. If a sudden blaze erupts, you could wind up losing your entire roof. Even worse—your whole house could be destroyed, or someone could be seriously injured in the fire.

Rust

If water manages to get underneath your shingles, the nails that were used to install them can rusty. If the nails are severely affected by rust, it can cause the shingles to loosen or blow off during a windstorm; it can also compromise the structural integrity of the roof. A reliable contractor will use nails that are resistant to rust and know how to arrange the shingles to create a long-lasting water barrier, which makes choosing the right company incredibly important when you’re repairing or replacing your roof.

Rust can also affect metal roofs, depending on the type of material they’re made from. Most metal roofs are made from aluminum, which is highly resistant to rust. If your roof is made from an iron-containing material, on the other hand, it will be much more vulnerable to corrosion.

Ice Dams

Another one of the different ways water can damage your roof is by forming ice dams. An ice dam is a build-up of ice that forms alongside the edge of the roof as a result of snow melting, traveling down to the eave, and freezing there. It poses a danger to both the roof and the interior of your home. If ice dams are left on the roof long enough, the water melting will soak through wooden roofing materials, causing the roof to weaken and eventually collapse. They can also freeze and tamper with the shingle alignment, which makes it easier for water to enter the home and cause significant water damage. Because of their weight, ice dams can even tear off your gutters.

If you’re experiencing problems with your roof after a rainstorm or snowstorm, you’ll want to call in a trustworthy, professional residential roofing company. Viking Contractors’ knowledgeable and skilled roofing contractors will inspect your roof for damage and fix anything that needs to be fixed. Our high-quality repairs will make your roof look and function like new again, so you won’t have to worry about fire, rust, or ice dams destroying your home. Call us today for a free inspection or a quote!

Different Ways Water Can Damage Your Roof

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