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The Dangers of Leaking Attics and How to Stop It

There are many jobs homeowners know they need to do around the house, but they just keep getting pushed back either from procrastination or necessity some odd jobs just don’t get completed. However, when there is a leak in your attic or in your floor it is essential the problem be fixed as soon as possible. If you let water buildup in your attic and leak through your home you could be allowing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to deteriorate your home every day. Roofs should be replaced every 20 to 30 years so if yours is leaking than it may be time for a new one, however it is most likely an easier and cheaper fix. Constant water leakage from your attic down to the rest of your home will eventually reach the foundation and can cause severe structural damage.

water-begins-to-enter-your-home-through-the-roof
When water begins to enter your home through the roof it will initially do damage to the attic and the contents within your attic. As well as the exterior roof if the leakage is coming from melting snow or ice. If you do not have an attic, than the damage will begin in the interior ceiling. This will cause the ceiling paint to darken as well as the plaster to bubble if the leak if very big. If you have ceiling mounted lights and fans attached to the interior ceiling than the electrical ware and hardware will be damaged as well.

attic-mold
Once the water begins to accumulate in your home there are other serious problem that affect your health as well as your family’s health. When water is stagnant in the roof or ceiling of your home for a long period of time mildew and mold will start to grow and disperse. This is common in unkempt showers, black mold spreading from the corner or the bottom of the tub upwards. Mold can spread throughout your home’s structure including into the HVAC unit system, the carpet, vents, furniture, and clothing. It is rare, but black mold evolves into toxic black mold which attacks wood framing and ceilings. Not only does mold take a long time to get rid of as well as causing serious damage to your wallet, it is extremely unhealthy to be breathing in air contaminated by mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can lead to serious health issues, especially for those with high sensitivity, including nasal congestion, rhinitis, inflammations and asthma.

A leaking roof will also give your monthly bills a boost. When there is a leak in your roof the water intrusion will be detrimental to the insulation in the roof/ceiling. Fiberglass insulation will become saturated with water and it takes a really long time to dry out. If the leak is not fixed your insulation will no longer work, meaning hot and cold air will be leaving your house constantly. This will no doubt increase your monthly bills. Having a leaky roof is also leaving yourself the risk of having a house fire. If there is electrical wiring in the roof it is likely the water will short the wires. Shorted wires are often the cause of house fires.

roof-leak
In order to find a leak in your roof, first notice where the water is dripping (hopefully not pouring) from. If you are comfortable and trained go up onto to roof and look where you saw the leak from the inside. Once you notice the area peal up the shingle that is covering the leak. If there is a leak the shingle will more than likely be curling upward. If you cannot see where the exact leak is coming from you can peal up a group of shingles and it should be evident where the leak is coming from underneath.

Once you have found the leak lay the singles flat on top of roof cement. Make sure you put a generous amount on. That should seal the leak. If the shingle is also damaged you should replace those so you do not have to keep adding more roof cement to the same spot throughout the year. A shingle that lifts off the roof with little effort or it crumbles as you’re pulling it, it might be time to replace all of your shingles.

A leaky roof or attic is something all homeowners should take seriously. The damage will not stay isolated in the ceiling it will eventually drip down over time through your floors and into the foundation of your home. That is why it is important to fix leaks as soon as you notice them, it will be a much easier fix than moving or replacing an entire roof!

What do you think?

Written by Tanya Klien

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