How Your Roof Could Kill You

We’re sorry for the dramatic title, but the truth is, there are some crucial issues with your roof that, if not caught early, could lead to serious damage to your home and yes, possibly kill someone. 


Roof issues are a dangerous intersection of home maintenance and upkeep issues because it’s common for most homeowners to not pay close attention to their roofs, and simultaneously those issues have a much higher likelihood of being particularly serious if left unattended. 


Water is the danger

Hopefully, you’re going to notice really obvious problems, like missing shingles or large holes in your roof. Those are definitely roofing problems that can lead to dangerous situations, but they’re also issues that aren’t likely to escape your notice. Instead, what we’re concerned with here are the smaller problems that are likely to escape your attention for longer periods of time, but nevertheless can lead to serious risks to your home and your family if not addressed. 


Health Risks

The most invisible but most deadly of risks from water damage due to roof issues are the health risks that can arise. The job of your roof is to keep the outside weather outside, so any failures of your roof start to mean failures in this job getting done. Again, we’re not talking about dramatic issues like large water leaks you spot as rainfall in your kitchen here, we’re talking about slower and more insidious leaks. A few bare drips that come through your decking due to ice damming in the winter, or heavy moist air collecting and condensing in your attic because your roof venting is flowing properly. These small amounts of water seeping into your house will eventually lead to accelerated mold growth, which is bad enough on it’s own, but mold spores entering the air inside your home create a unique kind of health risk. Mold in your home can cause serious breathing issues, particularly if you have young children or elderly adults living in the home. 


Structural Risks

Less invisible than health risks, but no less treacherous, are the structural risks to your home from water damage due to problems with your roof. As water builds up and leaks into your home, it can cause a variety of forms of damage. First, any wooden material in your home is susceptible to water damage. Again, the slow nature of a slight water leak is the greater risk here. While a visible hole in your roof is a concerning issue, you’re also going to notice that right away and address it. The large amounts of water that might leak in through such a hole will be identified and you can address any damage it causes. A slow leak though builds over time, meaning that wooden material in your home, whether it’s studs in your wall or cross beams in your attic or crawlspace, is soaked over time in water. This allows the plant cellular material that makes up the wood to do when the wood was still part of a live tree, absorb and retain water. This leads to the wood being weakened, first becoming more pliable, bending with the weight of your home. Eventually, the soaked wood begins to break down, leading to serious structural issues that you don’t catch until it’s too late. Beyond the wood material in your home, water similarly damages other portions of your home as well. Wet insulation fails to properly insulate your home, drywall or plaster, while more resistant than wood, also slowly breaks down if allowed to be exposed to sustained water damage. Again, many of these problems go unnoticed for a period of time, until they become serious enough to catch your attention, and then it’s too late. 


Of course, there’s one sure way to prevent exactly this situation. Once or twice a year (depending on your roof’s age) get a professional roof inspection from New Heights Roofing. Our team of professionals will review the state of your roof and identify small issues so they can be addressed before growing into larger ones. We help you come up with a plan, based on the overall state of your roof, to determine what maintenance tasks might help keep your roof in its best shape. And we help make you aware of risks you need to watch out for, so you know what’s going on with your roof at any time. Contact us today to schedule a visit and a roof inspection to keep your home safe and dry!

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