The detrimental effects of a leak in the roof can quickly snowball from a small, easily addressed concern into a much larger, more serious situation. It might seem like a minor concern right now, but left by itself, a roof leak can, over time, expand into a nightmare that will not only endanger your home, but all who live in it. In addition to contributing to the accumulation of damage to your home, the structural damage incurred will eventually pose a danger to those residing in the house.
Areas particularly affected by a leak in the roof are the rafters, ceiling joists, and wall framing; external surfaces, such as fascia boards and exterior trim, can also be affected. Over time, water intrusion into these areas will result in the deterioration of the wood, comprising the structural integrity of the wooden structures.
The items stored in the attic, as well as the fixtures in the attic and ceiling, are also vulnerable to damage from roof leaks. Items stored in a leaky attic are, as previously discussed, susceptible to infestation by mold and mildew. In addition to damaging the mechanisms of ceiling-mounted lights and fans, the water can also lead to a short, resulting in the fire hazard dangers previously mentioned.
As spongy and water-weakened wood leads to damaged ceilings and buckled wall coverings, continuing to leave the problem to grow will result in structural damage that is more widespread. Paint in affected areas will darken and chip, and plaster in the wall or ceiling will bubble and expand. Wood exposed by the chipping of the paint and the expansion and cracking of the plaster will, in the presence of a damp environment, lead to even more rotted surfaces.
As time goes by, what started as a small leak can cascade as more and more areas in your home begin failing due to structural damage. Eventually, the affected structures will simply be unable to continue to support whatever weight they normally bear, and collapse. Now that you have been filled with images of your house rotting and collapsing, maybe you will be inspired to call your roofer and fix that leak in your roof you have been ignoring!