"It's only a small leak!" "It's just a few drops of water!" These are thoughts you might have -- or maybe even sentences you've muttered after finding a tiny leak in your roof. But while minimizing the problem in your mind may calm your anxiety, it's important that you realize that even a small roof leak is no small matter. Here's why.
The water can damage your insulation.
Most attics are insulated with either fiberglass or cotton insulation. Both of these materials are absorbent. So, if even a few teaspoons of water leaks into the attic, it will be absorbed into the insulation. Even decently ventilated attics have low air circulation compared to the rest of the home, so the moisture will be trapped in the insulation for a while. It limits the insulation's effectiveness, driving your energy bills higher. Replacing the insulation can be costly and time-consuming.
Leaks can lead to mold growth.
It does not take a lot of moisture to encourage mold to grow in building materials, from insulation to lumber. Once mold sets in, you'll have to replace these materials to get rid of it. In the meantime, your family members will be at risk for respiratory difficulties, nausea, headaches, and other negative side effects of mold exposure. Mold also spreads quite easily, so mold growth that starts in the attic from a small leak in the roof can end up between the walls and on your main floor. Getting rid of it can be very costly and time-consuming.
Water can weaken the underlayment.
Over time, a slow leak can expose the wooden base of your roof to plenty of water, causing it to rot away and weaken. Eventually, this will cause your roof to sag. It's more costly for your roofing company to replace the wooden roof base than to just replace the shingles.Badly damaged wood bases can even cave in—and clearly having a roof collapse on you is not safe! So, you're better off fixing that little leak now rather than waiting for it to become any larger.
There's really no such thing as "just" a little leak when it comes to roofing. All leaks should be taken seriously and repaired by a professional roofing company as soon as you notice them. If you're not sure whether or not water is actually coming from your roof, call a roofing contractor in your area and have them come out to take a closer look. For more information, visit a website like http://www.allamericanroofing.com.