Is a leaking roof an emergency?

damaged roof with torn shingles, creating the conditions of a leak

What damage can a leaking roof cause?

When a roof is leaking, it is never a good thing, and when you have a leaking roof in winter weather, it makes a lot worse. Not only is it cold and wet outside, but you a leaking roof can’t find source inside the house, so you must climb up on the roof outside. How much worse can it get? Perhaps not realizing you had a leaking roof and mold is found later could be worse.

The roof on your home has one major job: To protect the persons and things inside your home. When they are compromised, poorly built, or maintenance has lacked, it can negatively affect how well it can do that one job. The one thing that will tell you it can’t do its job is a leaking roof.   

There are things that can cause your roof to not be able to do that one major job. Hailstorms, high winds, ice/snow, and heavy rain can damage your roof, disabling it from doing what it was intended for it to do. No, not every time there is hail, ice, rain, snow or wind will your roof be damaged, but over time, with repeated episodes and neglect by you, a leaking roof is sure to happen. 

Any roofing contractor will tell you that the things most likely to cause a leaking roof are storm damage, neglect of maintenance, and/or poor roof installation. When a leaking roof is left unaddressed, five things can happen to your home: 

  • Mold: When water is left standing for a period, even just a few days, mold begins to form and grow. Before long, your whole house has a mold infestation. When a leaking roof isn’t repaired immediately, the attic, ceiling, and walls will have mold take them over.
  • Interior: A leaking roof is first noticed on the ceiling than the walls with bubbling and stains.  
  • Structural: Not only will the ceilings and walls be bubbled and stained, but they become weakened and your home’s integrity is compromised. The fascia, soffit, trim, wall framing, and more become damaged, paint starts to peel, the damage begins to seem endless.
  • Higher Utilities: Your utility bills will begin increasing because leaking roof damage the insulation and your HVAC system must work harder.
  • Fire Hazard: With the possibility of that leaking roof letting water encounter the electrical components in the attic and living areas of your home, it becomes a fire hazard.

Can leaking ceiling collapse?

A leaking roof is easy to notice, but if not addressed, yes, it can build up enough weight from the water and collapse. Typically, you’ll hear water dripping or you see a spot on the ceiling that looks wet and is getting bigger. This doesn’t mean it is panic time, but it is time to pay attention and act before it gets worse. 

First, place something to catch the rain under the area of the ceiling that looks wet and place a plastic tarp or towel under that to catch splatters. Any electronics, furniture, and pictures water could damage should be moved, unplugging the electronics. 

If the leak appears to be spreading on the ceiling but hasn’t busted through, using a screwdriver, poke a small hole in the center of the stain and let the water drain into the bucket you placed on the floor. If the bucket is filling up and the water still coming, get a second bucket, pour the first one out and alternate accordingly. This will control the leaking roof so it doesn’t pool-up, get heavy, and the ceiling collapse.   

Your next step should be to call a roofing contractor. They will find the source of the leak, offer you suggestions on how to repair it or advise if a new roof is needed instead. In rare cases, typically in a multi-story home, a leak from the 2nd or 3rd floor is not always from a leaking roof. It can sometimes be a plumbing issue. In that case, the roofing contractor will advise you of that situation and possibly know a plumbing contractor to recommend that will inspect the source and provide a solution and quote.

How do you fix a leaky tile roof?

With concrete tile, fiber cement, or tile roofing materials, leaking is from cracking. An occasional broken or cracked tile can be repaired by the homeowner, but anything larger should only be repaired by an experienced roofing contractor. A small crack or holes can be repaired following these simple steps: 

  1. Using a wire brush, scrub the area where the broken or cracked tile is located.
  2. Use plastic roofing cement to fill that area to seal the cracked tile.

If the tile is beyond repairing with those steps, you can replace the tile following these steps:

  1. Pry up the tile(s) just above the cracked or broken one, then the broken one(s). Pry the nails out as well.
  2. Spread roofing cement under the replacement tile(s) and slide into place.
  3. Press gently on the tiles so they fit snug.

If you have a tile leaking roof, it is probably the membrane under the tile. This can be repaired once you find the source of the leak. Again, we recommend hiring a professional roofing contractor to do this work. It will be correct and if there are any issues afterward, you’ll have a warranty.

Will a leaky roof cause mold?

A leaking roof will cause mold and not just mold, but two types of that nasty stuff! Systemic mold that occurs when enough moisture has built up in the attic to be a source for mold growth.  Then there is limited growth mold that occurs when there is enough ventilation in the attic to exhaust any additional moisture the leaking roof has caused.

leak in ceiling affecting wall, visible water damage

Is a leaking roof covered by insurance?

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers any leaking roof when it has been caused by a peril such as a hailstorm, high winds, or other debris landing on the roof. When an insurance policy denies coverage, there is clear gross negligence by the homeowner. Your home is a valuable asset, and the roof protects that asset. Even the most minor leaking roof needs immediate attention. The longer it is left to leak, the worse it will get and the more problems, expensive problems it can create. Call Professional Roofing Systems today at (281) 338-7663 for repair of your leaking roof in League City, TX.