How Long Before a Leak Causes Internal Damage?

How Long Before a Leak Causes Internal Damage?

Discovering that your roof is leaking can be a particularly distressing time as a homeowner. This is, after all, your castle, so to see water coming through the ceiling and into your home is an understandable source of worry.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of roofs going from a small leak to a complete collapse in a short space of time, but the amount of good, reliable information on how long you’ve got before a leak can cause internal damage is somewhat lacking. So, in an effort to bring some clarity in what must doubtlessly be a period of stress, we’re here to answer some of the big questions.

How long will a leak take to cause damage?

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules as to how quickly water will damage your home. It depends entirely on the type of roof, what’s underneath it, any internal drainage measures, the types of wood used, the weather patterns you’re experiencing and even the time of year. The most simple (and perhaps most important) piece of advice we can offer is that it’s imperative you get it fixed as soon as physically possible.

Waiting to see what, if any, damage your leak will cause to the internals of your home is a game that you really shouldn’t be playing. Get in a roofing contractor as soon as you can and listen carefully to what they tell you. The costs may be low or they may be high, but the investments you make in your roof are some of the most valuable you’ll put into your home.

What are some of the internal effects of a leaking roof?

The most minimal damage done to the inside of your property should you leave your roof in a leaky state is water discoloration. As water seeps though, it will discolour the roofing underlay, rafters, beams and, eventually, leak down your ceiling and walls, leaving ugly stains behind.

From there, things only get worse with mold and mildew, drywall fatigue, the rotting of structural wood (which can do immense damage to the structural soundness of your property), and perhaps worst of all, damage to your homes electrical systems. Long term leaking, when combined with your homes wiring systems could lead to shorting out at either the room breakers or main breaker, and cause damage to any electronics unfortunate enough to be left plugged in at the time.

In short, it’s never worth sitting around on a leaky roof. Unless you’re blessed with the promise of perfectly dry conditions, a leak in your roof can cause an immense amount of damage in a relatively short period of time. Get in touch with a roofing contractor at your earliest convenience, you’ll be thankful for it down the line.

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