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06 Jul 2021

The Biggest Dangers of a Roof Leak

A leaky roof is a household maintenance issue that always tend to happen at the worst possible time. If it’s a small leak, you might be tempted to grab a bucket and deal with it later, however, even a small leak can have serious consequences to your health and safety and needs to be dealt with immediately.

Why might your roof be leaking?

A common cause of roof leaks is due to old age. When materials have reached the end of their life cycle, they are more susceptible to water damage if extreme weather occurs. Other reasons like lack of maintenance, poorly installed windows or general wear and tear will affect your roof’s ability to keep the water out.

A leaking roof can cause some serious problems, including:

Structural Damage

If you’ve noticed a roof leak, it may be hard to diagnose exactly where it’s coming from. A drop can travel along the underside of the roof, down a wall and then find its way onto the floor. If these small leaks go unnoticed, it will cause structural damage to your house. The wooden support frames will begin to rot and lose their strength. It can seep into the walls of your home and will affect the paint. By the time you notice these leaks, the damage is already done and is likely to cause damage to your wallet.

Health Risks

A leaky roof puts you and your family’s health and wellbeing at risk. Prolonged leaks can lead to problems like mould and mildew growth. Mould is triggering to asthma sufferers because when tiny spores are inhaled, they inflame the airways causing coughing, chest tightness and throat irritations. Not only is mould a serious risk to asthma sufferers, but mould causes fevers, headaches, skin problems like eczema and contributes to poor sleeping.

Leaks can also damage insulation. Wet insulation will start to clump together and will compress. If your insulation is contaminated, it will lose its effectiveness and you may need to replace it all together. If you do notice your energy bills climbing, it could be because your heaters or heat pumps are working overtime to dry out the air because your insulation may not be as effective. Have this checked out as soon as possible.

Fire and Electrical Hazard

If a leak meets exposed electrical wiring, it can cause a short-circuit and can ignite a fire. Any surrounding materials, such as insulation or any combustible materials will go up in flames. Electrical fires are difficult to put out, you may instinctively throw water on the fire, however the water will be electrically charged so you have a greater risk of being electrocuted. If a fire does occur, use a fire extinguisher or a heavy blanket.

What to do if your roof leaks

These are just some of the potential issues a leaky roof can cause. But with proper maintenance, these problems can be treated and prevented. Don’t grab a bucket and deal with it later, act immediately! Firstly, figure out the cause of the leak. If you have a skylight, check the seals. Outdated, damaged or not properly installed skylights can be the culprit of water leaks. If this is the case, it’s best to consider a replacement.

Why Solatube?

Our Solatube skylights are installed by certified professionals, and with over 60 different roof flashings to suit almost every roof type in New Zealand we are happy to provide a No Leak guarantee with every Solatube installed.

You can feel comfortable knowing that only light will flood your home, not the rain! For a free quote or consultation, call Solatube now on 0800 765 288 or contact us here.




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