Home Damage You Need To Repair With A Leaky Roof And Why

Dealing with a leaky roof requires immediate repair, including removing all the old shingles and replacing them with new shingles. Besides repairing your roof's shingles, you will need to check for water leaks in your roof decking, inside your attic insulation, and inside your home's walls. Here is information about how a leaky roof can damage these three areas and why it is important to have them repaired.

Roof Decking

Most roof decking layered under your roof's shingles is made from plywood. Once this layer of plywood has become saturated from rain or melting snow, the wood soaks up a great deal of moisture and holds it in until it eventually dries out. As the plywood decking dries out, the wood becomes brittle and rotten and is not able to hold up as much weight. The brittle wood causes the roof to lose much of its integrity, which can put your home's interior at risk of a roof cave-in during a heavy snow storm. 

If the roof decking does not have a chance to dry out, mold can grow inside your home's attic. Once mold is present inside your home, the mold spores can become airborne and circulate through your entire house.

Different types of mold can cause a variety of health problems. Many people experience some of these problems but don't realize they are resulting from mold because the mold is hidden in their home. Mold can cause symptoms similar to allergies, such as runny or stuffed nose, sneezing, sore eyes, coughing, and a sore throat. 


Fiberglass insulation, the most common type of insulation used in homes, can become damaged in your home after a leaky roof. When your roof is leaking and the insulation in your home's attic becomes wet from the leak, it will not work effectively. Moisture gets trapped between the fibers of the insulation, taking up space where air is normally present. The air between the insulation's fibers is what helps insulation be effective, so when water is present, the insulation's thermal and acoustic insulating abilities are decreased. 

During the winter, heat in your home rises to the attic, and if your attic insulation has been compromised by a leaky roof, it will not hold your home's heat in properly. During the summer, your wet attic insulation will not keep heat out of your attic and home from the sun's rays. This can result in your home being warmer and your air conditioner remaining on longer.


When you have a leaky roof that causes water damage to your attic and insulation, the water leak can spread to the drywall in the walls of your home. The drywall soaks up the moisture and holds onto it, providing the perfect environment for black mold to grow. Black mold is a dangerous mold that commonly grows on drywall and will begin to grow only after a week of wet conditions in your walls. Because you may not notice the wet wall right away, or not know your roof leak has spread that far into your home, this gives time for black mold to begin growing. And, the longer the mold is present in your home, the worse your symptoms can become.

Black mold is so toxic because it contains mycotoxins. When black mold spores are present in your home, they can enter your body through your skin or through inhaling them through your nose or mouth. Mycotoxins are immunosuppressive and cause a range of symptoms. Some of the symptoms include hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, constant fatigue, respiratory problems, bleeding lungs, mental impairment, and organ damage. It is estimated that 1 out of 5 current asthma cases in the U.S. are caused by toxic black mold exposure.

For these reasons, it is important to repair your leaky roof and all other home leaks. For more information, or for help in solving the problem, you can contact a local roof repair company.