Unfortunately, your roof is leaking. Awful, we know, but the leak leads to another worry: will a leaking roof collapse? Also, unfortunately, this is not a yes-or-no question. A leaking residential roof could collapse, but in most cases, it will not if you act promptly.
What’s Up There?
To better understand the probability of a roof leak causing your home’s roof to collapse, learn a little bit about your roof’s anatomy. A roof is not a single piece; it is a system of interconnected parts, beginning with the wood of your roof deck:
- Joists are the horizontal wood members joining outer walls and forming the ceiling of your interior living space; these also form the floor of your home’s attic
- Rafters are the angled wood support pieces holding up the roof itself; these attach to your home’s exterior walls and meet at the roof ridge
- Sheathing is wooden sheets that cover the rafters and support the roofing material you choose (shingles, metal panels, concrete or ceramic tile, and so on)
- Underlayment is a synthetic or natural felt roll material spread out on top of sheathing to form a waterproof barrier
- Ice and water shield is a thick, spongy, self-adhesive layer that seals up valleys and the lower edge of your roof, preventing water infiltration from ice dams and heavy rains
- Shingles, metal panels, tile, or other roofing material cap the other layers and form the visible finished roof
You may have noticed a trend. Roofs have a lot of wood in them, and wood rots when it is repeatedly saturated with water. That is a major concern and the main reason your roof could collapse from roof leaks.
One swallow does not a summer make—Aristotle
One roof leak does not a disaster make—Allstate Exteriors & Restoration Services LLC
Our aphorism may not be as catchy as Aristotle’s, but it’s still true! A single roof leak may be troublesome, but it will not cause your whole roof to collapse.
Roof leaks should always be repaired quickly to avoid these problems:
- Destruction of drywall
- Mold and mildew spreading across surfaces
- Musty smells in your living space
- Staining of interior surfaces
- High interior humidity
- Swelling and warping of doors and wood furniture
But if you wake to discover a drip from your living room ceiling, that is not a roof emergency. Call your local residential roofer for expert roof repair, but you do not need to pay a premium for emergency roof repair.
If you wake to find a few unpleasant signs of more serious roof trouble, call or contact your roofer immediately.
It Could Collapse
Your roof and home will provide at least eight warning signs of roof collapse long before it actually folds in on itself:
- Ceilings are sagging
- During heavy rains, water flows down walls inside your home
- Bends, cracks, or splits are appearing in roof supports
- Cracks begin to show in ceilings and walls
- You hear unusual, sudden snapping or cracking sounds
- Multiple roof leaks drip into your living space throughout your home
- In your attic, you can see saturated insulation, dripping water, rotted wood, or see major mold formation
- Windows and doors that won’t shut or are difficult to close
Residential roofs do not collapse within weeks of a roof leak. If your home’s roof is faulty, the wood supports are still sturdy enough to cause a slow-motion emergency. The roof may take months or even years to collapse.
If you have never had your residential roof inspected by a professional roofer, you cannot know what issues your roof has. You may be missing flashing, shingles, or tiles. Your metal panel roof may have rust, missing fasteners, or loose panels. Every rain shower or thunderstorm could put your roof closer to collapse, and you will not know it.
If you have not had routine maintenance performed on your home’s roof, many minor issues may be building up to a perfect storm of trouble. You, though, can avoid a collapsing roof.
Avoid a collapsing roof by taking these steps:
- Partner with your residential roofer to perform annual inspections and make minor repairs so small leaks are stopped before major damage is done
- Have your roofer inspect your attic to ensure proper ventilation; poor air circulation can trap moisture in the attic and lead to wood rot
- Work with your roofer to implement suggested repairs and reinforcement of vital roof elements (sistering weak rafters, replacing rotten joists, or complete roof replacement)
- Treat every roof leak as serious, even if not an emergency; never ignore the leak!
Allstate Exteriors & Restoration, with service locations in central Ohio and Cape Coral, Florida, can help you avoid calamity, catastrophe, and roof collapse. Contact us today to find out all we can do to help you prevent roof leaks and repair a dangerous roof!