Yes, a leaking roof is considered an emergency, and at the very least is always a problem. A leak is messy, dangerous, and sometimes downright expensive to deal with. A small leak can make a big problem—a bigger leak can and has destroyed homes!
Water from a leak will spread anywhere it can, the degree of which depends on the construction of your house, but is always far more than we would like! An unseen and long undetected leak can cause significant rot and water damage to accumulate throughout your home.
Beyond simple water damage, and going further into overall health concerns is the development of mold. Several different species of mold exist that sprout up around leaks (Acremonium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Mucor, etc.) that vary in their severity and toxicity. Generally, these fall into three categories: Allergenic for those molds that cause and aggravate allergic reactions; pathogenic, for those that aggravate illnesses; and toxigenic, of which the infamous and occasionally deadly “black mold” hails from.
First, if the leak is evident (i.e. a dripping from the ceiling or evident pooling) do your best to restrict any further spread of water. Use buckets, mops, towels to sop up the moisture, whatever you have must to get the job done!
Second, try to locate the actual source of the leak if you can. Remember that where signs may come up (like a spot on the wall) may not exactly correlate to the actual source of the leak. Depending on the specifics of your home, water can travel for quite a while before resulting in a sign you can detect.
Even if you aren’t currently dealing with a leak yourself, try to make it a point to do regular maintenance and check your roof. Preventative measures work the best after all, and are usually the cheapest! Simply trimming any tree branches that may scrape at your roof, checking the quality of your shingles (especially after a long winter) and clean your gutters, they are there for a reason!
If there is a chance that the scope of a leak is beyond you, don’t hesitate to contact professional help! A more expensive job well done is better than a hack-job that will fail and cause further water damage down the line!
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