Repairing Water Damage After a Roof Leak

water damage after a roof leak

Attic water damage due to roof leaks can be a large problem for a homeowner by the time it’s discovered. Unconditioned attics—boiling hot in summer and frigid during winter—aren’t on most people’s list of desired destinations. As always, prevention is the best approach. Regular roof inspections, as well as checking out the attic for leaks during rainy weather, are good preventive measures. 

Frequent water damage consequences of roof leakage include:

  • Damage to wooden subroof panels by long-term leakage through shingles.
  • Saturated attic insulation.
  • Rotting wooden attic structural components.
  • Mold contamination.
  • Electrical wiring, ceiling light fixtures and other components that short-circuit and pose a fire hazard.  
  • HVAC ductwork infiltrated by water.

Once water damage is discovered, repairs can be difficult due to extreme temperatures, cramped space and tainted air. Water damage remediation specialists have the experience and specific equipment needed to resolve water damage and make necessary repairs to restore the attic space. They will be able to do the following: 

  • The location of the leak must be isolated and repaired. As water migrates, drippage into attics frequently appears some distance from the actual leak in the roof.
  • Wooden structure should be inspected for rot as well as termite damage that often affects wood in wet environments. Rotting or other deterioration in subroof panels, attic joists, rafters or trusses is generally not repairable and requires replacement.   
  • Wet insulation forms a focal point for attic mold growth. Wet fiberglass insulation usually must be temporarily removed in order to expedite the drying process. If fiberglass insulation is old and no longer meets current Department of Energy R-value recommendations, however, it may be preferable to replace it with new material now. Wet cellulose loose-fill insulation cannot be effectively dried. Any portions affected by water must be replaced.
  • Electrical items compromised by water such as wiring, junction boxes and fixtures should be inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Attic ductwork infiltrated by water from roof leaks frequently harbors mold growth. Mold spores infecting HVAC airflow readily spread contamination throughout the house. Dismantling ductwork segments and physically removing mold, then decontaminating internal duct surfaces is typically required.

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