Roof Leak and Accumulation of Mold

mold from roof leaks

A leaky roof can cause issues far beyond the roof and its underlying structures. Roof leaks allow water to work its way through the walls, into the attic structure, and even down to the foundation. Along with the most obvious damages to the ceilings, walls, and attic space, water can cause, given enough time, structural failure of the attic support beams. A slowly leaking roof can cause far greater damage because it will go unnoticed, and over time will produce far greater unexpected damages. Additionally, water penetrating into the structure can cause dangerous circumstances for the inhabitants.

Mold needs just a little bit of consistant water supply to survive. It can even dry up and continue to live. It is very invasive, and takes on many different forms. Mold will grow on any material or surface, and once it takes a foothold can be somewhat difficult to get rid of. Mold proliferates by letting off millions of spores that quickly becomes airborne and can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and long-term health consequences.

Mold and Health Problems

mold on ceiling

The most hazardous problem associated with a roof leak is the propagation of mold growth. Mold grows quietly with no help. It only requires a slight amount of water, and still air. The problem lies therein: mold will slowly grow until it overtakes all surfaces available, then produce spores that can easily infiltrate the attic, the insulation, the ceiling and the HVAC system, where it can then be dispersed throughout the home. Mold can grow in carpet, furniture, and even clothing. Mold spores continue to reproduce until it gains sufficient number to cause serious health problems. Health problems can result from mold spores invading the respiratory system, and can result in long term allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, skin rashes, and other serious health concerns.

As roofers in the trade with 30 plus years, we have witnessed many people that have become very sick from mold growing in their attic. They didn't know that their plywood is rotten, or that the roof is even leaking. They only knew that they were feeling well, and that the house seemed rather humid. Usually upon inspection of the attic, it is immediately obvious that the cause of the humidity in the house is from a leaking roof. We typically remove all of the plywood and insulation in the attic, spray down the trusses with a bleach solution, reinstall new insulation and new plywood. Only then do we know that we have removed most of the mold spores.

Get Rid of Mold ASAP

kill mold with bleach

The solution to the problem is to first stop any roof leaks coming into the home. Check your roof that it is properly functioning, there are no holes or missing shingles. See to it that the gutters are clean, and are properly flowing. Next, proper ventilation will stop mold in its tracks. Mold cannot grow easily with moving air. Make sure the roof vents are properly installed, and that the vents in the eaves, just below the gutter, are not blocked and are uncovered. Existing mold can be killed with a 10% + bleach to water. If all checks out, and you still have a mold problem, you may need to get down and dirty. Adding an electric vent to your attic to get the air moving substantially will kill the mold. It's always a good idea two spray any mold you see the width of bleach solution as well.

When it comes to mold, your best defense is a good offense. If you start to see mold growing, pay attention. It is a warning that you don't have enough moving air, and that you do have enough moisture for mold growth. Get on top of it, and don't let it get a toehold. Mold mitigation measures required may already need professional assistance.

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