If you've become used to thinking about your home as your castle, a bastion of safety and security for your loved ones, you might find the notion of it actually harming those loved ones unsettling or even horrifying. But a roof in disrepair can indeed imperil your family's well-being in a number of ways, making roof repair and maintenance a legitimately valuable preventative health strategy. Here are four of the ways your roof problems could damage family members' health.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew grow wherever moisture accumulates -- and a leak in a roof offers an open doorway for rainwater or backwash from blocked gutters. Mold may spread from its initial sire to the attic beams, insulation, and flooring, eventually working its way through the ceilings of rooms. Mold that migrates to your HVAC ductwork may get a free ride to every part of the home every time the heat or air conditioning kicks in. This can prove catastrophic for individuals who suffer from chronic allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses. One type of mold, black mold, can even cause serious internal organ damage. The sooner you get those leaks pinpointed and fixed, the sooner you can breathe a sigh of relief without worrying about the next inhalation.
Pests like to set up house in attics and walls, where they can raise entire families safe from the outdoors. Unfortunately, your own family's safety becomes a lot less certain with these uninvited guests on the premises. Many mammals such as squirrels, mice, rats and raccoons carry deadly diseases such as rabies -- which can be easily transmitted through a single bite to a curious child's hand. As you might imagine, holes in the roof provide an easy point of entry for these creatures. When the animals die, their bodies may leach diseased organisms into their surroundings while also nurturing disease-transferring insects such as flies. Roofing contractors and pest control services make a great team for for fighting this threat.
Some creatures make their own holes in your roof. Termites, for instance, can chew their way into vital areas such as support beams. Water damage can also rot wooden roof structures over time. These kinds of damage threaten the structural stability of your roof -- and if the termite or water damage spreads, it can make your entire home unsafe. Since much of this damage may elude the untrained eye, you should hire the appropriate experts to check for lurking structural problems.
If your home feels intolerably hot in the summer and cold in the winter, your roof may be partly to blame -- and your loved ones may end up the worse for it. Damaged insulation or breaches in the roof underlayment may allow temperatures to swing upward or downward beyond your climate control system's ability to cope.
Elderly members of the household may suffer health problems as a result, since the body loses some of its temperature-controlling abilities with age. Unmanageable drops in temperature can help viruses flourish, including the viruses that cause the common cold. Extreme variations in temperature could even cause containers of chemicals in the attic to emit their contents, posing a serious threat to health and safety. If your home never feels comfortable, invest in a roof repair or strengthen your roof and attic insulation.
Your roof should keep your family safe, comfortable and healthy, so don't let it become a source of concern instead. Protect both your home's value and your loved ones' health by scheduling regular maintenance and making any needed repairs or modifications. Contact a company like Palmer Roofing for help.