Five Huge Risks a Leaky Roof Can Cause

Repeated battering by wind and rain can lead to leaks in your roof, and in the world of everyday wear and tear, Wellington weather is a whole other beast. A leaky roof can seem like a minor inconvenience, easily solved by a bucket and waiting for the rain to pass, but it can lead to a whole host of other issues. Here are five major risks to your household, all stemming from that one little leak.

Rotting Timber

Rotting timber is caused by the natural materials in the wood decaying because a leak has created a warm, wet environment for it to decompose in. Timber rot (or wet-rot) creates weaknesses in your roof. As it absorbs the moisture and subsequently dries, it causes small cracks to appear in the wood from the expansion and shrinking. This process is called warping, and structural warping is bad for your home. A small leak may not seem like a big problem, but as long as it permeates into the structure of the house, your support beams are at risk of rot and collapse.

Collapsing Ceilings

Ceilings tend to be composed of either low-density softboard or plasterboard, which are porous sheets of wood and plaster. Essentially, they’re what you see when you look up. When the softboard or plasterboard gets wet enough, it becomes too heavy to hold itself up. A leak left unchecked for long enough can trickle down and cause sagging, and eventually collapse.

Interior Damage

In addition to the damage that can be caused structurally, leaky roofs cause water stains. These unsightly little blotches can make your house look old and worn, especially when compounded with any other water damage.
Sagging is another potential risk to the interior of your home. Even if you avoid ceiling collapse, watching the dip in the plaster can feel a lot like waiting for a balloon to pop. A very time-consuming, expensive balloon.


Much like the warm wet environment that causes rotting timber, mould is caused by the spores of a fungus that survive and thrive in that very same climate. There are many kinds of mould that can form following a roof leak, most of which can cause nail and skin infections, respiratory issues, and are dangerous to anyone with a weaker immune system. A leaky roof provides exactly the kind of place those spores need to land and multiply, leaving you with a problem that lasts well beyond when the roof itself is prepared.

Wet Insulation

Finally, a leaky roof means wet insulation, and wet insulation can mean a lot of issues. Insulation is typically light and porous when installed, but when it’s wet it becomes heavy, which can lead to structural damage.
Insulation is also exceptional at trapping moisture, which means that even if you repair the leak in the roof, the collected water can spread throughout the rest of the roof from the insulation and continue to cause damage. Collected water in insulation also encourages rusting of roof fasteners and steel ties, the things that hold your roof together.

So what can you do?

Here at Paul Milne we pride ourselves on being market-leading roof repair specialists. Leaks are our bread and butter, and we are dedicated to giving you the best solution for your roofing problems from the very beginning. So, don’t wait for your little leak to turn into a big problem, download our leaky roof checklist here, or call us now!

Five Huge Risks a Leaky Roof Can Cause