Water will travel through the smallest gaps. If the gap is on your roof, water is going to get into your home. Once it’s inside, it’s going to continue its path downwards. Eventually, it will reach the wiring in your home. Can a leaky roof cause electrical problems? Yes, it can. And water and electricity don’t mix.
The Path from the Roof to Your Wiring
Let’s say you have a crack in one of your shingles which is letting water in. The roof deck has started to rot. Water starts dripping through the deck and into your attic. With time, a steady flow of drops comes down during every rain storm.
The insulation under the leak gets soaked. And the water starts to get to what’s underneath it. There’s a junction box there. Junction boxes are where electrical connections are made between two sets of wires. Bare wires are present and they are ‘hot’ – meaning there is electricity running through them. This is where the mix of water and electricity happens.
What Happens When Water and Electricity Mix
Water, unless it’s pure and distilled, is an excellent conductor of electricity. When water hits a hot electric wire, the charge runs through the pool or puddle of water almost instantaneously. Any electrical conductor, such as another electrical wire, in contact with that water will become charged as well.
So, what can happen in this situation?
- Fire – Unregulated electricity can overheat wires, which can lead to a fire breaking out.
- Electrical shock – Electricity which isn’t properly grounded can cause shocks. This could cause severe injuries in some cases.
- Damage to the rest of the electrical system
Water is corrosive. The further it spreads the more damage is going to occur. If the water reaches your electrical panel, the damage could be extensive. Plus, the danger of fire radically increases.
What To Do If Water Is Close to Your Home’s Electrical
If you suspect you have a roof leak getting water close to any part of your electrical system, shut off the power at the main panel immediately. Call an electrician to come out to check that nothing has been compromised.
Call a roofer at the same time. You need to get your roof leak fixed quickly. You don’t need any more water coming inside.