It’s no surprise that we receive an incredible amount of rain. It’s what fills our watersheds and nourishes our lush green plants we admire year-round. Unfortunately, this rain will also quickly expose leaks in your roof and even exacerbate an existing roof problem. When this occurs, roof leak repair becomes unavoidable. Not only does it become unavoidable, it becomes something that must be taken care of right away. The longer roof leak repair is delayed when it is badly needed, the greater the long-term interior damage can be to the home overall.
Obviously, this situation calls for an expert to come to the home as quickly as possible to plug up the leaks and stop the damage from piling up. But until professional help arrives, you need to be able to do whatever you can to mitigate as much potential damage as possible and protect yourself against major monetary loss.
So what can you do? Here are some suggestions:
Survey the house for interior damage
Generally speaking, when a leak occurs, water bundles up into a pool at the top of the ceiling and then looks for a place to escape. The most common space for that to occur in is a heat register or light fixture. That is where it starts, but definitely not where it ends if you fail to proceed with caution.
Once the leak finds one escape hatch, it will likely find multiple others, which can result in making the leak problem far worse. To avoid this and keep the damage to a minimum, find the spot in the ceiling that is the wettest and poke a small hole in the middle of it. Then grab the largest bucket you can find and let the water drain into the bucket.
Locate the leak’s point of entry
While it is going to be difficult to stop any kind of leak in rainy conditions, locating where the leak is coming from is one of the most important steps that can be taken in attempting to mitigate the problem. Usually, it is a good idea to start with an large space near the top of the house like the attic. It is very possible that the leak in the ceiling and leak in the roof may not align perfectly, so keep in mind that could make the problem more difficult to solve.
If your roof covers a large layer of plywood, it is quite likely that water will seep down from the roofing material and into the nearest joint in the plywood. The way the roof slopes may make this a more difficult task, but if you can at least pinpoint the source of the leak and find a way to temporarily cover up at least part of it, that could prove to be a very valuable move in terms of putting a stop to maximum damage.
Keep everything as stable as possible until you are able to get a professional on the scene
Once you identify the source of your problems, while you may not be equipped to provide a long-term fix for the issue, there are some short-term measures you can take. Roofing tape, roofing cement, or even a tarp can all be reasonably good options in the event that you must do something quickly before a roof leak repair expert arrives. You can purchase these items at virtually any home improvement store and use them on the inside of your roof, outside of your roof, or even the decking inside your attic.
You may not feel comfortable doing anything advanced, but if you do, it may not be a bad idea to scale your rooftop and use a tarp in an attempt to control as much of the leaking as you can before a professional roofer can get there. If you do choose to use a tarp, just make sure you use it properly, which entails cutting the tarp precisely so that is covers the area that has been damaged. When using the tarp, you should also leave several extra feet on each end to cover all of the roof damage and secure the tarp nailing 2 x 4 boards into it, but not too deeply so as to allow the nails to penetrate the roof.
Take pictures for insurance and warranty documentation
If you have any kind of property or homeowner’s insurance or a roofing warranty, you are unquestionably going to want to file a claim. Insurance companies do not operate on the honour system, so if you are going to make a claim of any kind, you are going to need as much evidence as possible to support your case. Taking pictures and shooting video from your cell phone are both great ways to get excellent visual proof of damage. You will also want to take copious notes relating to the damage and what you did to mitigate it to use as supporting documentation for the visual evidence you have collected.
Call in a professional roofer to the scene
Every step taken in the short-term is crucial, but for the long-term health of your roof and home in general, it is absolutely essential you get a roofing professional on the scene as quickly as possible. While you are likely capable of carrying out basic quick-fix solutions, when it comes to the more complicated stuff, you are absolutely going to need a professional. This is the roof of your house—a priority investment—we are talking about here, so it is imperative you hire somebody who can do the job and do it well.
Consult friends, the internet, and the better business bureau to find the best roofing contractor who will do the best job of fixing your roof for the most agreeable price possible.