Most visible during or after heavy rain, leaks in your roof can be pretty daunting, usually because they mean unexpected roof repairs and also because if not fixed rapidly, they can create more damage requiring more extensive repairs.
While there is never an opportune time for your roof to start leaking, there are some things you can do to help prevent the leaks from causing damage, until a professional roofer comes to fix it.
Note that leaks in your roof require immediate attention from a roofer and that you should never wait or hesitate to call a professional roofer when you spot a leak in your ceiling.
What Should I Do If My Roof Is Leaking?
Stop The Water From Creating Further Damage
The first thing you should do upon spotting a leak in your roof is to stop the leak from creating any further damage to your home. Try to dry out the area of the roof that is leaking and also work to prevent the water from landing on furniture by using plastic. Water can create long lasting damage to your walls, wood flooring and furniture if not prevented.
Collect The Water Before It Hits Your Floor
No matter what kind of floors you have, water from a leak can create damage to your flooring. Catching the water with buckets before it hits the floor is also one of the first things you should do when you see a leak in your roof. You can also put a towel or old t-shirt around the bucket so that any splash is absorbed and doesn’t sit on the floor.
If you see bubbles in the paint on your wall, this may be a sign of water build up between the drywall and the paint. Poke a small hole in the bubbles to let the water out if this is the case.
Dry Any Affected Areas
A roof can sometimes be leaking for hours before you catch it and it can have already gotten many things wet. Once you have contained the water and protected your furniture, walls and flooring from further water damage, dry any affected areas such as walls, carpet, the floor and furniture. If you leave the water there and do not take the necessary steps to dry it, it can not only leave a stain but also start to build up mold. Setting up fans and ventilation is also key.
Immediately Contact a Professional Roofer
Upon spotting a leak, you should seek to immediately repair it so as to prevent further damage. Most roof leaks can be repaired quickly and affordably and most professional roofing companies offer 24 hour emergency roofing services. You should try and call a professional roofer within the first 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer you wait the more damage the water can cause. Even if it’s still raining, call a professional roofer.
Take Pictures and File an Insurance Claim
If you have insurance, take a picture of the leak and document what happens as best as possible. Take pictures from various angles and also include any damage that was created by the leak to flooring, walls, furniture, carpet and so on. Before filing a claim, read your insurance policy to see exactly what it covers and what you can be paid for. Once you have all the information, file an insurance claim to get the claim process underway. Most insurance companies will not cover damage from a leak if it is reported weeks after it happened so don’t delay. If you have an insurance agent, call them for advice.
Fix The Leak!
Fixing the leak is the most important part of this entire process! Having called a professional roofer, they will come out and help you fix the leak. If you have insurance, be sure to give them all the necessary information.
Take Actions to Prevent Future Leaks
The best way to fix a leak is to not have one in the first place. It goes without saying that if you do have one, it’s important that you take immediate actions to stop it from creating more damage and get it fixed. However, there are a few simple things you can do to help proof your roof against leaks in the future:
- Trim trees, low hanging branches and any branches looming over your roof that if broken could puncture a hole in your roof.
- Keep gutters and drains clean and free of leaf and twig build ups.
- Routinely check your flashing to ensure no cracks or damage.
- Get a yearly roof inspection by a professional roofer.
By taking these four simple steps as well as keeping an eye on your roof and calling a professional if you see anything you are concerned about can go a long way in preventing your roof from leaking in the first place