7 Key Things to Do If Your Roof Is Leaking

Leaking roof with tarp

Roof leaks aren’t fun. Your home is a place that should make you feel safe and protected from the outdoors. Unfortunately, outside elements like rain and snow can creep their way into your house whether you like it or not. Incidents happen, and when they do, it’s best to take action as soon as possible — especially when there’s a possibility of water damage to your home.

If you find that your roof is leaking, there are some key things you can do to manage the situation and minimize any potential damage from the water. Here are seven steps to follow:

1. Move Things Out of the Way

When your roof is leaking, that’s bad enough. The last thing you want is to ruin your belongings in the process. If there’s a leak over your bed, clothing, or furniture, it’s time to clear the area!

Water damage can completely destroy some of your precious belongings, and nobody wants that. Not to mention, some fabrics trap water and create a dreadful mildew smell. So whatever you can push out of the way, do it ASAP!

2. Contain the Water

If you have a leaking roof, try to contain it as much as possible. Grab buckets, garbage cans, towels, and anything else you can find to capture the water to reduce the impact and damage that water can cause.

Not to mention, it could cause water damage to your floors. Make sure you have several containers nearby that can trap the water and switch them out regularly to reduce the risk of overflow.

Also read: 9 Telltale Signs of a Damaged Roof

3. Relieve Water Pressure

A sagging bulge hanging from your ceiling is a sign that there’s water collecting in that spot. Although it might seem unwise to poke a hole in the area, do it. If you leave it, the water could spread and cause more serious damage to the ceiling.

Plus, it could eventually erupt on its own and create a larger mess. Use a screwdriver to carefully puncture the lowest point of the bulge, and put a bucket underneath it to catch the water. Several punctures may be necessary, depending on the size of the leak.

Damaged shingles on a house

4. Tarp the Roof

If for some reason you can’t get your leaking roof fixed right away, a tarp is the next best option. When the roof is safe enough to climb, cover the problem area with a tarp. Sometimes the problem areas are hard to find. If you are having trouble, try to determine the problem area based on where the leak is inside. Read our article: Roof Repair: 9 Common Issues and the Easiest Way to Fix Them. Use one that’s at least six millimeters thick, and extends a minimum of four feet across the problem area and up to the peak. If the peak is too far away, tuck under shingles to prevent water from going underneath the tarp.

That way, it provides plenty of protection around the perimeter and ensures that the area is completely covered.

5. Take Photos for Insurance Documentation

Do you want to know what to do if your roof is leaking? It’s this step! Documenting your damages will come in handy when you file your home insurance claim if the damage is eligible for a claim. We cannot overstate how important it is to take photos and document everything.

Not only does it show the severity of the roof damage, but also the other items that were compromised. If your television, computer, furniture, bedding, or kitchen were ruined by the roof leak, document it. Your insurance could potentially fix the roof and replace the items you lost.

If you are handy and think you can fix your roof yourself, check out these suggestions from Family Handyman. We highly recommend, however, to contact us or another professional roofer if your roof is leaking for professional roof repair. There are many things to know when working on roofs, and safety is always the number one concern!

6. Call a Professional Roofing Company

A leaking roof is a big undertaking, so it’s best to call the pros. The longer you wait, the worse the problem could get. There’s only so much you can do to manage the situation, so it’ll need fixing immediately.

Professional roofers can repair the damaged area and assess other spots on your roof that may need repair or reconstruction. 

7. Continue Regular Roof Maintenance

After the roof is fixed and things are back to normal, there’s more work to be done. Doing routine maintenance on your roof is the best way to control leaks. Your roof takes on a lot of wear and tear, and it’s exposed to harsh outside elements. Routine roof maintenance includes:

  1. Inspecting for any trees that may have grown too close to your roof, and, if so, cutting back limbs and branches
  2. Making sure gutters and downspouts have not become clogged with leaves or any other debris. Water must be able to run away from your house as designed.
  3. Checking for any damage after severe weather such as loose or missing shingles
  4. Looking for any cracks in the chimney
  5. Locating and replacing any curled or split shingles

Weather conditions like rain, snow, and hail weaken the shingles over time. Ensure that your house stays in good condition by keeping major systems, such as your roof, properly maintained.

Sometimes, finding the source of a leak is more complicated than simply spotting a hole in your attic’s ceiling. From failing flashing to clogged gutters to crumbling shingles, the list of potential causes is very long.

–Bob Vila, From Solved, What To Do About A Leaky Roof

Dangers of a Leaking Roof

A roof leak is not only frustrating, but it’s hazardous as well. Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • Mold
    • Leaks that aren’t corrected right away can cause mold. Moisture is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which is a huge problem.
    • Mold can create health concerns, but it could also ruin wall and flooring coverings, wood framing, and ceiling tiles.
    • The presence of mold can decrease the value and marketability of your home.
  • Fire & Electrocution Hazards
    • Roof leaks are a fire hazard if the water gets into your home’s electrical wiring. It can short circuit the wires and spark the surrounding areas. Plus, it can cause electrocution if touched.
  • Higher Energy Bills
    • An influx of water might increase energy bills due to water build-up ruining the insulation. If that happens, you can expect to see a noticeable difference in your utility bill.
  • Attic and Ceiling Damage
    • Water leaks could pose a threat to your attic. The leaks may create an issue with ventilation in the attic, which affects the comfort level throughout the rest of the house.
    • It also creates damage to the ceiling. Leaking water makes brown stains on the ceiling, messes up the paint, and makes plaster bubble up and expand.

If Your Roof Is Leaking, Call Above Roofing. We Will Fix It For You.

When your roof is leaking, don’t panic! Sure, it’s a huge inconvenience to have a leaking roof. But if you follow the steps above, they’ll help you get the situation under control. With that said, there’s only so much you can do on your own and you’ll need professional assistance.

Do you need roof repair services for your home? If so, we’ve got you covered. We’re located in Jenison, MI, and we service Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.

Our team of roofing specialists are happy to assist you. Also, you can take advantage of our free roof inspection to determine your roofing needs!

Contact us at Above Roofing for help if your roof is leaking. Call 616-662-7663.
1. If you have an active leak, call us for our Rapid Response service.
2. If it is not an emergency, we will send out one of our professional roofing specialists and do a free roof inspection

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