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What to Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
A reliable roof should protect your home from outside elements. Over time, wear and tear from harsh weather conditions, animals, fallen tree branches or vandalism could leave the inside vulnerable to water damage. Older roofs are usually more likely to leak after a storm or pest activity. As a result of these events, you might notice some drips in your ceiling or moisture on your walls. Until the professional roofing company arrives for your property's inspection and roof leak repair, you can make some temporary fixes to give you peace of mind and protect your valuables from getting soaked. Use this guide to know what to do when your roof is leaking.
1. Find the Leak Source
Try to look for the warning signs of a leaky roof in your crawl space or attic, such as rotten, wet or moldy roofing rafters and underlayment. Since water flows downward, you might have more water coming in from the roof than you'll notice at first. You may also want to check for frosted nails where evaporated water left behind calcium buildup. These nails are usually sticking through the wooden roof deck. You can point out these leak sources to your roofing company to get your roof fixed quickly.
2. Move Things Out of the Way
Water in the roof can trickle into your home and spread throughout your entire living space. After locating the leak's source, it helps to get rid of everything in that room and dry them before they develop mold or mildew. You can dry out your belongings according to the manufacturer's instructions. Check your bedding, furniture, clothes, carpeting and rugs for signs of water damage. You might be able to file a claim with your insurance company to get reimbursed for any ruined items.
3. Contain the Leak
Manage the water leakage from your roof so it doesn't spread to other parts of your property. Look around for discoloration or bulges in your ceiling, which indicates water accumulating on the other side. Take a trash can or bucket and some towels and place them under the dripping water. You may want to reduce the sound coming from the ceiling by putting a board inside the container. That way, the drips will hit the board instead of the water. You may also want to have more containers on hand so you can switch them out to prevent overflow.
4. Relieve Water Pressure
Water pressure can sometimes build up in a roof and cause bulging in your ceiling. The water pressure on your roofing will need to be relieved as soon as possible to prevent bursting and flooding in your home. After you've located the leak source and contained the water, consult a professional about the best method for taking the pressure off your roof. They may recommend using a screwdriver to puncture the center of the bulge where the water is pooling or another more efficient technique.
5. Inspect Your Roof and Interior of Your Home
Use a pair of binoculars to check your roof from the ground to keep you and your property safe. Keep an eye out for peeling, cracked, missing or blistered asphalt shingles anywhere in your roofing. Even though these shingles are easy to repair, you'll need to replace the whole roof if there's significant water damage over your roofing materials. Instead of climbing on the roof and endangering yourself, call a roofing professional to locate the source of your leak and deal with it accordingly. It's always best to have a professional check your roof for insurance and safety purposes. A professional roofing contractor can inspect your roof's vents for signs of damage, such as holes, cracks and gaps. They'll also want to replace the missing, bent or damaged flashing. This metal component controls the flow of water away from vulnerable parts of your roof. An expert roofer can perform all of these tasks while maintaining the integrity of your property.
6. Prepare Yourself for Insurance Claims
You can usually have your homeowners insurance pay for your roof leak repair if the damage was from harsh weather conditions, vandalism or theft. After a storm, pest infestation or criminal activity, take pictures of your roof damage before fixing anything. Then, you can work with a professional roofing company to get your roof repaired according to how much money your insurance provider will give you. You may want to record the roof damage cause if possible, such as a fallen tree branch. Documenting any roof leaks or water-logged belongings in the home can help your insurance provider know how much money you've lost. They'll use any information you give them to determine your property's eligibility for a claim and how much the repair will cost.
7. Make Temporary Leak Fixes
After you've found the leak, you can make some short-term water damage repairs until the professional arrives to fix or replace your roof more efficiently. You can close any openings in your roof with a fast-bonding agent specially made for your roofing material. Cover the area with a piece of flashing and secure it firmly with screws or rubbered bolts. You may be tempted to replace your shingles and tiles, but it's best to wait for your professional roofing replacement to keep yourself and your property safe. You'll want to fix the parts exposed to weather and sunlight mechanically with bolts and flashing instead of a chemical fix with glue or caulking. If you can do this safely, the best temporary fix for your roof is to cover it up with a tarp. Since you'd have to climb on top of your house to cover it, you may want to get someone to help you. Ensure the roof isn't wet and it's not too windy before you get up there. As you're on the roof, you may have difficulty finding the source of the leak. Remember where you found problem areas inside of the house. Use a thick tarp that extends several feet across the leak up to the peak of the roof. You can also tuck the tarp under the shingles if the tip is too far away to keep water from leaking underneath the tarp. This method offers full protection around the leak and covers the opening in your roof until your professional inspection.
Call Tiger Roofing to Repair Your Leak Properly
After you've made the temporary repairs and given yourself and your family peace of mind, it's time to call a professional to repair or replace your roof. Tiger Roofing specializes in residential roofing repairs and replacements in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. We'll only charge what your insurance company promises to give you for your roof leak repair. Contact us online or call 410-228-3222 to request an estimate.