Don't Panic: Three Things To Do If Your Roof Starts Leaking

A leak is one of the most dreaded roof malfunctions you can ever counter as a homeowner. You should know how to react if your roof starts leaking because it will affect the eventual cost of the damage you will have to deal with later. Here are three things you can do to mitigate the damage when you notice a leak:

Trap the Water

When your roof starts leaking during a storm or rainfall, the most obvious and immediate damage is that caused by the water on your houses structures and household items. For example, the water can fall on your home electronics and cause them to malfunction. Therefore, your first step is to place a bucket under the leak to trap the water.

Locate the Leak

After trapping the water and limiting its damage, the next step is to locate and plug the leak. This is easy if it is a big leak since the water will just be flowing vertically downward from a hole in the roof. In most cases, however, the leak will be small, and the water will be trickling down the roof instead of flowing vertically downwards. If that's the case, the path followed by the trickling water will be wetter than the surrounding; follow the path until you find the origin of the leak

Once you locate the hole, you can plug it temporarily by using roofing tar and a piece of shingle, plywood or any other suitable/comparable material. Push the tar into the hole using a putty knife, stick the shingle on the tar, and place more tar around the edges of the patch to plug the leak. Don't go on the roof while it's still raining.

Take Care of the Wet Things

Lastly, you need to mitigate the damage on the items that were already wet by the time you discovered the leak. This usually involves mopping the floor and drying the items; putting a fan near the wet items will speed up their drying process. You can't do much drying before the rain stops, but you can get the items out of the way, so you don't step on them and cause further damage.

Once the rain stops, inspect the roof to gauge the extent of the damage. Note that the roof will be wet and slippery during this time, so do the inspections from the ground. If that isn't possible, call a roofing contractor (like Affordable Roof Care) for a professional inspection and fix.