What to Do When You Find a Roof Leak
Last night, a rain storm was raging outside and you had to cancel all your plans. The next morning when you woke up, there was a water puddle in the middle of the living room and the drip drop from the ceiling was the cause behind it. The carpet was all wet, the couch had big, black, and wet spots on it, and the ceiling had this dark stain.
One thing we can tell you for sure is that if you don’t take immediate action, the damage could be significant. So, first order of business:
Contain the Leak
We advise you call a roofing expert ASAP, but in the meantime, you need to do some damage control yourself. A leaking roof is like a ticking time bomb. Apart from water dripping into the house, it also trickles down the walls and destroys the drywall. You will probably see dark spots, bulges, and water pockets on the walls that constantly leak water.
Before tackling the interior damage the water has caused, you need to cut the flow of water off from the source. If the roof is dry, you can temporarily seal it with roofing tar. A tarp might help in some situations. Neither are permanent solutions.
Mitigating the Damage Inside
Protect the Furniture
Cover everything with a plastic sheet that is under the leaking roof. This includes electronics, furniture, and other valuables.
Release and Contain the Water
You may see small pockets forming on the ceiling, as well as the walls. First, put buckets underneath the places where the water is dripping from. You can even attach a string from the ceiling into the bucket to direct the flow of water.
Next, take a screwdriver or holesaw and puncture holes in the walls and ceilings. This step is extremely important because if the water shifts from one place to another, the entire ceiling will be compromised. Let the water drain out and then use a fan to dry the areas that are reachable.
Inspecting and Protecting Other Items
Things such as rugs and carpets should be left out in the sun to dry so that the moisture doesn’t create a breeding ground for bacteria. If you have wood flooring, you may have to deal with warped floors. The final step is to call your insurance company and report about the leaking roof. Take pictures of every item that was destroyed by the water. Be completely through so that you can present your case to your insurance agent.
To learn more about leaks, check out our post about the most common roofing leaks we come across here.