How to Stop a Roof Leak during a Storm

Roof leaks can occur no matter the season but the biggest problem is when they happen during a rainstorm and it can be a real emergency. Rainy weather is what keeps the work of roofers going but is also their most busy working time.

In other words, roofers cannot always respond quickly to emergencies. This, together with the fact that they will charge you extra when you need immediate assistance, leaves you with no other option but to search for a temporary solution to minimize the damages and the eventual repair bill.

What to do inside the House

Since finding the leak from outside is in most cases either too dangerous or impossible, you should find it on the inside before anything else. In most cases, the leak looks like a puddle on the ceiling. It will remain like this and grow larger until it finds an escape route.

Some of the most common roof leak locations are either wall corners or ceiling joints. In other cases, there will be more than one dripping spots which, however, will in most cases come from one single source. Whatever the case may be, it shouldn’t frustrate you. Instead, you should be practical and find a temporary solution.

If you happen to see the puddle but no leak, in most cases, that means that the ceiling is holding water. This is possibly the best-case scenario in these situations. This gives you the opportunity to poke a small hole in that location and give water a draining spot. This will minimize the spread of the puddle and give water a single place to drain.

Buckets and cooking pots are the most common objects that people use to collect the water. If, however, you have access to personal garbage pails with wheels, it is a better option as it will move easily even full.

You can also take a few minutes to remove all objects that can be damaged out of the room. In addition, you can spread pieces of cloth, bags, or anything that can cover your floor and protect it from any damage.

Once you have successfully removed all objects and done your damage control, you should try to find the main source of the leak and drain the water until professional help comes.

How to Find the Source

It is crucial that you find the source of the roof leak as otherwise the water can spread significantly and cause really expensive damage to your home.

Roof leaks are not always caused by problems in the roof. It could be from the plumbing, the heating, it could be condensation, and so much else. Your first task is to find out if the roof is the problem from the inside.

The easiest way to do that is to remove any damaged ceiling tiles or drywall. In most cases, that helps locate the leak and give the opportunity to dry it later.

The Attic is The Best Place to Start

Not every home has an attic. However, if you have one, then this is always the best place to start. Depending on whether your roofing materials are placed over a layer of fiberglass or plywood, you might need glasses and gloves. Safety always comes first. In each case, bring a flashlight and another bucket.

If you happen to locate the leak above the fiberglass/plywood, make sure you do not place the bucket directly above it. If it fills up, it may fall through which will be a disaster in many ways. You should find a long piece of material to place across the joists which will keep the bucket safe.

Any wet insulation should be removed and dried. The main source of the leak may be located at a different place than the actual draining spot, therefore, always inspect the entire attic before you decide that you have found the problem.

If it hasn’t stopped raining, it will be easier to locate the problem from the active leak. Look for signs of mold, water damage, or stains. It will, in most cases, be close to the source of the leak.

Inspect your Roof from Outside

You should take all the necessary safety precautions before you attempt to access the roof. Always wait for the rain to stop and give your roof some time to dry. If you don’t have any rubber-soled shoes, it would not be wise to attempt any climbing on the roof. Try to secure your ladder with ropes, for example, or any other smart tool as wind is unpredictable.

Get your hands on a piece of tarp. It is the best temporary solution for roof leaks until you wait for a roofer to come. The tarp piece should be able to cover the entire damaged area. In fact, the best option is to cut it a bit larger than necessary to ensure that it will not leak again. Also, the tarp should be extended over the ridgeline or it will basically leak again.

The tarp should, of course, be secured with some weight on each side. You can use boards or tiles, or anything suitable you find at home. You can also nail the tarp to these boards or materials but you should be careful not to create any new holes in the roof by yourself.

How to Prevent Roof Leaks

The most common reason for the occurrence of roof leaks is the lack of preventative maintenance. If the water flow on your roof gets interrupted, there is a chance that it will leak. Most commonly, this happens to pitched roofs.

A blockage in your gutters is the most common reasons for roof leaks. You should try to do regular maintenance by cleaning off any debris or leaves.

In the case of a roof leak, you should take all previously mentioned steps in order to minimize the damage and possibly locating the source of the leak. Then, you should contact Active Roofing at 01 8996305 for further information and a free quote.