Handling A Roof Leak Until Help Arrives: What Homeowners Need To Know

Hopefully, you'll never experience the stress and frustration of a roof leak as a homeowner. Unfortunately, roof leaks are rather common--especially in older roofs--which is why it's a good idea to be prepared in the event that one does occur at your home. Your first step after discovering a leaking roof should always be to call a professional for roof repair. In the meantime, however, there are a few steps you can take to minimize damage and keep things under control.

Prevent Further Damage Indoors

Start by mitigating damage to the inside of your home. In most cases, water from a roof leak will pool in one area of your ceiling until it finds an escape route. If enough water is leaking in, part of your ceiling could eventually collapse, leading to costly damage and clean-up. This is where it can be helpful to drill a small hole in the area where the water is pooling. By doing this and placing a bucket underneath to collect the water, you can drain the water safely and with as little damage as possible.

Try to Locate the Source of the Leak

Sometimes finding the source of a roof leak is easier said than done. In fact, the leak itself may not always be located close to the water dripping into your home--especially when you consider that water will generally travel from its original source/leak to the closest joint in the plywood. This, in addition to the slope of your roof, could lead to a leak source that is actually very far away from the leaking water in your home.

Temporarily Stop the Leak

If you're able to identify the source of the leak and it's smaller in size, then you may be able to get away with applying a small amount of roofing cement to the leak until help arrives. Larger leaks or leaks caused by more extensive damage (such as that caused by a wind storm), on the other hand, may require you to lay a tarp over the affected area and secure it with wooden boards. You can secure the tarp to the boards using nails or staples; just be careful not to insert any nails or staples directly into your roof.

Getting a roof repair professional from a business like Berwald Roofing Inc out to your home as soon as possible following a leak is important, but taking these measures in the meantime can help you avoid further damage.