When a home’s roof leaks, it’s usually discovered at the most inopportune time. That’s just logical because a leak is far more likely to make itself known when it is pouring buckets than on a nice sunny day.

Your first move will almost certainly be to place buckets and towels under the drips and to mop up whatever’s wet. Next, call a roofer who offers emergency service. And call your insurance company.

When the roofer arrives, they’ll probably go into the attic (if you have one) to find the source of the leak. They probably can’t fix the leak until it stops raining, but finding the leak from the inside gives them a good idea of where the repair will be needed. And they’ll likely spread a tarp over the roof to prevent more water from entering. That’s about all they can do at the moment.

Before the roofer arrives, though, follow these steps to minimize damage to your home.

Drain Water From the Ceiling

Where there’s a drip in the ceiling, water is pooling above. To prevent that pool from spreading and saturating even more of the ceiling material, poke a hole in the ceiling at the spot of the drip. Place a bucket underneath it to collect the runoff.

Get Up to the Attic

It is not a good idea to go onto the roof during a storm, but you should go into the attic and do everything you can to prevent the water from leaking down to the floors below. If you can find the leak, you may be able to capture it with buckets, but you’ll have to go back up periodically to check and possibly empty them. It might be possible to lay down a tarp under the drip and create a channel to make the water flow into a hose, which you lead down from the attic and into a sink or out through a window.

Get up on the Roof (Maybe)

When the weather clears, and if you feel comfortable working at heights, you can go to the roof and place a temporary patch or lay a tarp over the damaged area. (Working on roofs and using ladders present significant hazards. Please read this article first and exhibit due caution.) If you have a peaked roof, drape the tarp over the ridge so that water can’t run under the top edge of the tarp. This is definitely a temporary measure meant only to minimize further damage until you can get a permanent repair done by a professional.

Prevent Problems in the First Place

The best way to handle a roof leak is to prevent it from occurring. Inspect your roof twice a year to ensure that it is in good condition. Any time that you notice loose or missing shingles, call a professional roofer to repair it. Do it right away, because leaks will occur at the worst possible time – when it’s raining.

A roof leak needn’t be a disaster. Keep a cool head, do what you can minimize damage while the rain continues, and call Quality Discount Roofing in Jacksonville for prompt, professional roof inspection and repairs: 904-396-5000.

Other topic: Is Your Skylight Letting in More Than Sunshine?
Related topic: Roof

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