Roof leaks should never be ignored. If you don’t take immediate steps to fix a leak, you could wind up with a very expensive problem. The result of a roof leak can be mold, flooding and extensive repairs throughout your home, not to mention damage to the roof itself. Keep in mind that no roof lasts forever; asphalt shingle roofs can last up to 40 years but many warranties don’t guarantee more than 25 years.
If you have found signs that your roof leaks, you can act quickly to limit the damaging effects. Acting quickly means that you should have a plan in place ahead of time.
If you have no idea what to do if your roof develops a leak, the tips below might be of some help.
Here are some of the steps to mitigating water damage and preventing the development of future leaks.
Protect Your Valuables
After discovering a roof leak, the first thing to do is to prevent loss of property. Move items susceptible to water damage like furniture and electronics away from the vicinity of the leak or cover them with plastic sheeting.
Contain the Water
Place a container under the leak. If water is splashing out, place a towel under the bucket. If the volume of water coming in is too great to control with a bucket. Call a licensed roofer immediately.
Find the Leak
Once you have the situation in your living space under control, it’s time to find the source of the leak. Just because you spot a leak at a certain point in your ceiling, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it lines up with the source of the water coming in through the roof. Go into your attic and look for the location of the leak your ceiling and try to spot where the water is coming in through your roof.
Implement a Temporary Fix
There are a few short-term repairs that can help to stop the leak until you get it fixed. By stopping the leak, you can prevent water damage to the roof and your home’s interior. Your Options include applying either roofing cement or roofer’s tape. Both can help to seal the hole and keep water from getting in. Another option is to place a tarp over the part of the roof with the leak. Placing a tarp on your roof is something that you should wait to do after the rain has stopped and your roof has dried off. Trying to walk on a wet roof while rain is falling is hazardous.
When placing a tarp on your roof, pull it tight and seal the highest side with roofer’s tape to keep water from getting under it and continuing to pour through the hole.
The Dangers of Waiting
When dealing with a roof leak, what you don’t want to do is wait. Roof leaks don’t magically go away on their own. If you are dealing with a small leak, it will only grow into a big one if you don’t fix it right away. Here’s what can happen if you take your time getting your roof fixed:
The Repair Cost Goes Up
Even a small leak can let enough water in that will damage your insulation and other parts of your home if it is left standing. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage will be and the more you will need to spend on repairs.
Greater Likelihood of Mold Growth
You might think that a little water never hurt anyone and that a minor leak isn’t that serious. What you should know is that water doesn’t just do cosmetic damage, it can bring mold. Wet drywall and insulation are perfect for mold growth. If you don’t deal with your leak, you may wind up paying for mold remediation. Cleaning up mold because of a roof leak is as expensive as it is easy to avoid. Mold can cause serious health problems if you are allergic or have asthma. Even if you aren’t allergic, it can still cause eye and nose irritation that can affect people and animals in the home.
Your Roof System’s Lifespan Will be Shortened
Replacing a roof is extremely expensive and massively inconvenient, which is why people tend to procrastinate when faced with the need to do it. One way to maximize your roof’s lifespan is to deal with leaks as soon as you can upon discovering them. Ignoring them weakens your roof and you will find yourself needing to replace it much sooner than you would have otherwise.
If you have discovered a roof leak, it’s time to call in a professional roofing contractor to inspect your home and fix the problem before becomes a major issue. To learn more about roof leak inspections or to schedule an estimate, fill out our contact form to hear back from us.