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Guide to "Minimizing Damage When Your Roof Leaks"

Guide to "Minimizing Damage When Your Roof Leaks"
Article credit: Julian Lane
Photo credit: Pixabay
One of the biggest challenges of homeownership is when you run into problems, especially if it’s an issue you’ve never encountered before. Dealing with a leaky roof is one of those problems you don’t see very often, so most people don’t know what to do when it happens. Here, we discuss the immediate actions you can take to minimize the damage.

Assess the Situation
The way you respond to a leaky roof will depend on whether it’s an emergency situation or an ongoing problem. If you’re in the middle of a downpour and water is entering your home, you’ll need to intervene right away to prevent further damage. On the other hand, if you’ve just discovered a problem that has been going on for awhile, there may be other issues you have to deal with besides the roof repair, such as mold growth.

Haul Away the Damaged Items
A slow buildup of water over time can cause mold and general damage to the surrounding area. This might include damage to walls and moulding, along with furniture, boxes, or anything else you may have stored there. If you discover that any of your possessions have been so damaged that they aren’t salvageable, we recommend hiring a junk removal service to remove the items from your home right away. It’s easy to find experienced junk removal pros near you by searching online - so you can get the mold out of your home in a hurry.

Deal With an Emergency
The good news is that you don’t have to be a carpentry expert to take some action. To start, the roofing company America’s Best recommends finding the spot in your ceiling that seems to be the wettest or where you can see it sagging. Then, make a hole in the ceiling at that spot so that the water can exit, rather than continuing to pool up. This may increase the flow of water, but it doesn’t mean the leak is worse. Just be sure to collect the water by placing a bucket underneath.

The next step is to call a roofing professional, but while you’re waiting, you can often find the source of a leak and make an emergency repair. To help you find the source, The Spruce recommends taking measurements of where the leak is relative to two fixed points, such as a wall and your chimney. Then, go inside your attic and look for the entry point using these measurements. If it isn’t immediately noticeable, remember that it’s possible for the actual leak in your roof to be in a different spot from where it enters your living space.

After you have found the source of the leak, you have a couple of options for making a temporary repair. If you have any shingles or plywood, you may be able to create a patch. Another option is to create an emergency roof covering using a roll of plastic or a tarp.

Know What to Look For
You can’t always catch a roof leak before it happens, but any homeowner should know the signs you can keep an eye out for in the future, both inside your home and out. Walk around outside and look for any indication that shingles are worn or damaged. Inside your home, the telltale signs of a leak are dark spots and sagging of the ceiling.

It’s also smart to be aware of common causes of roof leaks. Besides the obvious ones like worn shingles, there are others you may not have thought of. These causes can include having a poorly ventilated attic or living in an area where storm damage is likely.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is why you don’t want to wait if any of these causes sound like they could apply to you. Unfortunately, no one can prevent every home problem, especially one as tricky as a roof leak. No matter what, the ultimate solution is to act fast, and then bring in a pro to put the pieces back together.

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