What to Do When You Spot a Roof Leak (And Why You Shouldn’t Wait)

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Did you know that household leaks waste approximately 1 trillion gallons each year?

Spotting a roof leak inside the house can make any homeowner break into a sweat. More often than not, it’s a sign of a bigger problem. The last thing you want to do is wait until the problem gets worse.

If you don’t know what to do when you spot a leak in your roof, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn how to take care of the problem.

Locate the Entry Point

The first thing you need to do when you get a leak in your house is looking for the source of the problem.

You need to go in search of the point of entry for the water. If you have an attic you might be able to start there.

The water might be coming into your house through the roof via the attic. Keep in mind, however, the water might not always be directly under the source.

Once you locate the entry point, you might be able to place a temporary tarp until you can get the roof fixed.

Contain the Water Leak Inside

If water is dripping down from the ceiling, you need to put a stop to it by placing a bucket or a trash can under the leak.

You will be able to spot the source of the leak in the ceiling because it will bulge and look discolorated.

To relieve the leak pressure from the rest of your roof and prevent further damage, you might want to let it drain.

Start by taking a screwdriver and puncture the middle of the bulge. You will see the water starts to flow free. If you don’t let the water drain, pools of water might collect in the ceiling.

A severe accumulation of pools can cause the roof to collapse.

Stop Further Damage

When there’s a leak in your house, the roof is not the only thing that could get damaged. Your furniture and electronics can get damaged as well. Can you afford to replace any of those items?

You should also your furniture out of the way to prevent extra damage. If the leak is only in one spot, you might be able to move it out of the way.

To protect furniture from further unexpected leaks, you should use a plastic covering. The last thing you want to do is come back home and discover a leak over your TV.

If you suspect the leak might be bigger than it seems, you might want to move the furniture out of the room completely.

Clean up the Water

Cleaning up the water is a step you don’t want to miss. After you’ve contained the leak, make sure you dry everything the water touched.

Dry your carpet, furniture, hardwood floors, and anything else that the water could have touched. Failure to do so could result in damage. Not only will it stain, but it could also lead to mold if you’re not careful.

If the water leak was extensive, you might want to call a professional cleaning service to help you take care of the excess water.

Inform Your Insurance Agent

Once you’re in a good place containing and cleaning up the leak, you should get on the phone with your insurance company.

They should be able to tell you if your insurance covers a leak in the room. If not, you can talk to them about your options.

Get Started on Fixing the Roof

You never want to leave your roof unattended after the leak. You need to take the necessary steps to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Get on the phone and start calling roofing contractors. Ask your friends and family to give you the names of any roofing contractors they’ve worked with in the past.

You should hire a licensed contractor that will work with your budget and can get it done fast.

What Happens if You Wait

You should never leave a roof leak unattended even if you contained it and took care of the problem. The consequences of waiting to fix a leaky roof can end up costing you a lot of money and put you and your family in danger.

Ceiling and Possible Attic Damage

If you don’t repair the leak, you might damage the attic and roof further. The roof and attic paint might damage and begin to peel off. There could also be damage caused to the plaster.

Mold and Mildew

Failure to clean and repair the leak might lead to mold and mildew. Mold is a fast growing nuisance that if left untreated it can create a bigger and more expensive problem.

Health Concerns

Not only can mold in your house affect your wallet, but it can affect your health.

Exposure to mold is dangerous for people who have respiratory issues such as asthma. It can cause nasal congestion and lead to severe allergic reactions.

Fire Hazard

Water leaking into your roof can make contact with your electrical wiring. If this water comes in contact with shorted wires it can cause a fire.

Dangers to the Structure of the House

A leaky roof can have the most impact on your house’s structure. The water can damage the ceiling joists, wall framing, and even the rafters.

Will Cost More Money in the Long Run

You might not want to repair your leaky roof due to cost, but if you don’t you might be looking at thousands more in repairs.

Prevent Future Leaks

There are measures you can take to prevent future leaks from happening. For example, trimming the trees around your house will prevent branches from falling and damaging your roof.

Ensure you always keep your gutters clean to prevent water from pooling on your roof.

Get your roof inspected every few years to replace broken shingles and prevent future problems.

Got a Roof Leak? Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late

A roof leak can is a sign of concern for most homeowners. Next time you see your roof leaking follow these steps to contain and fix the problem.

Does your roof need repairing? Contact us for more information.