What to Do When Your Roof Leaks
When the Roof Leaks, Don’t Panic
When you notice the roof of your Indianapolis home leaks, it at the very least will seem like a significant inconvenience. If a lot of water is coming in, it can seem like a catastrophe. The water can damage the items inside the house and the floors. It can collapse a ceiling. Dampness can even promote the growth of toxic mold.
But don’t lose your head. There’s plenty you can do to keep roof leaks from becoming unmitigated disasters, especially when you catch them early. When you’re watching out for them, be aware that the first sign might not be water on the floor. It could just be a discolored spot on the ceiling that reveals the presence of water above the ceiling.
When you’re vigilant enough to detect roof leaks early, follow these steps in order.
When the Roof Leaks, Catch the Dripping Water
If water is coming through a ceiling leak, put a bucket under it. Scraps of wood inside the pail will quiet the irritating drip-drip-drip sound. If your problem is more severe, and you’ve got more than drips to deal with, get as many of your possessions as possible safely away from the water and cover the things that are too heavy to move with sturdy plastic sheeting.
When the Roof Leaks, Drain the Water
Climb up a ladder or onto a sturdy, stable chair and poke a hole in the wet part of the ceiling with a screwdriver or similar implement. You may feel reluctant to inflict any sort of damage on your own ceiling, but the fact of the matter is, failure to take this action can make things a lot worse. More moisture could seep in, or the weight of accumulating water could even make the entire ceiling fall down. At which point you’ll have to confront the fact that replacing all of it is far more expensive than just patching a little hole would have been.
When the Roof Leaks, Get Busy Investigating
See if you can figure out where the water is coming from, and be aware that water flows down flashing or trusses until it finds a weak point. That means the actual breach in the roof could be far away from the spot where the water is falling in to the living area of your home.
If you can get into your attic space, you’ll find it easier to search for roof leaks during daylight hours. Then turn off the lights. If you see a place in the roof where sunlight’s shining in, that’s where the roof leaks, too.
When the Roof Leaks, Use More Water to Find the Problem
If the turning-off-the-attic light technique doesn’t work, have someone else (preferably someone surefooted) get on the roof with a hose and spray the surface one small section at a time. When he or she reaches the right spot, you should have water coming in just as it does when it rains.
When the Roof Leaks, Call the Professionals
Sadly, the hose technique isn’t 100%, either. When all your efforts to find roof leaks yourself prove unavailing, it’s time to consult a professional. The expert can both isolate the problem, explain what must be done to fix it, and schedule repairs when you give your okay.
When the Roof Leaks, Spread a Tarp
Regrettably, even after you’ve found the source of roof leaks, it’s not always possible to fix the problem the same day. Until it is fixed, make sure the roof is dry enough to climb on safely, then spread heavy plastic sheeting or a tarp at least six millimeters thick over the compromised section of roof.
Spread your covering of choice at least four feet from the edge of the problem, continue past the ridge of the roof, and go at least four feet down the other side. That ensures you really have covered the roof leaks adequately. Use 2×4’s to weight the starting and finishing edges of the covering down and hold them in place. Fold the edges of the covering over the boards and use a nail gun to attach them securely. You can weight the other edges as well if wind is a concern.
Proceed carefully. You don’t want to tumble off and hurt yourself or to make new leaks by nailing or screwing the 2×4’s onto the roof.
Roof Leaks: A Final Word
Roof leaks require prompt attention to keep them causing significant damage to your Indianapolis home and the items inside. So address them promptly, and if you need assistance, we invite you to call Stay Dry Roofing. We’re here to help you.