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What to Do When Your Roof is Leaking: 9 Key Steps to Take

Roof leaks aren’t just annoying and embarrassing; they’re also a health hazard. These leaks may lead to the growth and proliferation of mold and mildew. The spores from these fungi can then lead to serious respiratory complications, especially for people highly sensitive to the allergens.

Health matters aside, the water from your leaking roof can also lead to mild structural issues. The water that accumulates when your roof is leaking damages your ceiling and attic’s interior. Depending on the extent of the damage, it could even affect your ceiling fixtures like fans and lights that you mount on the ceiling.

So the next time you want to ignore that roof leak, you better think twice. Plus, repairing a leaking roof isn’t as difficult as you’d think. If you have a leaking roof problem, here’s what to do to address the problem once and for all.

Steps to Take When the Roof Is Leaking

Most folks solve their leaking roof issue with a simple mop and a bucket. Others just use the bucket only by placing them below the roof leak. 

Well, it’s time to put those mops and buckets away, because here’s a step-by-step process on how to take care of that annoying roof leak permanently.

Step 1: Cordon off the Area

That’s just a fancy way of saying mark the area where the roof leak is. That’s easy to spot because of the puddle that forms beneath the roof leak. In some cases, you might have multiple leaks, so make sure you get all of them.

A puddle doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a roof leak. Sometimes you’ll just feel a drop on your head while walking in your house. Also, a discolored patch on the ceiling means that there’s water pooling on that part of the ceiling.

Once you establish the point of leaking, place a bucket or any other container underneath to catch the falling drops. If you can’t stand the dripping sound, then place a cloth or scrap wood to muffle the sound.

Step 2: Drain Everything

Get a firm ladder and place it under the leaking area. Climb onto the ladder until you get exactly where the leak comes from. With a screwdriver, palette knife, or pen, puncture the area to make the water run freely.

It seems counterproductive, but you’re actually helping the situation by punching that hole into the ceiling. Doing so prevents too much water from pooling on your ceiling. In some cases, the water weight makes the ceiling sag and even crash in severe cases.

However, don’t punch a hole that’s too large, a hole about half an inch wide should be easy to repair once you’re done with everything.

Step 3: Get to the Bottom of Things

Just because water comes from that point on the ceiling, doesn’t mean that’s where the hole is on your roof. Water travels down your trusses before it finally drops to the ceiling. If you have flashing, then the water finds a weak spot on the flashing before getting to the ceiling.

The easiest way to find the hole on the ceiling is by shutting out all the light from outside and then checking the spot on the roof where the stream of light comes from. Mark the area with whatever you can before moving to the next step.

The other method is to have someone pour water on the roof with a hose, while you check for any leaks. The first method is way easier and less risky than this method.

Step 4: Get the Pros

Up to this point, you’ve done a pretty good job, and now the pros can take it from here. You’re never too good for some professional help, and sometimes finding the source of the leak is more complicated than you’d think. 

There are also lots of things that could lead to a leaking roof. Anything from clogged gutters, cracked shingles to a weak flashing may be causing the leak on your roof. A professional roofing contractor will quickly get to the cause of the issue and carry out the necessary repairs.

Here’s how you find the right roofing contractor

  • Check for license, insurance, and permits
  • Get multiple quotations from different companies
  • Inquire about guarantees
  • Ask if they can give you some roof maintenance tip to avoid further roof leaks

If you have too many leaking spots, then you might want to consider replacing your roof entirely. The benefits of a new roof make roof replacement an ideal option for most homeowners. It’s much better than dealing with multiple roof leaks every time.

Step 5: Trim Those Trees

Branches from trees may fall and puncture your roof, which makes it leak. The low hanging ones may also scrape your roof and do the same. Trim the branches off your trees regularly to avoid further leaks in the future.

Step 6:  Check or Replace the Flashing and Pipe Collars

Apart from repairing your roof, you may also need to address the flashing and collars. Damaged pipe collars or flashing leads to roof leaking. So you should check these areas for any damage, and repair or replace them to stop the roof leaks.

Step 7: Clean Your Gutters

Clogged gutters also cause roof leaks. This clogging is because over time tree debris, acorns, or other stuff may clog your gutters. This clogging leads to water accumulating on the gutter and leaking into your house. Use a hose to unclog your gutter, and remember to keep it clean always.

Step 8: Call Your Insurance Company

If you sustain substantial damage from your roof leak, like a crashed ceiling, then it’s best to tell your insurance company about it. That way, they can cover the repairs as per your insurance policy. If they don’t cover the damage, then you better get yourself a roofing contractor ASAP.

Step 9: Enjoy Your Home

With the roof repairs done, you no longer have to get the bucket whenever it rains. You can kick your feet up and enjoy the sound of the hitting your roof without worrying about any leaks.

Repairing a Leaking Roof Is Not a DIY Project

When the roof is leaking, it’s highly likely that you’ll want to address the issue on your own. No doubt you are a very capable person, but it’s better to leave some things to the professionals. You may solve the leaking problem but not permanently, so get the professionals to address the roof leak problem once and for all.

For more informative reads, have a look at all our other pieces on the site.