10 Tips for Managing Roof Leaks Until You Can Get Professional Help
- 10 Tips for Managing Roof Leaks (top)
- Minimize Interior Damage
- Investigate the Attic or Crawlspace
- Redirect Leaking Water with a Bottle Funnel
- Examine from a Distance
- Look for These Causes of a Roof Leak
- Clear Away Leaves and Debris
- Remove Fallen Tree Limbs
- Sweep Away and Soak Up Standing Water
- Use a Tarp to Cover the Area
- Follow These Rooftop Safety Tips
- What Happens if You Ignore a Roof Leak?
- Professional Leak Management with Flexible Financing
- FAQs About How to Stop a Roof Leak
professional Bowie roofing contractor to fully inspect, identify, and install a new leak-proof roof. As a homeowner, you might put off replacing that leaky roof for fear of a costly repair bill. With flexible financing options, Capitol Improvements ensures that you can replace your roof quickly and affordably before the leaks create more extensive--and more expensive--damage. If you notice your roof leaking, don't ignore it! Contact your roofing contractor right away (if you're in the D.C. area, contact us), and follow the 10 steps below to manage roof leaks until help arrives. flat roof from the ground. Signs of damage may be obvious using this method—a tree limb that’s fallen on the roof, or a missing shingle—or you may need to go in for a closer look to examine the cause of the leak.
Aged or brittle roofing materials.
Roofing materials naturally deteriorate as they age, gradually becoming less and less effective at protecting the home from water damage.
Look for patches of roof that look especially brittle or damaged by age (lifting edges, crumbling materials, melted tar).
Metal roof flashing is used at roof joints and transitions where water flows heavily or where absorption may occur. Flashing is an important part of protecting your home from roof leaks, and aged or damaged flashing is a common cause of leaking roofs.
Look for flashing where your roof joins a dormer, where the chimney travels through the roof, and around the edges of features like skylights and vents.
Examine flashing for sections that have slid out of place due to missing nails, or portions that have lifted because of dried and cracked caulking.
Missing or lifted shingles.
If you have a shingled roof, it may be susceptible to damage from strong winds and heavy rain or snow. Severe windy weather can lift a weak shingle and even tear it off completely.
If a shingle is lifted or missing, your roof is susceptible to water absorption in that spot.
While examining your roof, look at your shingles to make sure they’re each laying flat and flush, and that none of them are missing.
Pooling water on flat roofs.
If you have a flat roof, your roof is made of waterproof membranes, and it is positioned at a slight angle (usually about a 1% slope) to help shed water.
However, waterproofing materials can age or become damaged, causing water to shed less effectively.
If you have a flat roof, pooling or standing water can be a major cause of a leaking roof.
Debris on the roof.
Another way windy and inclement weather can cause roof leaks is by creating a buildup of litter on the roof. Leaves, pine needles, and twigs can create a layer of debris that traps water against the roof surface and eventually causes it to seep through. Look for piles of debris on your roof that could be causing a leak.
Additionally, look for larger debris—like fallen tree limbs—that could have punctured or weakened roofing materials upon impact.
Your roof’s gutters are critical in keeping water from pooling and soaking through roofing materials. They keep rain and melted snow flowing in the right direction—downwards off the roof.
If your gutters are blocked by leaves or other debris, water won’t be able to escape and may cause a roof leak.low-sloped roof), carefully sweep water downwards off the roof. Remember to use a soft broom and not sweep too aggressively, especially if you have a flat roof that can be easily damaged by scratching and gouging. Be mindful not to step or put pressure on the area where water has been pooled, as it may be weakened. To further reduce potential water damage, you can use a mop or towels to soak up any remaining pooled water.
- If you have a flat roof, simply spread the tarp out evenly across the damaged area with plenty of room on each side. Set down the boards to hold the covering in place.
- If you have a sloped roof, you can place one set of boards (one side of the tarp) over a peak in the roof to anchor the covering in place.
Don’t take risks.
If you’re fearful of heights or have a particularly steep and/or high-up roof, or a roof made of slate or tile, it’s best to manage roof leaks as best you can from inside the house and attic without going up on the roof.
Fixing a roof leak isn’t worth the potential damage—to yourself and to your roof—you could cause if you’re not well prepared.
Wait for better weather.
When you notice your roof leaking, chances are high that it’s raining or has been raining heavily.
While it can be tempting to go up to the roof immediately to check things out, you should always wait until the weather clears up and is no longer rainy, windy, or showing signs of lightning.
Follow the buddy system.
We recommend never going up on your roof alone. If there’s an accident of any kind, you need someone there to help. A partner can also be helpful when you need materials passed up to you from below.
Use your ladder correctly.
Make sure your ladder is in good condition. Set it on a firm and level surface. Your ladder should extend at least three rungs above the edge of your roof so that it can be easily accessed on the way down.
Have someone hold the bottom of your ladder while you ascend and descend to help keep the ladder stable. You can also apply tie-down straps from the gutter spikes to the ladder to reduce movement.
Avoid carrying anything up or down the ladder.
Wear the right gear.
Any time you go on the roof, you need to wear solid shoes or boots with rubber soles and superior traction to help reduce slipping. In some states, a safety harness is required to work on roofs that are more than 10 feet high. If the sun is out, make sure to also wear a long-sleeved shirt and sunscreen to protect you from damaging rays.Bowie roofing professional as soon as possible. Here is what can happen if you choose to ignore a roof leak—even a relatively minor one—instead.
More expensive repairs.
Ignoring a leak won’t make it go away. On the contrary: ignoring a roof leak will inevitably mean more expensive repair bills later on, once the damage has become more severe.
Adding onto those repair bills, ignoring a roof leak can lead to a costly and unpleasant mold remediation process. Mold is not only a hazard to your home, but if ignored, mold exposure can also lead to allergic reactions and illness in both people and pets.
Decreased roof lifespan.
Roof replacements are a taxing process and not one that anyone wants to experience too often. While all roofs will have to be replaced at some point, a consistently leaking roof will have to be replaced sooner.
Professional Washington D.C.-Area Roof Leak Management With Flexible FinancingThe best way to manage leaks is with the help of roof leak experts. While you can mitigate the damage from a roof leak in the short term, the only way to truly repair a leak is with professional materials and application. Capitol Improvements is an award-winning residential and commercial roofing provider in the Washington D.C. area with more than 30 years of experience in roof repair. Best of all, we offer flexible financing to help you fix that roof leak right now, rather than later.
Review of Washington D.C. Area Roofing Contractor⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ "I recently had my roof, gutters and siding replaced. Ryan and Juan were respectable and knowledgeable men. They paid close attention to detail and were very patient. Seth scheduled the delivery of material. It was on time and they took special care to not damage my lawn and flower beds. If you are looking for a company that is knowledgeable, patient, kind, experienced and provides excellent and high quality of work, look no further, Capitol Improvements is it." -Ninotchica A. (Google Review) Read our other Reviews!
- Minimize interior damage
- Investigate the attic or crawlspace
- Redirect leaking water with a bottle funnel
- Examine from a distance
- Look for these causes of a roof leak
- Clear away leaves and debris
- Remove fallen tree limbs
- Sweep away and soak up standing water
- Use a tarp to cover the area
- Follow these rooftop safety tips