For any homeowner, how to stop a leaking roof during a storm represents a big concern, no matter the weather conditions. Indeed, a roof leak may scale rapidly, turning into an emergency. By the moment you notice the water in your house, the drywall will be already soaked. So, if you don’t tackle this issue on time, it may end collapsing.
Fortunately, you can take a few basic actions to avoid additional damage and more costly repairs. This way, you will control the damage while one of our roofing experts arrives to solve the problem.
Below, we will describe the steps you should follow to handle this situation until getting professional help.
Basic Measures to Deal with a Roof Leak
1. Stop damage extension:
First, you need to avoid water damage extending to the interior of your home. Put fabrics, furniture, and any other item vulnerable to water away from the leaking point. If you observe that the water generated a bulge in the ceiling, puncture a small hole in the center of the bulge, using a screwdriver or awl. This way, the accumulated water will drain and will not continue damaging the drywall.
2. Find the leak source:
Now, you will have to detect where the water comes from.
(Note: if between one storm and another water spots dry, you may be dealing with a leaky roof. However, a plumbing leak could be the reason for water presence, regardless of weather conditions).
Enter your attic carefully prepared with a flashlight, a bucket, and the necessary safety gear. You have to find the place where the ceiling is waterlogged. You will look for visible wet spots or water-compacted insulation zones between roof joists.
Remember that water always will take the easiest way, and it usually goes along structural beams or rafters.
3. Catch the incoming water:
After spotting the water entrance point, place a small piece of wood across several ceiling joists. The idea is to put a bucket or small can to pick up the entering water.
Do not place the bucket directly on the ceiling or drywall. Consider that the bucket will weigh more as it fills so it may break through the already saturated ceiling.
Also, seek other points in the roof through where daylight is shining. If you find them, insert a tiny straw or dowel in them to later spot these points from outside.
4. Patch the hole:
Now you can proceed to patch the hole provisionally with some scrap materials and a little tar. Use a knife to fill the crack or hole carefully with roofing tar. Then, push a small piece of plywood or a spare shingle against the tar. This will allow firmly sealing the hole. Place extra roofing tar on the outsides of the single or plywood to cover even more the patch and avoid water filtering.
Besides, you can apply more roofing tar below the external shingles in the affected point once the storm decreases and the roof is dry. The dowels or straws previously inserted will help you spot the problematic spots.
If you cannot locate precisely the holes or cracks in the roof, the water could filter through the flushing of the roof. You can handle the issue using a tarp to cover a part of the roof.
To cover the damaged points, measure the distance between the leak source (using the dowels inserted before) and the roof’s ridge.
Now, cut the tarp employing a utility knife to the measured size, adding a few extra feet on each end to ensure sufficient coverage. Use sandbags on top or attach 2x4s to opposite extremes of the tarp with small nails or staples to keep the tarp secured on the roof.
(Note: Make sure the tarp covers the roof ridge. Otherwise, water will follow entering the roof).
By following these steps, you will avoid the damage scaling. Thus, secure your roof and your home while our roofing experts finally solve the situation.
As usual, you can contact us online here or give RRG Roofing a call at 678-325-6949 to get a free consultation or talk about preventative maintenance with one of our roofing specialists in Dahlonega, GA, or Murphy, NC.