How to Deal With Water Damage from a Leaking Roof

Whether your roof is brand new or has seen better days, a leaking roof is something you need to take seriously. When it comes to water damage after a rough winter, your house can end up seeing permanent, costly damage if your roof is compromised. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye out for water damage at all times. Protecting your home’s interior is your roof’s primary job. Not only does it exist to keep things dry and temperature controlled, a strong roof will help keep even the harshest aspects of the outside world such as ice dams, hail, and sleet, far from your door. Whether you rely on richmond roofers to fix a leaking roof or have another company in mind, being careful to call your repair person at the first sign of roof damage is a crucial aspect of salvaging your roof and keeping your home safe from rotting and warping. If you’re trying to deal with a roof leak, here are a few ways to keep your home dry and protected while help is on the way.

Find the Source

Before you do anything else, make sure you’re actually able to identify the problem. Sometimes the source of a leak is clear, but other times you’ll need to go searching. Start in the attic, where the damage is most likely to show. If you see a clear leak source, along with staining and moldy insulation, you can start clearing out the damaged areas and patching up your roof. However, if you’re having trouble finding the exact leak source and can’t access your attic, try spraying a small amount of water over various areas of your roof, starting around areas where there’s likely to be flashing installed. Have someone waiting below to monitor where the leak is springing up while you’re on the roof. Once you’ve found your culprit, you can start taking measures into your own hands.

Check Gutters

Your gutters might not seem like an obvious place to check for damage, but clearing them out could be the key to getting your roof back in working order. If you’re dealing with a backlog of water from an ice dam on your roof, you might not have sprung a leak yet, but the longer the ice sits on your roof, the more compromised your home becomes. Sometimes the answer is as simple as clearing out gunk from your gutter or installing heated attachments that melt ice dams and keep everything running smoothly. The less you have to worry about water sitting on the surface of your roof, the more protected you’ll be from creating bigger leaks and roofing issues.

Clear Out Appliances

If you have a serious leak coming down, you want to do more than put down a bucket and hope for the best. Before starting any work, move everything out of the area, including furniture, rugs, and any and all electrical appliances or extension cords. This will give you room to work if you’re planning on plugging up the leak yourself, as well as keeping your home items out of harm’s way. Once you’ve created a safety zone free of any plugs or switches, you can start applying caulking as a stopgap or working on a more long-term fix. If you’re simply trying to keep a leak from ruining your floors as well as your ceilings until your contractor comes, applying a bit of caulking or another temporary sealant will help. However, keep in mind that it won’t last forever and it’s not meant to. If you’re dealing with a serious leak, you need to call a professional right away.

Replace Damaged Vents and Flashing

If you’ve identified that the cause of your leak is badly-installed or rusty flashing, you’ll need to apply a new sheet around your chimney or vent in order to keep your roof watertight. This involves tearing up a fair amount of the area around your chimney, so make sure you don’t start this project and abandon it halfway through. If you have pre-measured pieces ready to install, all you have to do is clear away the damaged shingles and plywood and apply your new flashing. However, if you haven’t measured your chimney and you’re noticing more serious damage from an improperly installed flashing sheet, it’s time to call a professional to make sure you’re not just putting a band-aid on the damage. Again, using a bit of caulking to plug up gaps can help in a pinch, but it’s not a long-term solution.



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