DIY: Hold Off Major Roof Leak Damage

Roofing emergencies caused by weather can happen year-round. Nasty hail storms, powerful wind gusts and torrential rain all occur in our area, and your roof is on the front lines every day, 24/7.

If your roof is compromised during a storm, aleak could occur without warning. Knowing what to do to hold off major roof leak damage can save you thousands of dollars if you act quickly. Keep a tarp, a large bucket and a screwdriver or ice pick handy. It may seem like an unconventional storm kit, but it could end up saving you thousands of dollars of water damage if used properly.

When a heavy storm rolls through your neighborhood, be prepared to identify and act on an emergency leak:

#1 Identify the leak. A major roof leak most often occurs during a storm with heavy rainfall. Chances are you won’t be outside to see what’s happening to your roof. From the inside you may see a wet spot forming on your ceiling. If it grows as you watch it or even starts to drip, you’ve got a major roof leak on your hands.

#2 Call a professional roofer immediately. If you have a roof leak of these proportions, you need to call a local roofer immediately. They can do damage control and try to stop the leak before it gets worse. A good roofer will also return after the emergency and identify the cause of the leak and offer you a comprehensive solution for fixing your roof.

#3 In the meantime, help drain the water from your ceiling. If you can’t get ahold of a roofer for an emergency repair, or you have to wait awhile for one to be available, you can take some steps to help limit the water damage.

  • Place a tarp under the area where water is pooling in your ceiling and beginning to leak through.
  • Put a 5 gallon or larger bucket directly under the leaking area. Put a towel in it to reduce splashing.
  • Use a stepladder or chair so you can reach the ceiling where water damage is occurring.
  • Use a screwdriver, knife or ice pick to puncture the ceiling material in the center of the leaking area.

This method will help funnel water from the ceiling into the bucket below, preventing it from affecting a larger portion of your home and causing more damage. By no means does it solve your leaking roof problem, but it will buy you some time while a professional roofer is on the way.