Is a leaking roof an emergency?
Leaking water pipes and leaking roofs isn’t something a homeowner wants to deal with but knowing that any roof water damage covered by insurance can make it a little easier to deal with. Even though filing the roof water damage insurance claim is a hassle, its nice to know that you won’t be out the expense of a repair or replacement roof.
A roof leak is never a good thing, but there are times that it is more of an emergency than not like during a major rainstorm can turn into a critical emergency quickly. Alas, it is during a major rainstorm when a roof leak happens, and roof water damage happens.
What to do if water is leaking from the ceiling?
The longer you take in fixing a leak in the ceiling, the more damage it can cause. Before you can fix the ceiling though, you need to find the source and fix that first. To find the source, look for any signs where water could be coming in, like crumbling or sagging drywall that is moist or wet. Or look for old signs where it has been leaking like brown stains.
Then, place a drop cloth or tarp on the floor under the leak and bucket on that directly under the leak. Next, with a screwdriver, poke a hole in the area of the leak is coming from, but not next to the framing boards, so that water can drain from it.
The larger the hole you create, the better you’ll be able to see where the source of the leak. Be prepared that if water is or has been accumulating over the ceiling, at any time, the ceiling could get heavy from the water and form a larger hole or even collapse, thus making the roof water damage worse.
What to do if your roof is leaking?
If you have a roof leak and the roofer can’t be there right away, you need to do some damage control yourself to minimize or stop any more roof water damage than there already is. Above, we covered the steps to take in finding the source and stopping the leak. Repair the source where the leak is to thwart future damage. Some of the most common ceiling leak sources are:
- Roof flashing
- Damaged or missing shingles
- Plumbing pipes, vents
- Air conditioner
Next, you need to call your insurance agent. Getting the roof claim started as soon as possible means you’ll get your roof fixed sooner. In the meantime, you need to take steps that will mitigate the leak and further roof water damage.
A quick repair in an emergency for a leaking roof covers the entire affected area with an outdoor tarp, pulling it tightly and smoothing it out. This will stop any more rain getting into your home. If there are broken, curled, loose or missing shingles, they can be re-adhered or replaced temporarily.
- Straighten the curled shingles by softening them with a hairdryer or heat gun, then using roofing cement, glue them down.
- Any loose shingles should be slid under the bottom of the row above and nailed down with 6d galvanized nails. Smear roofing cement overall nail heads.
- Any shingles that are cracked or worn, apply roofing cement over those areas.
- Any flashing that is broken, loose, or missing, reattach apply roofing cement over the area.
Remember, these are only temporary repairs. A professional roofing contractor should examine your roof to assess the damage to the roof and any roof water damage that it has sustained. Your homeowner’s insurance company may give you a list of roofing contractors to use or have you find one on your own.
Can a leaking roof collapse?
A damaged ceiling that has roof water damage and it is still raining, or the rain was so heavy, the roof is saturated, and the water is sitting on it, it is weakening the roof, ceiling, and the framing boards. The weight of any debris and water will cause the ceiling to sag, and if that water isn’t removed, using the process we mentioned earlier, it can cause the ceiling to collapse.
If the framing boards have sustained enough damage, partial or the entire roof can collapse. Therefore, it is important to do a temporary repair until you can get a professional roofing contractor on site.
What damage can a leaking roof cause?
Like any household repairs, it can cause more damage if a leaking roof and roof water damage. A leaking roof left alone can cause any of the following:
- Damage to attic and ceiling: The primary dangers of a leaking roof is to the attic and the electrical wiring and personal items there. If a roof leak is where there isn’t any attic space, the interior ceiling can be damaged, including the ceiling paint and nearby walls. It can also damage on anything that is ceiling-mounted like fans and lights.
- Mildew and mold: One serious consequence of and roof water damage is mildew and mold growth. Mold will spread throughout your home and into the HVAC system and through the vents into the rest of the house, getting into the carpeting, curtains, furniture, and clothing. A chronic water intrusion will always result in black mold, and while toxic black mold growth isn’t common, non-toxic black mold will attack the ceiling tiles, floor covering, and wood framing. Mold may seem to remove easily, but it is difficult and expensive to eliminate.
- Health concerns: The mildew and mold that result from unattended and roof water damage can lead to health issues, especially serious for any own with high sensitivity like asthma, inflammations, nasal congestion, and rhinitis. Mold spores will continue growing, creating and/or irritating allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and other health issues.
- Fire hazard: Any electrical wiring in the attic or ceiling are at danger with a leaky roof and roof water damage. As soon as there is a suspected roof leak, the electricity to the affected area should be shut off and examined by a professional electrical contractor.
- Slip and fall hazards: A leaking roof will create a puddle on the floor, and while this isn’t the biggest risk you’ll have, it is a danger, especially for a family with children.
- Increased utility bills: Increased utility bills result from a leaking roof because the water intrusion damaged the attic insulation by saturating it. The longer the water intrudes, it depletes the insulation causing your home to lose the cooled or heated air, affecting your energy bills.
- Structural integrity compromised: The most severe consequence from a leaking roof or and roof water damage is damage to the ceiling joists, rafters, wall framing, fascia boards, and exterior trim. Roof water damage left alone will cause any wood to deteriorate and weaken, rot the roof framing, and more. This can quickly go from needing a roof repair or replacement to the entire house being damaged.
New roof leaking
Last week, you had a new roof installed. It rains this past weekend and you still have a roof leak! What do you do? Call the roofing contractor and explain what you’re seeing. You should expect a fix and sound confident that the contractor will make it right. Be sure you are talking to the right person who will make this happen and get the name of the person you’re speaking with, noting the date and time. Stay with the facts and stay realistic with the time frame, being clear on your expectations. Take the time to be understanding with the scope of the problem and the contractor’s plan of action.
Need roof leak repair for your roofing system in Kerrville, TX? Dial 830-955-5075 today for quality roofing services from Cypress Roofing.