By: Julian Lane
Your roof is meant to protect your home from experiencing the elements. However, things like age, clogged gutters, and poorly installed skylights can leave you with a puddle of water on the living room floor. Do you know what to do in case of a roof leak? Keep reading for tips on how to get through this unwelcome turn of events.
As soon as you discover a drip from overhead, it’s time to get to work figuring out what, exactly, caused it. Head to the garage and grab your ladder. Unless the issue is obvious from the ground, you will have to get on top of the roof for a quick inspection. Look for things like missing flashing, broken shingles, or other damage. KTM Roofing in Atlanta suggests taking a quick peek for potentially slippery spots and wearing boots with traction-enhanced soles.
Next, stop the leak. A tarp works well as a temporary barrier until you can contact your roofing company to repair the damage. Keep in mind, however, that if it is still raining, repairs can wait. It is never in your best interest to stand on your roof during a rainstorm. If you have to wait (or if you were not around when the leak started), you may already have carpet and furniture that is too saturated to salvage. Look for a junk removal service to haul away these and other water-logged items, including mattresses and appliances. Remember, mold can start growing within 48 hours on wet carpet and upholstery; your home and health will be better off by moving it out the door as soon as possible.
After the Emergency
By now, you should have called your insurance agent to report the damage. They can advise you on what is covered and what is not. Regardless of what your insurer will pay for, your next priority is to fix the damage permanently. You do not have to use the first roofing company you find online, and contrary to popular belief, your insurance company cannot tell you who to use. Make a point to get multiple quotes, asking for licenses and insurance papers from each one. Ask about their inspection process; you will want to ensure they fix not only the visible damage but also any rotted or water-damaged wood that’s not visible.
For the Future
In an ideal world, you will only have to suffer one incident of roof damage and its related — and unfortunate — flooding. But what you do moving forward determines whether this is a one-off incident or a perpetual problem. Make a point to check the shingles, flashings, and pipe collars periodically. Even if you get a brand-new roof, these quick visual inspections can prevent another disaster. Also, trim any tree branches that are close enough to touch your roof in the breeze. Get Busy Gardening asserts that you can do this on your own with a few simple tools.
One of the most effective ways to prevent future damage is also one of the easiest: simply clean your gutters and downspouts. It’s not a bad idea to check these once every few weeks during the fall and winter because leaves, acorns, and other debris can collect and form a clog, which can then lead to everything from ice dams to a flooded basement and foundation issues.
To summarize, your first step is to remove anything that could cause mold. Next, fix the damage and then prioritize roof maintenance in the future. There is nothing fun about water damage. Unfortunately, as a homeowner, you will experience problems with your roof at some point. It is always best if you know ahead of time what to do so you are not caught completely unaware.
Image via Pexels