When you come across a leak it can be a little scary. Small leaks become big problems quickly, so it is important to act quickly should you find a leak in your roof. Of course, calling a roofer should be your first action but there are some things you can do to minimize damage before the roofer arrives.
How to Minimize Water Damage to Your Home?
- Funnel the flow: If your ceiling is holding water take a screwdriver and poke a hole into the center of the water bulge. This hole will serve as a funnel and pull the water to one location. This prevents the bulge from growing and possible breaking open at multiple points.
- Collect the water: With the water all flowing through one location, use buckets or pots to collect it. Garbage pails also work great for collecting larger water leaks. The added benefit of using garbage pails is that they typically have wheels which make it easier to move and dump the collected water.
- Cover your belongings: If there is anything of value in the room where the leak is it should be removed. If it cannot be removed then be sure to cover any items or furniture that you do not want to get damaged. Identification of a leak usually means there is damage to the exterior of the roof and each type of roof requires different approaches when it comes to temporary solutions. Regardless of the type of roof you have, be aware that pooled water can weaken the surface so you should be careful if you need to go on the rooftop. It is important to know about the various weak points for whatever roofing system you have.
- Tile: Tiles do not stop water from entering the roof. It is the underlay material and flashing that serve as a water barrier. Sealing tile cracks will therefore not stop a leak. Common areas for tile leaks are the chimneys, valleys, around skylights, and any penetrations. You can easily remove tiles to check for damage but make sure they are not damaged as you move them.
- Metal: Metal roofing is easier for identifying leaks. Leaks typically come from the fasteners, penetrations, or flashing overlaps. As screws age and the washers deteriorate, fasteners become prime locations for leaks. Silicone caulking can serve as a temporary solution. Any penetrations or areas where flashing is not overlapped correctly can result in a leak. The sealant can temporarily help but the sealants will need to be cleaned to avoid trapping moisture.
- Shingles: For pitched shingle roofing, you should lay a tarp or plastic to cover the area, all the way over the ridge line. Shingles are easier to replace once a leak has been identified, but securing the other shingles for safe working is essential.
- Flat roofing: Tarps and plastic are the best way to stop water seepage here. You can even stop leaks by sweeping any pooled water away from the roof. The most troublesome areas with flat roofing are the perimeters, vents, pitch pans, and drains. Take note that if the drains are where the leak is, you may need full-scale replacement as this is where the water is trained to go, so there is no easy fix.
When you spot a leak give us a call and we will get out to your property as soon as we can. Take advantage of the temporary solutions if you can and we can even advise which ones will work best for you until we get there. Never ignore a leak, call us today and we will help you get it fixed before any real damage occurs.