Finding a roof or attic leak is never a fun experience. Your home is where you should feel safe and protected from the elements; however, sometimes those elements make their way into your home whether you like it or notóespecially when thereís a possibility that your home will suffer from water damage.
If your roof or attic starts leaking, there are some steps you can take to minimize any potential damage and take control of the situation.
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7 Things to Do If You Find a Roof or Attic Leak
Hereís what to do when you find a roof or attic leak:
- Move Things Away From the Leak
A leaking roof is bad enough; the last thing that you want to happen is the water running your belongings. If the leak occurs over important things like furniture or clothing, youíll want to clear the area ASAP. Water damage can destroy your belongings faster than youíd think, and nobody wants that. Also, many fabrics in your home can trap water, resulting in a mildew smell. Whatever you do, the first step should always be moving everything possible out of the way of the leak.
- Contain the Water Quickly
The next step when you have a roof or attic leak is to attempt to contain it as much as you can. Get buckets, towels, garbage cans, and anything else you can find lying around to capture the water and reduce the chances of damage to your home. Not to mention, this water can also damage your floors. Ensure that you have multiple containers nearby so that you can switch them out, reducing the risk of overflow.
- Relieve the Water Pressure in Your Ceiling
If you see a sagging bulge coming from your ceiling, thatís a sign that water is collecting in that area. Although it might seem counterintuitive to poke a hole in the bulging spot, do it. If you donít, the water can spread and quickly cause even more serious damage. It could also burst on its own, creating an even larger mess. Put a bucker underneath the spot and puncture the lowest point of it with a screwdriver to release the water and pressure. If the leak is large, you might have to puncture it several times.
- Take Photos for Your Insurance Company
After minimizing the risk of water damage from your leaky roof or attic, the next thing you do is crucial: take pictures of the leak and any damage that occurred. When you file your claim against your homeowners insurance policy, itís essential to have documentation of the incident and any damage that came as a result. We canít overstate how essential this step isódocument everything!
Related: A Complete Guide to High-Value Home Insurance
Not only does this help you show your insurance company the severity of the damage to your roof, but it also allows you to claim other items in your home that took damage, like computers, televisions, furniture, etc. Depending on your policy, your insurance company may replace those items as well as the leaky roof.
- Contact a Professional Roofing Company
A leaking roof or attic is a big deal and a big undertaking. Unless youíre 100% confident in your roof repairing abilities, itís best to get in touch with a professional company that knows how to handle your situation. The longer you wait, the more time your leak has to continue causing damage. Thereís only so much you can do to mitigate the damages, as we mentioned above, and itís important to get the leak fixed ASAP. Moving your items and trying to catch the falling water is only a quick fix while you wait on someone to take care of the cause of the damage.
Not only will a professional roofing company repair the damaged areas, they can inspect other areas for potential problems, and roofing consultants like Advanced Consulting can also help you get the most value out of your insurance claim based on the amount of damage.
- Tarp Your Roof if You Canít Get Help Immediately
If, for any reason, you canít get the leak fixed right away, using a tarp is your next best (temporary) option. When itís safe to do so, you can cover the problem area of your rook with a tarp, but sometimes it can be a challenge just to locate the problem area. Once you find the leaky area, you can cover it with a tarp thatís at least 6mm thick and covers four feet across the spot and up to the roofís peak. This ensures that the area gets covered completely while you wait for repairs.
- Practice Regular Roof Maintenance
Once you fix the roof or attic leak and everythingís back to normal, itís not quite over yet. Performing routine maintenance on your roof is the single best way to control and prevent future leaks. It gets a lot of wear and tear being exposed to the elements year-round.
Routine roof maintenance includes:
- Inspecting trees that grew too close to the roof and trimming back limbs and branches.
- Cleaning out your downspouts and gutters to keep them clear of leaves and debris so that water can run off of your roof safely.
- Checking for damage like missing shingles after severe weather and storms.
- Locating and replacing any missing, split, or curled shingles.
Weather like rain, hail and snow can weaken your shingles over time, and itís important to check them regularly for any damage.
Fixing Roof and Attic Leaks
A roof or attic leak isnít only frustrating, but it can cause serious damage as well, including mold, electrical hazards, and ceiling damage.
If you find a roof or attic leak, donít panic. It might be a huge inconvenience, but if you follow the seven steps listed above, youíll be able to get it under control. However, thereís only so much you can tackle on your own, and professional assistance is a must when it comes to roof and attic damage.
Leaky roof? Get in taken care of correctly and quickly with Advanced Consulting!