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What to Do When You Discover Your Roof Is Leaking

July 28, 20224 min read

It’s never fun to find out your roof is leaking. Whether you are at home when your ceiling springs a leak or discover it after returning from vacation, it is essential to take action immediately to minimize damage to your home and personal property.

Follow these steps to take care of the leak as soon as possible.

Cover Up Valuables

When you first realize that water is leaking from your ceiling, you need to minimize the potential damage. Move any furniture, electronics, and other valuables in the vicinity away from the leak point. Whatever items can't be moved immediately should be covered with plastic sheeting, a camping tent, or anything else that can be used as a water barrier.

Control the Water

Put a bucket or trash can under the leak to catch the water. Place a towel around the bottom of the vessel to minimize any splashes. Then, get on a ladder and use a hand drill to punch a hole in the ceiling in the center of the bulge where the water is accumulating. If you don’t do this and the pool of water continues to grow, you risk the whole ceiling collapsing, which can cause more damage, expense, and hassle. You can add a tarp to your roof as a temporary fix until you contact a roofer to complete the necessary repairs. If water is gushing into your home and you are having to empty the bucket quickly, you should be able to find a roofing contractor that offers 24-hour service in your area to address the issue right away.

Assess the Damage

Once the leak is under control, you need to take a closer look at possible damage. If you were away from home or for another reason didn't catch the leak right away, thoroughly dry the carpeting, baseboards, wood trim, furniture, and anything else that got wet. If your carpeting is extremely wet, you will need to pull it up and air out both sides, as well as the padding underneath. If it was soaking for quite some time, you may need the help of the pros. A professional water extraction or restoration company can handle such a job.

You want to take care of water damage promptly to avoid the development of mold. According to the CDC, mold can cause coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, and other symptoms. For people with mold allergies and those who are immune-compromised, more severe health problems can arise. If your couches, chairs, or other furniture were water damaged to the point they are no longer usable, consider hiring a junk removal company to remove anything that is large or bulky.

Don't Forget About Your Insurance

After assessing the water damage, call your homeowner's insurance agent to discuss the matter. Your policy may or may not cover damages caused by a leaky roof. Typically, if the damage is caused by a peril, then the policy will cover the damages. However, if it’s a result of a lack of maintenance or typical wear and tear, then the policy generally won’t pay out. Of course, this varies depending on the carrier and the details of your policy.

Get the Issue Fixed

Look for a licensed and insured roofer like Conquer Claims & Contracting to locate and fix the leak. Get all terms in writing before agreeing to have the work done. If the damage is extensive and your roof is old, it may be in your best interest to replace the roof entirely rather than having it repaired. Ask for written guarantees and have the roof inspected after the work is completed. Avoid future issues by inspecting your roof twice a year for signs of potential problems, as recommended by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

Consider a Move

If you’re renting, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to make roof repairs. If they’re dragging their feet or not being cooperative, it may be time to improve your living situation. With one-bedroom apartments averaging $900 per month, Fort Worth is an affordable area to relocate to, and many complexes offer amenities like a pool, covered parking, and a gym on the premises. If you need to hire capable movers, Google “local moving companies near me” and read reviews and customer feedback. Before hiring a mover, always insist on an in-person inspection.

Small leaks don’t go away; they just become bigger leaks. Large roof problems can not only lead to complete roof replacement but also greatly increase the chance of major water damage occurring inside your home. If your roof is leaking, no matter how small the leak, don’t ignore it. Instead, have a plan and take quick action to mitigate the damage.

Photo via Pixabay

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Fort Worth, TX 76133

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