Stopping a Roof Leak in the Rain
Perhaps it is raining hard, there is a hurricane, or you just have to wait for a professional to come and fix the roof leak. What are the ways you can temporarily repair a roof leak from the inside of the home or in the attic?
In the Attic
If you are able to make it into the attic, there are some ways you can remediate to stop further water damage.
Step 1. Get into the Attic and Locate the Leak
If you can walk through the attic and find the roof leak, that’s perfect! Be sure to watch your step because if you walk on drywall, you WILL FALL! Only walk on trusses! (Please have a professional come out if you are not comfortable walking in the attic.)
If you are having trouble locating the roof leak here are a few tips:
- Go directly above where your water leak is in your home.
- Look for stains on the insulation. Typically the stains will be a yellowish color.
- Look on the wood for stains that are typically a blackish color.
- Water travels down the roof slope before actually appearing on the ceiling. Look up the roof slope for the water entry point.
Step 2. Catching the Water
There are several ways you can do this. If possible, the best way is to put a bucket where the water is directly falling to catch the water.
Sometimes this is not possible. In that event, you can use tarp to catch a large area of falling water. Have the tarp continue down the roof slope to the roof eaves/soffits so the water can exit the exterior of the house.
Step 3. Monitor and Make Adjustments
Your system is catching the water, but be sure to monitor the system throughout the storm. The bucket may need replacing, or the tarp may need adjusting as other leaks develop.
In Your House
If you cannot get into your attic, there are still ways to stop further damage to your ceiling and interior.
Step 1. Locate the Leak
If you are reading this, you probably know you have a roof leak, so great! Onto step 2!
Step 2. Make the hole bigger
That’s right! You can use a nail for this or use a knife to cut a little hole. The point of this is to stop the water from sitting on top of your drywall. Sitting water creates ponding water. Ponding water creates damage!
Step 3. Catch the Water
Once you have located the leak and made the hole bigger, water should be flowing into your home now. Place a bucket to catch the water and replace it as needed.
What happens if you do not fix a roof leak in an emergency?
I have personally completed inspections after Florida hurricanes where homeowners did nothing during the roof leaks.
This ALWAYS leads to much more damage than what it could have been. Sitting water on drywall or on wood in your attic soaks up into your building materials which renders them useless.
I have seen huge portions of drywall fall onto beds due to water that did not drain. I have seen trusses or plywood rot further because water sat there. Ultimately, the goal when you have a roof leak is to let the water drain asap!
Leaving a roof leak alone will always cause more damage. Do your best to remediate the situation until a licensed roofer can make the proper repairs.
Wanting to fix a roof leak yourself? Here is a great resource if you are handy.
Feel free to contact us or comment below if you have questions!