My Roof is Leaking, Now What? (Step by Step Guide to Stopping a Roof Leak)

So your roof sprung a leak, now what? A leaking roof can be stressful, especially if you are not sure what to do. If left alone a leaking roof can become an even bigger problem. So don’t ignore your leaking roof. With a few simple steps, your roof leak can be a distant memory.

  • Contain the Water

The first step to take when you spot a roof leak is to contain the water. Grab a pot, bucket, empty trash can or another water-tight container to place beneath the leak and catch the water. If possible find the leak in the attic space. If the water leak is active you might be able to find where the water is dripping and place the container underneath it. This will prevent the water from causing damage to the paint, drywall, flooring, and other parts of the home. Extended exposure to water can cause permanent damage to these items and the repair costs can really add up. However, leaks can be difficult to track, so if you can not locate the leak inside the attic or you don’t have access to your attic, just place the container below where you do see the water dripping. Once the water is contained inside the house, now it is time to step outside.

  • Tarp the Area Leaking if Possible

If it is safe for you to do so and you have the right tools for the job, tarping the whole area of the roof where the water is penetrating will likely stop more water from getting inside your home. Tarps should only be used in emergencies and as a stop-gap measure. Extended use of tarps can lead to more issues and roof damage than the original leak.

  • Call a Roofing Contractor

Not all roofing contractors are created equally. When your roof is in need of repair, trust a roofing company that specializes in residential roofing and has experience with repairs. At Valentine Roofing our repair estimators are highly trained to identify the cause of a variety of roofing issues, assess the overall scope of the roof repair or project, and create a thorough plan to address all your roofing needs. Our team can often schedule appointments within a few days for a free estimate to inspect your roof. And our estimators can even provide certain repairs on the spot in an emergency. When you need to call a roofing contractor for your roof, call Valentine Roofing. (206) 575-7656.

  • Don’t Wait

More often than not, leaks are active well before they are discovered. Some leaks can be active for weeks, months, or even years before they show. Often leaks will present as water stains on ceilings or walls. Small leaks usually grow over time. They can also become large quickly after major weather like a snow or ice storm. To minimize secondary damage from water penetration, it is important to act quickly. Waiting to have your leak addressed will eventually lead to larger leaks, drywall damage, paint bubbling, damaged furniture, warped floors, or even electrical issues. Save yourself, money, time, and a future headache by addressing your roof leak head-on. Don’t wait!

  • Repair or Replace Your Roof

There are several factors to consider when deciding if you will repair your roof or replace it. The age of your roof is the first thing to consider when deciding if you should move forward with a repair or roof replacement. Roofing materials have different life expectancies and if your roofing material is nearing the end of its useful life, then a repair may actually cause more damage. In addition, paying for a repair when the existing roofing material only has a few seasons left does not add any value for you as a homeowner. The size of the repair area is also a good indicator in this debate. If the affected area is small then chances are a repair is the right move. There are times when the roof may not be old but the current condition of the existing roofing material is not great. This can happen when a roof has a layover, where new material is installed over old material. Often this can lead to early failure of the new material, in many cases cutting the expected life in half. Did you know a new roof can return upwards of 109% (according to the National Association of Remodeling Industries) on the cost of your roof? If you plan to sell your home within the next 5 to even 10 years many experts suggest replacing rather than repairing as you can get your investment back plus more in the value of the home and selling price. When it comes to roof repairs versus roof replacements, consider the age of the roof, condition of material, size of repair area, and added value, to make the best decision for your home.

  •  Check with HOI

If you plan to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, having a few things handy for the claim might help speed up the process. Provide your insurance with copies of the estimate for the roof repair or roof replacement along with any pictures you took of the leaking area, as well as pictures provided by the roofing contractor of the roof’s condition or leaking area. If there is interior damage, be sure to include photos and/or estimates for those repairs. Often homeowner’s insurance will cover part of the expenses or offer reimbursement. These items and documents will help speed along the process. Of course, every insurance policy is different, so be sure to check with your agent regarding your specific coverage.

Ongoing roof care is critical to the health and performance of your roof. Algae and moss can lead to premature roofing material failures. Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause roof leaking. Identifying potential issues early will help save money on future repair bills. A clean roof will always keep your home better protected. If your roof is leaking, you can still start fresh with a roof cleaning. We always recommend a roof cleaning to be performed after a repair. This will ensure the older roofing material will last the rest of its intended lifespan. The professional roof technicians at Valentine Roofing are your partner and ally in keeping your roof and home at peak performance.

If your roof springs a leak you can trust Valentine Roofing to be by your side every step of the way. Just remember to contain, CALL (206) 575-656, don’t wait, repair and maintain.