What Should I Do If My Roof Leaks During A Storm?

 Daryl Gentry

 May 25, 2021

Roof leaks can be problematic in any type of weather, but when you notice a leak during a heavy rainstorm, it can quickly turn into a major emergency.

Rainy weather is when you are most likely to notice a roof leak. In the days following, roofers are bombarded with calls from worried homeowners.

Although it's a great idea to call an experienced roofing company to help you with your leak, there's nothing they can do while the storm is passing through and your roof is leaking into your home.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage to your roof and the interior of your home until the roofers can make it there if you have an active leak.

In the article below, we will discuss the things you can do during a storm if you notice a roof leak.

Protect The Inside of Your Home

The first thing you need to do is take care of the leak inside your home to minimize your storm damage.

More often than not, a roof leak will form a small puddle in your attic or ceiling until it finds a way to escape, usually through a light fixture or heating register.

The corners or ceiling joints are another easy passage for leaks to get through.

Leaks can sometimes happen in multiple places from one source, making it look much worse than it is.

If you notice a bulge in your drywall or it looks like your ceiling is holding water, take a screwdriver and poke a hole in the middle of it.

That will allow the water to drain in that spot, reducing the damage to the ceiling and collecting the water into one stream.

You can always use pots, pans, or buckets to collect the water, but if you have a large outdoor garbage can, that's the best thing you can use.

These containers are large, so you won't have to worry about dumping them, and they have wheels, so they are easy to move.

If you can, try to move anything in the affected areas that the water could damage. 

If you have any, putting down a drop cloth, garbage bag, or tarp on the floor can help keep your floor dry. 

Try to do this as soon as possible because it will make cleaning up much easier and protect your surfaces from water and dust, and debris that's created by removing any damaged drywall or ceiling tiles.

Once you've done damage control on the inside of your home, you can try to find the source of the roof leak.

Find Where the Roof Leak is Coming From

This part can be a little tricky, especially if you don't know what you're looking for.

Just because you notice a water spot or a dark spot, it doesn't mean that's where the look is on your roof.

The most common causes of roof leaks are related to plumbing as well as AC units.

But if you're noticing a roof leak for the first time during a heavy storm, your leak is likely due to a roofing issue.

During the storm, try and do a visual inspection (from inside) as best you can. You can look for obvious signs of the leak, like downed branches or missing shingles.

You can also check your gutters to see if they're clogged because that's another common cause of a roof leak.

If your gutter is clogged, the water from the storm will have nowhere to go, so it will find its way into your roof.

If your house has a chimney, try to spot any gaps that may be in the flashing, around vents, or on the slopes of your roof.

You can also look at the rest of the outside of your house in addition to your roof to find any problem areas.

Take notes of anything you find so you can discuss all of your findings with the roofer when they can visit your home.

Determine If Your Insurance Company Covers Water Damage

If it looks like you might have significant storm damage, another thing you can do while you wait for the roofer to be able to come to your house is to determine if you're covered for water damage by your insurance company.

In many cases, roof leaks and water damage is covered by homeowner's insurance policies.

The only time it isn't is usually when it's caused by gross negligence, like if you avoided fixing a roofing issue that caused your leak.

Homeowner's insurance usually doesn't cover preventable property damage.

The main question you must answer is if there was any way for you to prevent your leaky roof from occurring.

You must prove that the leak was caused suddenly and without warning, which is what storm damage will do.

Heavy rains and winds will almost always be covered on your insurance policy.

Check Your Roof

After the storm has passed, you can do a visual roof inspection from the ground.  It may be hard to see where the actual leak is, but you can notice damage or missing shingles. 

You don't want to attempt to get on your roof, especially if it's still wet.  Let your local roofer climb onto your roof for the inspection.  

They have the experience and knowledge to handle roof inspections safely and they will know what to look for more than most homeowners will. 

Most roofing companies will place a tarp over the roof leak to prevent any more water from getting into your home. 

The tarp should extend over the ridgeline, or water will simply run under the tarp.

This will allow your home to be protected while your roof is being scheduled for repairs.

Call The Professionals

If you follow these steps, you should minimize your storm damage and prevent any further damage from occurring.

But you still want to call your local roofing company to come as soon as possible after the storm so they can assess the damage and find a permanent solution.

TK Roofing and Gutters has been serving their local Ohio Communities for years, and they can promptly repair your roof if you notice a ceiling leak during a storm.

They can fix any damaged areas you notice during a storm, and they'll check for other weak spots to prevent future leaks.

If you notice roof damage during a rainstorm, don't wait to get it repaired.

Contact TK Roofing and Gutters today for your free roofing estimate!

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