The roof of your house has one of the most crucial jobs in the world to do, that is, it needs to protect and cover you from rain, snow, hail, UV radiation or anything else that nature might throw it at. However, over the years, due to constant onslaught and bombardment from different elements, it may start to weaken and can be exposed by seeping water.
A leaking roof is an unexpected nightmare that can take a turn for the worst if you are not prepared for it. Unfortunately, most people neither aware nor know how to react according to if your roof has sprung a leak. An undetected leak stemming from your ceiling and seeping in your house can create havoc within your home in no time. A leaky roof is often the reason according to real estate agents as to why the internal value of your house is ruined. It is crucial not to ignore water rings that pop up on your ceilings since they eventually weaken the foundation of your house and can cause serious damage to it.
So, what to do if your house has sprung a leak?
Well, don't worry your situation isn't completely hopeless and that you are not alone in this as people have gone through with what you are going through right now. There are many things that you can do immediately to mitigate the damage as much as possible.
Controlling the damage indoors: Before you do anything outside, you must first limit the damage which the seeping water may create indoors. Placing large buckets or containers which you can buy from a hardware store and keeping under the leak may stop the water damage which might ruin your wooden flooring or carpets. Also, you should place and keep all electronic devices and items away from the leak in a dry and safe are. Similarly, any kind of furniture or valuable items should also be moved as well.
If in case, any furniture or an item is immovable then you can use plastic sheets for covering. These plastic sheets could be discarded later, once the leak is contained. In some situations, bubbles or blisters may pop up on the walls and ceilings as well, and while you are at it, you may as well puncture these bubbles with a pin or any sharp object since some of them may contain water, and if left unchecked, they might cause additional damage to your walls as well.
Containing the situation: Trying to contain the situation and knowing what and when to do is one of the most crucial steps of this entire process and if you follow this step closely you may mitigate the situation and possibly avoid any further loss.
After safely moving your valuable items and furniture, you can try to find the waterway or the path through which the water is flowing on your walls and ceilings, and it may be a result of missing shingles or the rooftop or maybe a crack caused by the weather. What you need to do first is call in the professionals. And while you wait for them to arrive, you can try to do some repairs yourself
The longer the water is allowed to flow the more damage and havoc freely it may create and as such it may even sound counter-intuitive at first, but you need to stop this flow of water by any means you can. Using a screwdriver or a drilling machine to puncture a deep hole in the wall to create an outlet for this water to escape easily rather than allowing it to seep the through the walls and pooling in, may stop any further damage that may be caused by it and saving you money in the future.
Tracing the leak Outside: Once you have dealt with the situation inside, you can now try to trace the leak outside. Finding the source of the leak can get a little tricky as you might have to follow the trail through the walls and maybe into the attic. The situation can get really complicated if it is raining as water tends to flow in a downward spiral and through different paths and tracing such waterways in the rain may lead you to a false trail. It's a good idea to wait for the Sun to show up, so that temporary water trails may dry up and that you may not waste your time on anything. While looking for trails, you can check for moisture on the walls, discolouration, stains, blisters or anything out of the ordinary that may show up on the wall and tracing it back to the source.
It is essential to know that since water travels, even a leak from the roof to the nearest joint may seep down through beams until it finds a soft-landing spot in the attic, which results in a large leak on the ceiling and on the walls.
Try some Minor Repairs Yourself: You can try in some minor repairs while you are waiting for the professionals to arrive. If you are a handyman and have a nag for little construction work, you can try and diagnose the problem and address certain issues that might have caused this problem, and which resulted in creating a mess in your home. These solutions are not long term, but they can help you save some time and money. Remember, safety should be your utmost priority, and if any way it is getting compromised or neglected, then you should wait for the professionals to arrive and deal with the situation. However, if you want to try some repair work here is the thing to do
The simplest and easiest of these repair works which halts the flow of water is through a roofing tape or roofing cement. Once you have located the source of the leak, what you can do is put roofing tape or cement from the inside, to stop water from penetrating through the hole. This would temporarily stop the flow of water seeping inside.
Another effective but far more dangerous way is to use the tarp. This can be a little tricky, and it's advisable; you only do this when you know what you are doing since your health and safety can be at risk.
In this method, you have to use a tarp and cover your roof space with it from the exterior. This way, water penetration is entirely stopped from the exterior and as such, this essentially stops the leak as well. However, the con, of this method is if you're not handy with this kind of work you should avoid it. Since safety should be your primary concern as one can easily slip through a falling tile or lose the security of the ladder, and remember, no bad how the situation of the roof leak is, it's recommended not to climb your rooftop during the rain or high winds.
Conclusion: Roofs can leak after some time, and this is nothing extraordinary in it. Seek the help of professionals if you are unable or cannot perform these above tasks, and often roofing companies offer emergency tarping service if in case there is a leak. Due to inclement weather, sometimes repair works can be delayed, and in such scenarios, tarping service can provide you with a temporary fix until the repair work can be done properly. Also, there is never a convenient or a proper time for roofs to leak, which is why roof inspection after a certain time is recommended. Preventing a leak is far less costly than repairing one is and if you do encounter one being proactive and hopeful is the key to it. And the quicker you diagnose it, the better it will be.