I’ve Sprung a Leak! How to Stop a Roof Leak in the Rain

Pop quiz: what if your roof was leaking right now and every second mattered?

This is a real problem for countless homeowners every year. When the rainfall gets intense, roofs are bound to leak. And the only question worth asking is whether you know how to stop it.

If you’re wondering how to stop a roof leak in the rain, don’t worry: we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide. When the worst strikes, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Minimize Water Damage

Let’s say you just spotted a leak. What’s the first thing you need to do? Simple: you need to keep your stuff from getting damaged!

If possible, try to move things like electronics and other valuable items away from the leak. Place these things high up enough so they won’t be affected by any pooling rainwater.

Some items may be too difficult to move, including really heavy furniture. In that case, you need to cover such items with plastic so they are unaffected by the rain.

Once you’ve protected the valuable items inside the house, it’s time to take on the water itself.

Contain Water As Best You Can

You need to now find some way to contain the water coming into your home. The classic solution to this problem is to gather the rainwater into a large bucket.

After getting a bucket in place, you may need to clean up water that has already splashed around the floor. Towels and even old clothes can help you quickly soak everything up.

Not every leak is easy to find and direct into a bucket. If you see bubbling paint on the wall, that means it’s filling with water. You need to poke a hole in the paint and direct water into the bucket.

With any luck, you’ll be able to temporarily contain this problem on your own. If not, you need to contact a professional ASAP to keep your home from getting damaged.

Find the Leak

When the problem is contained (even temporarily), the next step is obvious: you need to find the actual leak!

Unfortunately, finding roof leaks is easier said than done. That’s because the water may be coming in through multiple areas.

The first area you should inspect is the attic. Pop on a dusk mask and head into the attic so you can scan for any leaking water.

What if it has stopped raining? This is where it gets interesting: you will need one person to spray the roof and another inside the attic to spot the leak.

Speaking of the roof, you’ll eventually need to inspect this area. This can help you identify both where leaks are coming from and what the source of the damage is.

Assess the Cause

Finding the leak only solves so much of the problem. You also need to find out what caused the leak in the first place.

One very common cause is that your roof is missing shingles. Even if they aren’t missing, damaged shingles can lead to leaks within your home.

Gaps around the flashing is another major cause, as is flashing that is broken or worn down. It’s important to have a professional repair and replace damage right away to prevent future leaks.

Perform a Temporary Fix

It’s all well and good to call a pro to fix things. But when you’re first dealing with a leak, you will likely need to perform a temporary fix on your own.

One way to temporarily fix a leak is to place a tarp over your roof. It may be unsightly, but this is one of the most thorough ways to keep the rain out.

If you’ve identified specific holes in the attic or on the roof, you may want to try sealant or cement on the area first. Before trying this, though, be sure to check the fine print: performing an emergency fix on things like your shingles may void any existing warranties.

Finally, you can fix outright holes in your home cutting out and then screwing and cementing down some plywood. It will make your home look like the set of a disaster movie, but it will keep the rain out until the pros come in.

Address Water Damage

So, you’ve temporarily patched things up and you’re waiting for professional help to arrive. What comes next? Simple: you need to deal with the water damage in your house.

Try to dry any remaining water to the best of your ability. You should pay special attention to areas like carpet, furniture, and any exposed wood.

If your carpet is too thoroughly soaked to dry, pull it away to air it out. Your overall goal here is to prevent the buildup of mold that can threaten your entire family’s health!

Call Up Your Insurance Agent

Time to make that phone call you’ve been dreading: you need to call your insurance agent.

In fact, you should call your agent if you so much as suspect flood damage. Why? Because the agent can walk you through what is and what isn’t covered by your existing policies.

On top of that, your insurance agent has likely dealt with these kinds of problems before. They should be able to make some recommendations for things you can do and people you can contact for additional help.

With some luck (and the right insurance coverage), repairing the leak will be a mostly painless experience.

An Ounce Of Prevention Prevents a Gallon Of Rain

What should you do after you survive one leaking roof? You need to make sure it doesn’t happen again anytime soon!

Try to trim any nearby trees to keep falling limbs from damaging your house. And clean out your gutters and spouts to keep water from building up. Finally, check out things like chimney collars and vent flashing to see what needs to be replaced or repaired.

How To Stop A Roof Leak In the Rain: The Next Step

Now you know how to stop a roof leak in the rain. But do you know how to expand your real estate empire?

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