You are sitting in the living room when suddenly a feel a drop of water on your skin. You look up and and you see a damp spot on the ceiling. You are thinking, oh my god my roof is leaking what do I do?
If you have ever experienced a leak in your house during the middle of a thunderstorm, you know how frustrating it can be to take care of. A leaky roof causes not only a hassle, but also a huge amount of damage to your property and belongings if you do not act quickly. There are a lot of do-it-yourself steps that you can take after or during the storm to help mitigate the effects of the leak before professional arrives.
The first thing you should do after discovering any leak is to move or cover any personal belongings from room. Even a small leak can spread and do a lot of damage if your belongings are not protected, especially leaks in your ceiling. To prevent water buildup from collapsing the ceiling, you should poke a small hole to let the water through. Once you are done with this initial damage control, you should try to locate the origin of the leak starting directly above the spot where you discovered it. Look at the attic floor for signs of water pooling and the underside of the roof for wet spots or water trickling in streams down rafters. Keep an eye out for mold, rotted wood, or compromised framing, as these are all indicators of water damage.
If you can find the spot where water is coming in, you can attempt a quick patch on the exterior of your roof to keep water out in the short-term. Be extremely cautious about going up on your roof to make repairs and do not ever go up in the middle of a rainstorm. All you need to do to create a temporary patch is to cover the affected area with a tarp and secure it down. If your leak is not too large you might want to consider a pre-made rubber peel and stick patch that you can easily apply to plug up a small hole. They are available to purchase at any hardware or home repair store. Once your patch is applied you should go inside and check to make sure that your leak has stopped or at least slowed down. Keep in mind that these are only temporary fixes; you will still need to do a real repair or find a repairman. The best way to do that is to use TalkLocal to get automatically connected to a local repairman. TalkLocal locates the highest quality professionals for you, so you don’t have to spend time searching through the Yellow Pages.