What to Do If Your Roof Suddenly Starts Leaking During a Storm

Hailstorm_in_Dutchess_County_New_York-webStorms can catch us by surprise, so it’s worth being prepared so you can stay safe and prevent damage to your home in any event. If your roof suddenly starts leaking during a storm, there are several simple steps you can follow to minimize the damage before local roofers arrive to take over. This article will give you the quickest and easiest methods to prevent escalating damage and help contain the leak before it spirals out of control.


My Roof Is Leaking! Now What?

Roof leaks are fairly easy to notice. You may first see or hear drops of water falling, or you may notice a dark spot spreading on the ceiling. This doesn’t mean it’s time to panic, but you should act quickly to minimize the damage. The very first thing you should do is place a bucket under the leak to prevent water from damaging your floor. If the dripping sound is infuriating to you, you can place a small wooden board across the bucket so the water drips off silently.

If any electronics are near the leak, either in an attic or under the ceiling, it’s important to move them and unplug anything else nearby. The last thing you want is an electrical fire, and it’s important to move any potential hazards away as quickly as possible.


Relieving the Pressure


If the leak is visually spreading on your ceiling but has not broken through yet, you can poke a small hole into the ceiling to allow the water to drain. This allows you to control the leak before the pooled-up water gets too heavy and causes a ceiling collapse. Pooled-up water can eventually collapse or leak into your walls, lighting fixtures, or around wiring. By using a ladder and a screwdriver, simply poke a hole in the middle of the ceiling where the water is accumulating, and have a bucket ready underneath to catch it.


Finding the Source

Now that you’ve contained the damage, it’s time to try and locate the original point of entry. If you can reach your attic, head inside and look for any major gaps, holes, or visible damage. If there are no visible holes, look at where the water is pouring in, but keep in mind that the original hole may still be hidden. If your roof is sloped, the hole may be on the outside and the water may have flowed downward before entering. Leave it to the professionals to get on your roof to inspect the outside, and avoid risking injury or further damage to your roof.


Temporary Tape and Caulk

Tarps may seem like a good idea because they can prevent further rain from entering your home. Because it would be unsafe to climb on the roof during a storm, however, a tarp is not the best choice when you first notice a leak. Luckily, you can use roofing tape or caulk inside your attic to help close any holes or prevent water from flowing further. These items can be purchased at most local hardware stores and are great to have around the house in times of need.


Time for Professionals

By following these steps, you can reduce the damage to your home and prevent it from escalating further. However, you’ll want your local roofers to come as soon as possible to expertly assess the damage and find a permanent solution.


Hedrick Construction has been serving homes and businesses in Central Iowa for over a decade, and we’re ready to fix your roof promptly after any storm or leak. Reach out to our team for more information.