Here in the Portland area, we get 44 inches of rain per-year. Thanks to all this precipitation, leaky roofs are very common. If your roof has suddenly sprung a leak and water is pouring from your ceiling, don’t panic!. Our team at Fivecoat Roofing is here to help.
Keep reading to learn the 8 steps you need to take right now to…
- Prevent further damage to your home
- Properly fix the leak
- Ensure this problem never happens again
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Step 1: Clear the area inside your house (cover what you can’t move)
As soon as you notice a leak in your home, the first thing to do is minimize interior damage and protect your belongings. Quickly get to work on moving everything out of range of the leak. This includes:
- Other belongings
Even if the leak looks small, we always recommend clearing the room right away. Not only does this limit your risk of damaging belongings, it also creates an easy path for your repair team to inspect and fix the issues.
One exception: don’t risk hurting your back or injuring yourself by trying to move something heavy on your own. Cover the heavy item with a plastic tarp until someone can help you.
Step 2: Contain the water
If you haven’t already placed some sort of catchment under the leak, do so now. Depending on the size of the leak, a trash can or bucket will do the job. If you can’t get to either of those things right away, a mixing bowl or pot can be a good temporary fix.
Now you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- How fast is the leak?
- Do you have a second catchment device close by for when the first one needs emptied?
- Is the leak isolated to just one spot, or are there other drips around the area that may need a bucket?
- Is there a floor above you? If so, have you checked to see if there’s a leak on that level that needs to be contained as well?
Step 3: Dry out your space
Once you have a catchment devices in place, dry out as much of the area as possible. Depending on how long your roof was leaking before you found it, this may be a large job.
Here’s our advice:
- Grab towels to soak up the water, ring them out over the sink or a bucket, and repeat
- Use a wet/dry vacuum if you have one
- A mop can be helpful here, too
- Once most of the water has been cleared, use a fan to circulate air and dry out the area
Note: Large amounts of standing water can cause structural damage. Do as much as you can yourself right away, but call a professional water extraction company if necessary.
Step 4: Call a licensed roofing contractor
Take a deep breath and relax for a moment: you’ve contained the damage! Now it’s time to fix that leaky roof.
The worst thing you can do next is try to repair the leak yourself or climb up onto your roof to see what’s going on. This puts you at risk and can even cause more damage to your roof. Always get professional help from a qualified roofing contractor.
What constitutes a qualified roofer? Look for these signs:
- Locally owned and operated (not just a “storm chaser” trying to make some quick cash)
- Good experience
- Trusted reviews and reputation
- Licensed, bonded, and insured
- Offers a free written estimate and warranty
Learn more about choosing a roofer and the 5 questions you should always ask.
At Fivecoat Roofing, we’ve been repairing leaky roofs in the Portland area for over 40 years. We’re dedicated to helping homeowners keep their home and belongings safe and offer 24/7 emergency service!
Call us any time of the day or night and one of our expert roofers will come to your rescue.
Step 5: Call your insurance agent
Now that you’re roofer is on the way to inspect the leak and provide you with a repair quote, it’s a good time to call your home insurance company.
Talk to your agent and explain what happened to find out if the damage is covered under your policy. If so, they’ll likely have a list of steps you need to take.
Whether or not your insurance will cover the problem, it’s a good idea to snap a few photos for your records. These may come in handy for your roof repair company, too.
Step 6: Fix that roof (and prevent future leaks)!
Once your roofing contractor arrives at your home, allow them to inspect the area thoroughly in order to give an accurate estimate and timeframe for completion. A good emergency roof repair company will start by helping you mitigate any damage before fixing the leak.
Make sure to ask your roofing company about the overall condition of your roof and how you can prevent future leaks. It’s possible your roof is old and needs extensive repair or replacement. However, you’ll likely just need to schedule inspections more often and keep up with regular maintenance.
Once a professional roofing contractor has repaired the leak and inspected your roof for other issues, you’ll rest easy knowing your roof is doing its job and is equipped to properly protect your home and family.
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