A leaking roof is a homeowner’s scariest nightmare, and encountering one during a storm can be even worse. Imagine the trouble that the rain lashing on your roof can cause when it isn’t in the best shape. The risks of water damage, mold growth, and structural issues can add to your woes in these circumstances.
The recent storms that battered the state of California are a classic example of how things can go wrong for homeowners. The relentless storms hit the state from the last week of December 2023 to well in the middle of January 2024. They caused heavy flooding and extensive damage, claiming 22 lives. The worst part was that these storms hit back to back and the driest three-year period on record for California.
This situation rings a warning bell for homeowners across the US because the weather patterns are more unpredictable than ever. You may find yourself in a tight spot during the storm season, or even when it isn’t around. Knowing how to address a leaking roof during a storm can give you a head start during an emergency.
In this article, we will explain practical steps to deal with leakage in your roof amid heavy rains and gusty winds.
Assess the Situation
It is easy to get into panic mode when a storm hits and you see water dripping from your roof. However, you should maintain your composure and assess the situation instead of making an impulsive move. Focus on damage control in the first place. Start by checking for visible signs of water ingress, such as dripping water, bulging patches, or water stains on ceilings or walls.
Besides checking the ceilings and walls, inspect attic spaces for signs of moisture or mold growth. Look for the source of the leak to understand where the actual problem is. It may not be directly above the visible water damage, so avoid thinking too fast. Let experts handle the inspection part because they are the right people to do it.
In a tragic event in March 2023, a tornado in California ripped roofs off a line of commercial buildings in Los Angeles. The disaster caused more than structural damage as 5 deaths were reported. The incident underscores the risk you may face during the storm season if your roofing is not secure enough. Safety should be your top priority.
Avoid going up onto the roof as heavy rain, strong winds, or lightning storms pose a significant risk of injury. Leakage also translates into a risk of damage, indicating a possibility of a cave-in. Also, vacate the attic area or move your family to another place if the leakage is extensive. The last thing you want is to jeopardize the safety of your loved ones.
Contact a Professional
A leaking roof is a concern, whether you expect rain or storm or the forecasts predict a dry spell. Calling a roofing contractor sooner rather than later should be on top of your mind. Putting off repairs can be the worst blunder, but many homeowners make this mistake. If a storm hits, call an expert to perform temporary repairs. They can do the needful to mitigate further water damage until the weather normalizes.
For small and accessible leaks, they will make a quick fix with roofing cement or sealant to patch the affected area. After this temporary step, they will cover the area with a tarp or plastic sheeting to divert water away. Although these steps sound simple, you should not even try anything on your own. Without the right equipment and experience, getting up the roof can be hazardous.
According to Peak Builders & Roofers of San Diego, quality materials offer aesthetics, excellence, and durability. With a durable roof for your home, you can be stress-free, regardless of the weather and exposure to the elements. Consider it a worthwhile assessment that gives you peace of mind and saves expenses in the long run.
While temporary repairs can be your savior during the storm, you must get the underlying issue fixed once it passes. A leaking roof indicates significant problems with your roof’s integrity, such as damaged shingles, compromised seals around vents, or deteriorated flashing. It may even need replacement if it is too old. Your roofing expert is the best person to recommend and implement a permanent solution.
Take Appropriate Preventive Measures
According to the latest surveys, roof repairs in the US may cost between $150 and $7,000, while replacement costs may range from $6,700 to $80,000. While the actual dollar figure may depend on individual factors, the expense can be exorbitant for a homeowner when it comes unexpectedly. Committing to long-term preventive measures can help you protect your roof from future damage.
Regular roof inspections before and after storm seasons are essential to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major leaks. Ensure proper damage control by keeping gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris. It will prevent water from pooling on the roof and causing more damage.
Trim overhanging tree branches before the storm season as they could potentially damage the roof when the winds hit hard. Consider reinforcing vulnerable areas such as slope sections to improve water shedding.
Check Your Insurance
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage for tornado damage and other wind-related problems. If your residential roof sustains damage due to a leak during the storm season, check your policy clauses. You do not need to worry about the expense of repairs or replacement if you have coverage.
Document the damage thoroughly and take photos and videos of the affected areas before cleaning up the mess or beginning any repairs. Also, remember to preserve the records of any expenses incurred. Proper documentation is essential for filing a legitimate claim. Contact your insurance provider and maintain all receipts and communication related to the process.
Dealing with a leaking roof during storm season requires prompt action because you need a quick fix. You must focus on safety, invest in temporary repairs, and implement long-term preventive measures. A long-term solution ensures that your roof withstands the rigors of stormy weather and tests of time.