A snowstorm can catch you by surprise. That’s why it’s crucial to stay prepared to prevent damage to your home and keep your family safe. But if your roof suddenly starts leaking during a storm, there are several things that you can do.
Signs That Your Roof Is Leaking
Observing water spots on the ceiling is the obvious sign that your roof is leaking, but sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of the leak. Some of the potential signs of a roof leak include:
- Water spots on the ceiling
- Water dripping from above and creating pools on the floor
- House walls covered with water stains
- Algae and mold cover your outer walls
- Water stains the dark corners of your house
- Water stains spreading across the ceiling
- Cracked, buckled, or curled roof shingles
- Missing shingles or debris or the downspout
Possible Causes of Roof Leaks
There are several reasons your roof might start leaking during the cold months. Understanding the causes helps you stay prepared before the next winter season and promote your family’s comfort during the coming years.
Damaged Roof Shingles
Whether or not due to old age, poor installation, or a bad storm that recently hit your neighborhood, damaged shingles are a common culprit of a leaking roof. You can prevent this by ensuring your roof is in good condition and replacing any damaged shingles before the rainy or winter season sets in.
Ice Dam Formation
If a solid block of ice forms on your roof, it prevents water from running off as it should. These dams mostly happen if the snow melts on your roof and freezes before the water could flow off or evaporate. As the hard dam forms, it causes water to gather and sit, eventually wearing through the roof and causing leakage.
You can control ice dam formation on the roof by sealing the warmth of your attic to prevent snow from melting and refreezing.
You need to regularly clean your gutters by removing dirt, debris, leaves, and sticks to prevent blockage. Failure to keep your gutters clean prevents water or melted snow from leaving your roof. With time, this water wears through your roof, leading to leakage. You can avoid this by cleaning your gutters during fall and before winter.
We may advise flashing installation to direct water away from some regions of your roof during the roof installation. But if this flashing cracks, it causes water to seep through. Ensure you check for any cracking or damage signs on your flashing before winter onset.
What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
If you missed taking the necessary roof leak prevention steps or took them and still find that your roof is leaking, there several things that you can do.
Relieving the Pressure
If your roof is not yet broken but is causing small leaks, you should drill a hole to allow the water to pass through. You relieve the pressure off the roof by drilling the hole, preventing the water from damaging your ceiling. In addition, poking holes on your ceiling gives you more control over the leaks by allowing you to place water collection buckets more efficiently.
Identify the Leaking Area
Identifying the leaking area is not always as straightforward as it may sound. A water leak on the ceiling may be directly above the leak spot or several feet away. Water in your attic creates a puddle until it finds a way to escape. Therefore, it can pass through a soffit vent or a light fixture and not necessarily beneath where it drips.
Therefore, finding the leak area can be challenging to do by yourself. Our professional roofers at Red Hawk Roofing will help you identify the roof leak before the damage escalates.
Contain the Leakage
After identifying a roof leak, the first thing is to call for professional help. Unfortunately, you may not always manage to get the help as promptly as you would wish. In such a case, you need to contain the leakage and minimize the damage to your home. The following tips will help you manage the damage until help arrives:
- Manage interior damage- to minimize the damage in your interior home, rearrange the furniture, remove valuable items, and cover the floor and the walls with waterproof material. Before covering any surfaces with the waterproof material, soak up any standing water to prevent trapping moisture under the surface.
- Explore the attic for leakage signs- if you have access to the attic or the crawlspace, take a flashlight and climb up to track where the leakage is coming from. When checking, it’s important to remember that water can be deceptive as it doesn’t always travel in a straight line. You, therefore, need to check the nearest joints for an escape route. Investigating the attic helps you pinpoint the exact leak area and create a barrier to prevent water from reaching the ceiling.
- Redirecting the water using a bottle- instead of constantly changing a bucket or container, you can redirect the water using a bottle funnel.
Contact a Professional Roofer
After containing the damage, you should contact a professional roofer such as Red Hawk Roofing to help access the extent of the damage. The roofer checks for minor and major damages on your roof and provides you with a detailed report on the condition of your roof to give to the insurance company.
When documenting your roof repair report, the roofer includes crucial details such as videos and photos of the damage for the insurer to review. Submitting such detailed documentation makes it easy for the insurer to grant a claim.
Get in Touch With Your Roofing Insurance Company
You may be tempted to start the repairs immediately after the roofer’s review, but if you plan on filing a claim, you should contact your insurer first. After reviewing the roofer’s documentation, the insurance company will determine whether it’s economical to repair or replace the roof.
In most cases, homeowners insurance companies will not cover roof leaks resulting from the roof’s old age or lack of maintenance. But if the roof leak results from a sudden change in weather, there’s a good chance that the insurer will cover it.
Taking time to inspect your roof can provide you with valuable insight into how it’s doing. Our Red Hawk Roofing experts can help you perform regular roof inspections and do the necessary maintenance to prevent surprise leaks. In addition, we have a great working relationship with home insurance agents around Denver, increasing your chances of getting compensation when need be.
Contact us today for a free consultation if you want to install a new roof, carry out roof inspection and maintenance, or repair roof leaks.