How to Prevent a Roof Leak during Bad Weather

How to Prevent a Roof Leak during Bad Weather

If your roof leaks at any time, it represents a significant problem that must be remedied as soon as possible. But when your roof springs a leak in the middle of severe weather, you could see the damage mount quite quickly. Not only will you have to deal with the immediate crisis of water entering your home, but the aftermath of water intrusion can result in damaged support structures, mold growth, and other unseen hazards.

Raining on roof

When you experience a leak in the midst of a deluge, it's important that you take immediate steps to mitigate the damage. But how can you stop a roof leak when the weather outside is frightful? Obviously, climbing on the roof to make a repair in a rainstorm is foolhardy and dangerous. There's a better way to deal with leaks temporarily to keep water out of your home until the rain is finished. Keep reading to learn a few tips for repairing leaks during severe weather.

Find the Drip

Finding the precise location of a roof leak is impossible from inside your home. Therefore, the first step you need to take is to grab a ladder and a flashlight and head to the attic. Once you're in the attic, look for dripping water coming from the underside of the roof decking. Some leaks may be easily detectable from the attic. For those that aren't, even a dripping leak will leave a darkened wet spot on the roofing decking, so you may be able to use that to pinpoint the leak.

Protect Your Structure

Once you've found the drip, it's important that you prevent any more water from contacting surfaces in the attic, particularly any wood framing or drywall. The quickest way to effectively capture water that's actively leaking through the roof is to place a piece of plywood across the attic joists beneath the leak. Then, put a 5-gallon bucket on the plywood to catch the dripping water. The plywood is important because you can't sit the bucket directly on the ceiling drywall as it could fall through.

Find the Leak

The actual leak and the spot where it's dripping may not be the same, so it's important to trace the dripping water back to the leak source. On a gabled roof, look uphill from the place where the water is dripping until you find the leak source. Most of the time, you can trace the leak along a roof rafter, but that's not always the case.

Patching roof leak

Patch the Leak

In the middle of a rainstorm, it's unsafe to go on the roof. However, you can make a temporary emergency roof patch with a little roofing tar and a piece of plywood or spare shingle. Use a trowel to put a thick layer of roofing tar over the leak on the underside of the roof decking. Then, stick the plywood or shingle to the roofing tar and press it tightly into place over the leak. Seal the edges of the wood or shingle with additional roofing tar to create a barrier to water infiltration that will last until the storm is over and you can make more long-lasting repairs from the outside.

When you experience a roof leak during a bout of severe weather, it's imperative that you stop the flow of water into your home as quickly as possible. By using the tips above, you can protect your attic, locate the leak, and make a quick patch to limit the damage. Once the rain has cleared and you're ready for a professional to come repair your roof, contact Findlay Roofing by calling (770) 516-5806.

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