There is an often-anxious waiting period after you discover that your roof has a problem with leaks and before you find professional help to remove the leak. However, there are steps you can take to keep the leak from doing too much damage during this interim phase. Here's how to protect your home while you wait.
1. Get Rid of Standing Water
Not all leaks have standing water. However, some will lead to water pooled on the floor or even on top of the roof itself if you have a blocked flat roof. Standing water like this is always bad news because it provides time for moisture to sink in and cause even more damage. Standing water can also cause stains and other issues. If you find standing water, don't just leave it - sweeping or brushing the water away (just like you would with a pile of dirt) can be surprisingly effective. Make sure you keep an eye on the area afterward and ensure the standing water doesn't form again.
2. Find the Point of Entry
Sometimes finding the point of entry is relatively easy. If a leak is right next to your skylight or is clearly trickling from roof damage, you know where the problem is. However, sometimes finding the point of entry is very difficult and is best left to professionals that can follow the leak across ceilings and through walls.
That said, if you can find the point of entry yourself, you'll hold a couple of advantages. First, you can show roofing contractors where the leak is and save some time. Second, you can clean the area, remove any dirt or debris, and fix any obvious problems to help lessen the severity of the leak.
3. Put Down Protection
If a leak is dripping right in front of you, you should deal with that water flow as quickly as possible. Traditional buckets and pans can work here, but keep in mind that leaks can shift over time. If you have any tarps or plastic sheets, put them down as well. This will protect your floor and any objects that you cannot move away.
4. Deal With the Bulge
If a leak is pooling in your ceiling where you can't find it, you will often get a "bulge" or an expanding part of the ceiling due to swelling materials and the weight of water. Like lancing a boil, it is sometimes better to pierce this bulge and get rid of the collection of water before it can do more damage. This can be a tricky process. You'll need containers large enough to deal with gallons of water and a safe way to poke a hole in the bulge without doing even more damage (something like a screwdriver is often a good tool here).
While it's always best to call a professional (like the professionals at Findlay Roofing), these tips should tide you and your home over until help arrives!