Part 3: What to Do in a Roofing Emergency – A Quick Guide to Roofing Emergencies

By Stacy Mellete

Among the causes of roofing emergencies listed in Part One, inclement weather is arguably the worst for a homeowner as you have to act fast right then and there to stave off the possibility of further damage. Bad weather can also worsen any existing damage exponentially. Let’s assume that you’ll be dealing with this kind of situation as we talk about the appropriate response plan.

Your Action Plan

When you’re faced with an emergency, how you handle the first few minutes is important. Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Ensure your own safety. Never compromise your safety for the sake of damage prevention. Do not attempt to get on your roof to check out the damage yourself.

If there is a risk of electrical shock, turn off the breakers that supply power to the affected areas.

2. Call for help. Stay calm and call a trusted local contractor. If you can, go out of your house and do a ground-level check to get an idea of the extent of the damage.

Try to give your roofer as much detail as possible.

3. Protect the interior of your home. While waiting for the roofer to arrive, isolate the damage by placing buckets to collect the water leaking from your roof.

Protect your furniture and other possessions by covering them with tarps or drop cloths. If possible, clear the room or the area directly beneath the leak. Mop up your floors occasionally to prevent slipping as well as damage to hardwood floors.

What Your Roofer Will Do

Once the roofing crew gets to your home, the first priority will be preventing further water infiltration. If the damage isn’t extensive, they can do quick roof repairs; otherwise, they will install a temporary protective cover. This emergency tarp should hold until the weather clears up, at which point they’ll return to do a more thorough assessment of the damage.

Your contractor will then sit you down to talk about the necessary permanent roof repairs and preventative measures against future repeats.

Final Thoughts

Keeping calm in a roofing emergency is really about preparation. If you have a working action plan, you’ll be better able to stay focused and think clearly when an emergency arises.

Make sure you include your roofer’s phone number in your list of emergency contacts. If you’ve never worked with a roofer before, check your directory for licensed local contractors. Verify their credentials and read reviews from past clients before deciding on a company to hire.

Good luck, and stay safe!

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