Roof Repair Part 3: Emergency Leak Repairs – What to Do

By Stacy Mellete

Sometimes, there are moments when you have to take matters into your own hands to prevent further damage on your property while waiting for a roofing professional to come in and fix the roof problem completely.

As a roof leak is one of the most common problems your roof will be facing, finding it is one of the best ways you can keep water damage at bay.

Finding a leak can be tricky but here are a few tricks you can try to help you out:

Roof Repair Part 3: Emergency Leak Repairs – What to Do
  • Take advantage of the day by using daylight to spot a leak. Instead of looking for a hole in your roof, look for light streaming in.
  • If it’s raining and you have water visibly leaking from your ceiling, follow the trail of water to get to the source.
  • If the rain has stopped but you no longer have daylight on your side, do a water test by having someone spray water onto your roof while someone observes indoors where a leak will spring from.

Emergency Leak Repairs

If you must do your own temporary repairs, do NOT, by any means, go up on a roof while it is still raining. There is no reason big enough to warrant putting yourself at risk. Once the rain has stopped, you can now go about addressing your roof leak. Consider the following:

  • The Sheet Metal Fix. Take care of a leak on a shingle roof by tucking a 12-inch piece of galvanized metal flashing under a damaged shingle. Make sure the sheet of metal is covering the hole before fastening the flashing to the roof with a nail or two.
  • The Plastic Sheeting Fix. Use enough heavy polyethylene sheeting to cover the leaking area on your roof, measuring from from eaves to the peak and adding around four feet in extra length. Wrap one end of the plastic around a two-by-four piece of wood as long as the plastic is wide and attach the sheeting to it. Sandwich the sheeting with another two-by-four wood piece and nail the two boards together. Stretch the sheeting from the eaves to the peak, going over the top of the ridge and coming down the other side. Sandwich the top end of the sheeting with two more two-by-four wood pieces.

Once you have your temporary fix in place, don’t forget to schedule a roof repair with a local contractor immediately. The sooner you get your roof fixed properly, after all, the better.

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