What Should You Do When Your Roof Starts Leaking?

Water is a necessary part of life, but when it’s coming into your house through a leak in your roof, it can bring with it disastrous consequences resulting in costly repairs. Water damage can quickly ruin floors, walls and personal effects, so it’s important to address a leaking roof immediately. Furthermore, without the proper cleanup once the leak is fixed, it can lead to the formation of mold and mildew, which can cause health problems and leave behind unpleasant odors.

So if your roof is leaking, what should you do? Learning how to fix a leaking roof can take time, but in a moment of crisis, it’s best to call in professionals like Beantown Builders and let them fix the problem to avoid further damage.

Before you think about fixing your roof, though, your first thoughts should be about how to stop roof leaks from spreading and causing more issues. Here are the first things you should do when you notice a leak in your roof.

1. Move Belongings out of the Way

If your roof is leaking, you already know there’s going to be some damage to repair. Minimize it as much as possible by moving any rugs, furniture, tables and decorations out of the way so they don’t become water damaged. You should move them as far out of the way as possible, even into another room, in case the leak spreads.

2. Capture the Water

Once the area is clear, contain the mess by using a bucket or trash can to collect the water. Without a way to catch the water, it will continue leaking all over your home as more of it accumulates. It can also seep into your floors, causing eventual wood rot on hardwood floors or mold growth under carpeted floors.

Although having a container to catch the water allows you to step away from your leak for a few minutes, be sure to check on your container regularly and empty it when it gets full. You might find it helpful to have a couple of containers ready to go so you don’t have to rush to empty them and return them to their spot. And if the dripping sound gets too annoying, prop a board up in the container so that the water drops hit that instead of the rest of the water.

3. Tarp the Roof

Although the best thing to do is call a roofing service immediately to repair a roof leak, that’s not always possible. If you have to wait on a repair for any reason, find a tarp you can secure over the portion of the roof where you think the leak is coming from. If you don’t have a tarp, use something waterproof, like a shower curtain. The tarp is a temporary solution to keep the leak from getting any worse, but it’s not ideal and should only be used if absolutely necessary.

4. Release Collecting Water

If you notice your ceiling sagging around the leak, this is likely because water is gathering into a puddle above it. When enough water accumulates, the weight of it can cause part of your ceiling to cave in. To avoid this situation, you need to drain the water from that area to fix a leaking roof from the inside.

You’ll need to take a screwdriver or a similar small, sharp object to poke a few holes in the sagging area. Put a container under the area and allow the water to drain into it. It might feel like you’re just making more work for the repairer, but this process can save you a lot of stress and money by keeping the water contained to one spot.

5. Call Insurance

When your roof is leaking, you may wonder if it’s covered by your insurance provider. Thankfully, most homeowners’ insurance plans do indeed cover roof leaks, so when your roof is leaking, make sure it is well-documented so your insurer has no choice but to cover it.

Be sure to take pictures of water spots and sagging ceilings as well. Also, take pictures of any damage that the water may have done before you could manage the leak. Perhaps water ruined your new flat-screen TV or stained your couch with dirty roof debris. With the proper documentation, your insurance might pay to replace those, too.

6. Contact a Roofing Company

Finally, once you’ve taken care of the immediate concerns, get a professional roofing company out to your home as soon as possible to permanently fix the leak. Although you’ve bought yourself some time with the tarp and water draining, waiting to fix your roof can lead to higher energy bills as air more freely moves in and out of the house — especially if there are visible holes in your roof or ceiling. It can also be dangerous. A long-term leak can allow water to get into your home’s electrical wiring or cause irreparable damage to your ceiling.

By calling experts like the contractors at Beantown Builders instead of trying to fix your roof yourself, you can avoid the potential dangers of being on your roof while having confidence that the job will be done right.

Maintaining Your Roof

Ignoring a leaking roof can allow damages to pile up quickly. It can ruin your belongings, cause issues with your house’s structure and promote the growth of mold and other allergens — but if you have a roof leak, why does it only leak sometimes? Blockages or heavy rain may cause water to collect on the top of your home instead of draining out through the gutters. Additionally, if your roof isn’t wet from rain or melting snow, you may not notice the leak either.

No matter the situation, though, regular roof maintenance is a great way to avoid a leaking roof — and after experiencing a roof leak once, you’ll likely want to do everything you can to keep it from happening again. Performing maintenance checks include:

  • Checking gutters for blockages and cleaning them if necessary.
  • Looking for loose, missing, split or otherwise disfigured shingles and replacing them.
  • Looking for cracks in the chimney.
  • Inspecting nearby trees and trimming back any branches that pose a threat to the roof’s integrity.

At most, you only need to check your roof once or twice a year, usually in the fall before winter weather settles in and sometimes again in the spring. You may also want to check on your roof after a particularly strong storm comes through the area. Roofs take on more wear and tear than any other part of your house, and you want to make sure it’s ready to do so at all times. Otherwise, you could end up dealing with:

  • Higher energy bills.
  • Damage to your ceilings and attic.
  • Fire and electrocution hazards.


Let Beantown Builders Show You How to Stop Roof Leaks

When your roof leaks in heavy rain or inclement weather, there’s no time to waste searching for a reliable roof repair service. You need help now, and if you’re in the Boston, MA, area, you can count on Beantown Builders. We are ready to repair your roof and service any other home construction projects you have on hand. Contact us now so we can make your home comfortable again with roof repairs that last.