My Roof is Leaking. What Should I Do?

18 Apr 2023

Your ceiling has yellow staining, dripping water, or even worse, a sagging bulge. There’s a good chance that your roof is leaking. Now what do you do?

Roof leaks are not a fun situation to deal with. Your home should be a place where you feel safe and protected. Whether you like it or not, sometimes rain and snow can find their way into your home. An unexpected weather event can cause leaks to happen, and when they do, it is best to act as quickly as possible to limit the amount of damage that water can cause to your home.

If your roof does start leaking, there are some actions that you can take to manage the situation and reduce the possible damage from the water. Below are some tips to help you if you find yourself in this situation.

If Your Roof is Leaking – Call a Licensed Roofing Contractor Right Away

This is the best bit of advice that we can give you. Call a licensed roofing contractor (604-474-1185) to have them temporarily stop the water, assess your roof, and give you a quote on repair or replacement. It’s important to do this right away. You don’t want to get caught in another rainstorm and cause further damage to your home.

If Your Roof is Leaking – Limit Damage – Move Things Out of the Way

If you have water leaking onto your personal items, it is a good idea to move them out of the way to lessen the chances of damaging them. Water damage can destroy items quickly, so clear the area of the water leak as best you can.

If you can’t move your personal items out of the way or into a different location, cover everything you can with plastic.

If Your Roof is Leaking – Catch the Water

Now it’s time to start grabbing buckets, garbage cans, pots, or anything else that can catch the water and reduce the amount of damage. Try to contain the water as best you can.

Be sure to have multiple containers available nearby and switch them out regularly to limit the risk of water overflowing.

Surround the buckets with towels to absorb any of the water that splashes out of the buckets.

If you have a bulging saggy spot in the ceiling, you may not think that it is a good idea to pop it. We’re recommending that you do. Use a screwdriver and pop a small hole in the bulge and have a container ready to collect the water. If you don’t drain it, it is likely that it will pop on its own and could create a bigger mess.

My Roof is Leaking. What Should I Do?

If Your Roof is Leaking – Tarp the Roof

If for some reason you can’t get a roofer out quick enough to stop the leaking, we recommend tarping the area of the roof where the leak is coming from. It may be hard to know exactly where the leak is on the roof, but you can judge based on where the water is entering the house. Use a tarp that is thick and extends a minimum of 4 feet across the problem area starting from the peak. This is not a permanent solution but will help to alleviate the problem in the short term. And please don’t attempt this unless you are absolutely comfortable on the roof.

If Your Roof is Leaking – Call Your Insurance Company

If you have homeowners’ insurance, it is important to call your insurance company to report the damage that your home has sustained. Your insurance policy may not cover the damages of the leak, but it is important to find out what is and is not covered. Take pictures of the leak as this may be beneficial if you do have a claim.

If Your Roof is Leaking – Move into Action Quickly

Ignoring roof leaks is only going to lead to more damage down the road. It is important to note that roof leaks do not go away on their own. The best course of action is to talk to a roofing expert as soon as possible to limit the amount to damage.

Regular Roof Maintenance

Regular roof inspections and maintenance are your best defense against a leaky roof. It is recommended that you have your roof inspected and maintenance performed at least once every 2 years. The spring and fall are perfect times to have your roof inspected and maintained. Prevention of roof leaks is a lot more affordable than repairing damages.

Here are some things to look for when you are inspecting for roof leaks:

Inside your home

  • Staining or dark spots on ceilings or walls.
  • Spots where outside light shines through.
  • Sagging ceilings.

Outside your home

  • Missing, warped, rotting, peeling, broken, blistering, or buckling shingles.
  • Clogged or slow-draining gutters/downspouts.
  • Loose material or wear around chimneys or vents.

We cannot stress this enough: roof leaks will not go away on their own, even small ones. Roof leaks are usually signs of a much larger problem.