What To Do When Your Roof is Leaking

Moisture-damaged ceiling.

When You Need Urgent Roof Repair

Ah – there’s nothing more relaxing than a light thunderstorm on a summer afternoon. Until you notice the roof is leaking, anyway. You go from a relaxing moment to urgent roof repair in 0 to 60, or faster. Is this roof leak repair something you can do yourself, or do you need to call a roof repair company ASAP? 

Is your roof leak an emergency?

Yes, even a small dripping leak roof repair is an emergency. Why? Because the smallest leak can develop into a larger problem, and before you realize it, or you may not even realize it, a big leak can cause severe water damage to your home. 

Does that mean you need a total new roof? Not necessarily.  If you can do a temporary roof repair to stop the leak, call a roofing contractor next and have them come inspect your roof. They will advise you if a total new roof is needed or if they can do a professional permanent roof repair for you instead. 

To start, get up to 3 professional inspections and quotes, then compare their findings and costs. Ask each of them for references and then decide. However, if you have a major leak that you can’t make a temporary roof repair for, you may have to take the first roofing contractor you can get.  Once the roof repair is done (or the roof is replaced), ask about a preventative maintenance program; this could help you avoid another urgent roof repair in the future. 

Do you know what to do if the roof is leaking?

  • The first thing you need to do is damage control. Remove any electronics and furniture away from the leaking area and cover what you can’t move. Soak up any water you can with towels and then use a shop vac to clean up the rest. 
  • Your next action is to find where the leak is coming from, and that means a trip to the attic. Once you’re in the attic with a flashlight, follow where the water is coming in. That will be where you need roof repair done.  
  • Remember, water follows the path of least resistance, so it may be coming from the other side of the house and running down a rafter.  Look for wet insulation and stains on the roof decking above your head. Look for mildew, mold, and stains on the insulation and rafters.

How do you fix a leaking roof from the inside?

Now that you see where the water is coming in, get a piece of plywood cut to size, roofing cement, and roofing nails. Spread the cement around the leaking area, then place the board over that, nail it in place, and spread roofing cement around the edges of the board. 

If you’re able and willing to climb on the roof, wait until it has quit raining, and then take shingles or plywood and place it over the leaking area. Follow the same roof cement, plywood, and nail process we describe above. If you aren’t able to do this yourself, call a roofing contractor first, then your insurance company. 

Is a leaking roof covered by insurance?

Every homeowner’s insurance policy is different, but in general, a roof leak and subsequent roof repair is covered by a peril. This is when damage was caused by a weather-related event like a hailstorm, lightning, wind, or a fire. 

Any accidental roof damage coverage will be dependent upon what your homeowner’s policy stipulates. Claim acceptance or denial will be determined by the insurance appraiser. If the appraiser deems the roof was old or finds that homeowner neglect allowed shingles to blow off, your claim will be denied. 

Why repair a roof leak?

When your roof has a leak, roof repair is important. Even the smallest of leaks will turn into a bigger leak as water is a home’s enemy when it isn’t contained. For a homeowner, the insurance company considers roof repair and maintenance services to be a homeowner’s responsibility. 

The maintenance and upkeep of a roof include gutter cleaning and keeping trees trimmed back from the roof. Do your own roof inspection on a weekly or monthly basis; having a professional inspection done by a licensed roofing contractor annually is also recommended. With these routine inspections, you can find small issues before they become bigger problems. With a home, the bigger the problem, the costlier it will get. 

Roof being repaired.

Final Words To Top Off This Article 

So, if the insurance company denies your roof repair claim, can you write off roof repair? Unfortunately, no. Roof repairs are not tax-deductible nor is a new roof. Installing a new roof or having roof repairs done is considered home improvement and home maintenance, something a homeowner should be doing for the sake of owning the home. 

Home improvement costs could increase the basis of the property value, however. The higher the property value, the higher the taxes could go, and this could affect the cost of your homeowner’s insurance too. If it’s time for you to repair a leaking roof, dial (281) 338-7663 to speak to one of the roofing pros at Professional Roofing Systems.