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How Do I Make a Temporary Fix for a Leaking Roof? Then What?

If you’ve ever been caught off guard by a leaky roof, you know just how quickly it can ruin your day. Not only does it give you a whole new home repair project to contend with, but if left alone long enough, that one roofing project can spiral into replacing furniture, carpet, or even the bones of your house.

Should you wake up to that telltale dripping, the most important thing to do is launch into damage control. A temporary fix for a leaking roof isn’t going to get you very far, but it will certainly help you avoid more costly damage. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! With our years of experience, we have your back. These steps will help you make a temporary fix for a leaking roof, and tell you what to do after.

Evacuate the Damaged Area

With an active leak, you need to move fast. Before you do anything else, it’s imperative that you clear out the area the water is leaking into. Move anything that could be easily damaged by water, such as books or electronics, out of the room and into a safe place until the leak is sealed.

In addition to your smaller possessions, you’ll need to clear away any furniture under the drip to prevent water damage. That constant flow can easily warp wood or soak through a sofa, so act quickly. If you have carpeting, it may even be wise to pull it up and expose the underside to the open air. As with any water damage, mold is a serious concern. By moving your furniture and pulling up the carpet, you’ll be able to more effectively dry out anything that might be susceptible to mold spores.

Contain Any Flowing Water

Once the area is secure, you can get to work containing the water itself. This isn’t exactly a temporary fix for a leaking roof, but it’s still an important step in mitigating the damage. Find any kind of waterproof container you can—bucket, pot, washtub, anything—and position it under the dripping water. It’s not pretty, and you’ll need to watch it like a hawk to make sure it doesn’t overflow, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to manage the excess water.

If you’re lucky, the weather will let up and you won’t have to worry about it too much. But realistically? If you’ve found a leak, you’re probably dealing with a bout of serious rain. If it’s something you think you’ll be living with for a little while, you may want to leave a small board or a loose rag in whatever you’re using to catch the water. It doesn’t make it any more effective at containing it, but it will help muffle the repetitive dripping sound.

Find the Leak Itself

With your triage done, you can shift your focus to making an actual temporary fix for the leaky roof. You might think that tracking down the source of the water would be as easy as following the flow, but it can be surprisingly hard to determine where the problem is. Sure, you could just throw a tarp over the entirety of your roof and call it a day, but it’s not exactly the most elegant solution. Instead, we recommend doing a little investigative work to find exactly where the water is seeping into your home.

If you have access to your attic, you’ll want to start there. Look for any protrusions, black marks, water stains, or mold. Leaks tend to form around penetrations in the roof, such as chimneys and vents, as opposed to uninterrupted shingles, so pay close attention there. If it’s still raining, you may be able to see where the water is flowing from. If not, you may need to get a little creative and enlist some help.

Have someone use a hose to douse sections of your roof with water one by one while you observe from inside. This will allow you to determine where exactly the water is getting in from the outside. Once you know that, you can get to work sealing it up.

Lock Down the Leak

Since most people aren’t professional roofers, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make an effective long-term seal. That’s totally fine! Until you can get someone else to help, all you need to do is put together something functional. It doesn’t need to be pretty; it just needs to work.

There are a few options you have for sealing up your roof, but it’s all going to depend on what you have on hand. If you have tar paper and roofing cement, you can use that to quickly spread a few layers over the leak and seal it up. For smaller leaks, you can even use caulk or cement to plug the hole.

The most common solution, however, is using plastic sheeting or tarps to cover the leak until it can be repaired professionally. It’s a simple, if unattractive, fix. Just spread out your sheeting or tarp over the affected area, then secure it in place. Roofing nails would be ideal if you have them, but you can also weigh it down with any heavy objects you don’t mind leaving on your roof. As long as you have a heavy enough seal around the sheet, it should be an effective temporary fix for your leaking roof. That being said, until you get a more permanent repair, we recommend you keep that bucket close at hand.

Seek Professional Help

With the leak contained for now, it’s time to call in the roofing experts. Roofing can be a difficult and dangerous job, and it’s best left to people who know what they’re doing. A professional roofer will be able to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. Here at Interstate Roofing, our team is dedicated to serving our community for all their roofing needs. Should you find yourself in need of some emergency roof repairs, give us a call. Our trained professionals are ready and able to help.

How To Repair a Leaking Roof Vent

Far from being a simple annoyance, a leaking roof vent can have a devastating effect on your home, property, and belongings. As water drips through the vent, it will gradually cause the ceiling paint to darken and the plaster to expand and bubble. Soon enough, it will spread into your home, damaging anything you have stored in your attic and encouraging the growth of mold and mildew. Not only will this lead to expensive repairs, it may also create health issues for the residents of the home as mold spores propagate and spread through the ventilation systems.

While leaks can occur anywhere in the roof of your home, it’s the vents that are often most vulnerable. In most homes that face leakage, it’s a combination of inclement weather and a lack of proper maintena how to repair leaking roof vent nce that leads to problems. That’s why it’s critical to make sure your roof is properly maintained and to repair any issues as you find them. Here are a few tips on how to repair a leaking roof vent.

Safety First

Before you begin any project involving roof work, take your time to plan and prepare. No repair job is worth putting your safety at risk, so never attempt anything you aren’t certain you can do safely. Before you walk around a roof or in an attic, make sure that everywhere you stand will be able to support your weight. Also ensure that you aren’t doing any roofing work in unfavorable conditions. Extreme heat, extreme cold, and wet weather are not times to be working on your roof.

It helps to have the right safety equipment. A proper ladder and harness are absolutely essential. In addition, you should never attempt any sort of roofing work alone. ALWAYS have a spotter working with you to serve as an extra set of eyes, as well as an extra set of hands. If at any time you’re uncomfortable with any element of the job you’re attempting, simply contact a professional roofing company like Interstate Roofing and ask them to undertake it for you.

Learn to Diagnose the Problem

The first step toward dealing with leaky roof vents is diagnosing the problem. Learn to recognize the signs of a leak so that you can begin the repair process as quickly as possible—before the damage becomes catastrophic. Stains on the ceiling are one of the primary telltale signs. A dark spot will usually spread out from underneath the source of the leak.

You may also notice mold growth in your attic. This is a sign that moisture has found its way into your home. Metal parts of the home might begin to rust as water drips down pipes and over vents. You’ll want to check the outer roof as well, since sometimes the damage is apparent there. A close inspection may reveal shingles that have been worn away, as well as sealant that has come off near your roof vents.

Find the Leak

Once you have noticed signs of a leak, you should follow these indicators to locate the source of the vent leak. You might do this in the attic or on the roof itself. Sometimes, it’ll be obvious, as you’ll actually see water dripping down from the damaged area. In other cases, it won’t be as clear exactly where the leakage is occurring. In that case, you may have to feel around with your hand for any damp spots.

The leak can occur anywhere near the roof vent. It will often be in the seal around it, but it can also be somewhere along the vent pipe. Of course, it’s also possible you’ll be dealing with more than one leak, especially if your roof hasn’t received regular maintenance.

What Kind of Leak Is It?

When learning how to repair leaking roof vent flashing, you’ll have several different solutions available to you, depending on the source of the problem. If it’s a cracked vent pipe, your strategy for fixing it may be different than a split rubber vent pipe boot, for example. In any case, the different elements of the roof vent must all have watertight seals. If any areas are compromised, that’s where the leaks will occur.

Temporary Fixes

In many cases, you may not be able to repair the damage immediately, or you may end up needing to call a professional roofer to complete the job. If that’s the case, there are a few temporary fixes you can do to avoid further damage while you wait for your permanent solution. Tying a towel around the leaking part of a vent pipe can catch the water that’s coming through. It will work for a short while.

You can also add a quick layer of extra sealant over the damaged area. Just note that, without a more involved repair job, this is only a temporary solution and not how to repair leaking roof vent flashing or pipes.

Replace Any Damaged Parts

First, you’ll need to clear a path to the leaking area on the roof. You may need to cut away some insulation to access a damaged pipe. After you have accessed the leaky area, you’ll need to use a pocketknife to scrape any old caulking away. Remove any screws from the damaged area and dispose of them; they are likely to be weak from rust and should be replaced. Slide the vent parts apart and removed the damaged section. Replace the rubber boot if it has split, and redo any sealing with more caulk. You may have to remove damaged sections of pipe too. Replace these, if you’re able, and add a little pipe sealant to the seams when you screw a new section of pipe into place.

What To Do If the Damage Has Spread

Particularly if the roof of your home hasn’t been maintained properly, the damage may have spread farther than a simple leak. While a split rubber boot or a cracked vent pipe is easy to repair, occasionally the problem may become more severe. Water damage can lead to the wood that makes up your roof rotting. If that’s the case, it’ll be a much more difficult repair. If, at any time, you discover that an element of the repair is beyond your capabilities, simply contact the licensed professional roofers at Interstate Roofing to complete the job.

Prevention vs. Cure

The best solution to a leaky roof vent, of course, is to prevent it from taking place in the first place. Your best option is always to have regular maintenance performed on your roof. Having a professional roofer from Interstate Roofing come in to check for any potential problems every once in a while will save you a lot of money in the long run, not to mention stress and headache as you avoid catastrophic damage to your roof.

The Leak Detective Is In

We’re ready to solve your Portland, OR leaking roof mystery

In the Pacific Northwest, dealing with rain is a way of life. You may choose to ignore the constant downpour during your daily commute, and that’s okay. When the rain seeps into your home and you discover annoying drips or unsightly water stains, however, that’s when it’s time to take action. Ignoring the rain outdoors may only result in wet ankles and frizzy hair; neglecting to address the rain indoors could result in mold, the destruction of insulation, and rotting woodwork.

You may be tempted to tackle the job yourself, but what you may not realize is that discovering the source of a roof leak can be difficult. Contrary to common belief, the site of a water stain or drip may not be where the water is getting in from, so it’s best to consult the experts. An experienced roofing contractor will look for clues and perform some nifty tricks to find the source of the infiltration.

We Investigate Every Nook and Cranny

We may begin by examining your roof’s shingles or tiles as well any chimney seams to look for signs of mold or water damage. We’ll even crawl into your dusty attic if necessary to find telltale leak indicators. One of the easiest ways to tell, though, is often by using the water itself. By investigating where the water is flowing to and looking for paths that may lead to the stain, we may be able to find the suspect.

Common Leak Culprits

Common leak culprits include roof vents or vent boots. What are vent boots? Well, all homes have vents on their roof in order for sewer gases to release into the atmosphere rather than building up in your home. Installed over the vent pipe is a boot designed to keep water from leaking into the vent hole. Damage to the vent or boot may give the rain easy access to your home.

Nails and leftover mounting holes may also be the source of a water intrusion. These suspects are sometimes left behind after a roof repair or satellite dish installation. These leak sources are significantly smaller than faulty vents, so they are sneakier. You may discover that mounting holes have been letting small amounts of water into your home for months or even years. Fortunately, these tiny holes are simple to repair with a patch or new shingles.

Are you ready to stay dry indoors by interpreting the evidence and solving the puzzle? If so, contact us today for tips and additional help, or check out our homepage.