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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.

What You Should Know About Emergency Roof Repair in Portland OR?

Do you live in Portland, OR, and take pride in being a Portlander? Then you know its reputation for rain—known as Portland mist by the locals. Being a Portlander, you must understand that the roof of your house is the first defense against the rain.

With such weather conditions, one needs a home with a well-built roof to protect the people and property from the sun and weather. In fact, when a storm hits Portland, your roof is one of the most important things you should be worried about.

Let’s say a gust of wind blows off or damages shingles, and the next thing you know, your roof is leaking. The sad reality is that emergency roof repair in Portland, OR, is quite common.

Preparation Is the Best Protection

So how can you take care of your roof? Well, keeping an eye on it is the key.

After a storm, you should do a thorough checkup of your roof. See if there are any loose or missing shakes or shingles. If you feel something isn’t right, don’t wait for it to start leaking before you call for service. You rely on the roof to safeguard your house and everything inside.

Owing to Portland’s weather, rain can seep through your roof, and these leaks can enter your home, leading to substantial water damage. So you should know your roof takes up as much as 50 percent of your home’s exterior. Any damage to your roof can result in damage to both your home’s exterior and beautiful interior.

It’s a good idea to make a plan ahead of time in case a tree falls on your roof in the middle of the night or hail and strong winds tear it apart.

Inspection Tips for Emergency Roof Repair Portland OR

There are times when a storm can leave you with more damage than you expect. This is why you should do an inspection no matter what. You may find there’s a lot of debris collected on your roof or notice missing or loose shingles or damaged vents, which can lead to insect infestations and moisture accumulation.

If the damage is severe, you can register an insurance claim with your home insurance provider. A roofing contractor can determine the magnitude of the damage. After the roofer and claims adjuster verify the damage, an insurance claim can be filed, and any repairs necessary due to the storm may be covered or partially covered by your insurance company.

Other instances when you might need to call for urgent roof reconstruction include:

  • High winds tear off a metal frame or shingle and damage the fundamental substratum
  • A broken branch falls on your roof, penetrating the surface and the decking below it
  • Your home takes a direct lightning strike through the roof that causes a hole

Non-Emergency Repair

Besides an emergency, what are other signs that might indicate your roof needs repair?

Over time, the roof can become weary and look older than its actual age due to rain, wind, and other weather conditions. Most of the time, it goes unnoticed, which can lead to problems like broken tiles, leakage, etc., or something more serious if a storm hits. But if you notice these issues early, instead of replacing the roof or dealing with emergency repairs, you can consider maintenance or roof repair.

Roof maintenance involves inspecting, cleaning, and repairing. The restoration of your roof will refurbish it to normal, keeping the weather out and protecting your home. And knowing your roof is in good order before the rainy season hits will leave you with peace of mind.

Call a Well-Established Local Roofing Contractor

Instead of scrambling when an emergency happens, it’s a good idea to know who your emergency contacts for such situations are beforehand.

Look for a well-established local roofing contractor with a stellar reputation and who’s certified and fully insured. Make sure you check customer reviews and find a company with good service.

You’ll want to understand what emergency services the roofing contractor provides. For instance, do they give provisional climate protection alternatives until more comprehensive repairs can be completed? A contractor might arrive as soon as possible when you call for emergency roof repair and tarp the damaged region to protect the roof—and your home—until the weather clears. Maybe they have after-hours emergency facilities.

When the bad weather blows through, they can then evaluate the magnitude of the damage correctly and suggest repairs, without causing further damage in the meantime.

You should inform the roofing contractor if there were any pre-existing roof issues before they evaluate the emergency repair.

Wondering who to call? Let Interstate Roofing help you get out of these sticky situations. Whether your roof starts leaking after a nasty storm or a tree limb has penetrated your roof, Interstate can help.

With more than 30 years of experience providing roof repair in Portland, OR, Interstate Roofing specializes in roofing replacement, repair, and maintenance needs.

Not only that, we’re dedicated to sustainability by choosing to recycle roofing waste whenever possible, instead of adding it to landfills in our region. And having an in-house transport division gives us unparalleled flexibility.

We continuously train our employees on the latest products and techniques. This helps us ensure all our team members are qualified to give customers the best work and to stay safe. So the next time you’re looking for a contractor, call Interstate Roofing to fix your roof. you can trust us to help you keep your home or property weathertight and beautiful.