No matter where you live, you might experience severe weather events or high winds that cause property damage. Unfortunately, now and then, that extreme weather could lead to an emergency roof repair. From hail damage to lightning strikes, many things could cause roof leaks.

Fortunately, finding a temporary solution to your emergency roof leak is easy. Keep reading to learn a few ways you can perform your own emergency roof repair.

Before You Start an Emergency Roof Repair

When you find a leak in your roof, you should consider a few things before tackling a roof repair emergency yourself. Some temporary fixes, such as laying out a tarp, are simple for the least urgent roof repairs. However, other methods can be more complex and are best for professionals.

Remain Calm

It can be easy to get overwhelmed in an emergency situation like a roof leak. Still, you must keep calm to avoid further damage or improper emergency roof repairs. So, take a few deep breaths, find a bucket to collect water, and place it under the leak.

Assess for Severe Damage

Assessing the level of damage will help determine whether your roof problem constitutes an emergency. For example, if water is pouring into your home or you see large paint bubbles, you’ll need to call emergency services.

However, if it’s a small leak, you might be able to patch it temporarily until a roofing contractor can come out to fix it, saving you some money on emergency repair hours. If you find gas or power lines damaged, call your utility company immediately, as those constitute a significant risk.

emergency roof repair nailgun

Contact Insurance

Finally, always contact your insurance company before having any roofing work done. Your insurance coverage might cover emergency repairs, especially if the damage was due to a natural disaster. In addition, you might find that your insurance company will give you a new roof when you put in a claim.

For best results, avoid filling out a claim online. Instead, you should try to speak to an insurance agent in person or over the phone when filing your insurance claim. Doing so will allow you to ask questions and ensure you’re all on the same page.

What to Do in the Meantime

So, what should you do while you’re waiting for a roofing contractor to repair your roof? Unless you have a roofing license, you should avoid a complete roof repair. However, you can do a few things to minimize damage inside while you wait.

Use a Tarp

Roof tarping is an excellent way to temporarily patch your roof while you wait for a contractor. Using a tarp to cover a roof leak can prevent further water intrusion inside your home. Simply cover your leak with a tarp, and use a few roofing nails to hold it down.

Although a tarp is purely a temporary fix, it can prevent further water leaks while waiting for a maintenance specialist. Once the storm passes, you can remove the tarp and assess the affected area for damage. Don’t leave a tarp on for more than a few days if you can avoid it.

Use Replacement Shingles

Broken shingles are a common form of roof damage. Quickly replacing them is crucial to preventing extensive roof links or damage to your home’s interior. If you’re a bit handy and have easy access to roofing material, you could put a few replacement shingles in place.

However, it’s important to remember that a patch job isn’t a permanent fix. If the issue is a small hole, replacement shingles will work temporarily. However, you should still have a roofing contractor properly address the issue as soon as possible.

Seal the Leak

When a roofing emergency situation arises, sometimes you have to use whatever’s on hand. That includes things like sealant, caulk, or roofing cement. So, consider using it if you have something handy to seal your leak. Doing so could help prevent small leaks from becoming a major disaster.

If your region recently experienced a natural disaster, there are probably many people who need urgent repairs. In that case, it might be a while before a contractor can fix your roof. That said, before performing a repair yourself, speak with a professional to ensure you won’t be doing further damage.

close up of hammer and nails on old roof in need of emergency repair

Prevent Leaks in the Future

Once you’ve temporarily handled your roofing repair, you’ll need to take steps to prevent further leaks in the future. Although things like wind or hail damage are unavoidable, you can do a few things to ensure your roof is in top shape.

Get an Inspection

First and foremost, get a professional roof inspection. A roofing inspector can check for structural integrity, structural damage, electrical hazards, mold and water damage, and infestations. Many of these things go unnoticed to the untrained eye, which is why getting a professional is crucial.

An inspector can help you prevent unexpected roof damage by highlighting anything that shows a risk of significant damage. In addition, they can tell you whether you need mold remediation, which can significantly improve your home’s air quality.

Hire a Licensed Roofing Contractor

Once your inspector gives you detailed information on what type of emergency repairs you’ll need, it’s time to contact a licensed contractor. Depending on your needs, roofing contractors can help you with permanent repairs or perform a complete roof installation for a brand-new roof.

Roofing companies in your area will have the proper roofing materials and expertise to fix your damaged roof. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid replacing your roof entirely. However, a replacement might be best if your roof leaks in multiple places or is past its prime. For example, it might be time to start from scratch if your leaking roof is over twenty years old.

Wrapping Up

Emergency roof repairs are a common and costly surprise expense. Unfortunately, a small roof leak can turn disastrous if you don’t repair your roof right away. To prevent further property damage, you should contact licensed emergency roofing services as soon as possible.

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