My Roof is Leaking – What do I do and the Dangers of Waiting

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If your roof is leaking, there are two key things to remember: don’t panic and don’t put off getting in a professional to repair the roof. Here we take a look at what to do in the minutes immediately following the discovery that you’ve got a leak, as well as some ongoing temporary measures you can take until you can find a suitably qualified and experienced roofer to repair the damage. We also consider the dangers that putting off a water leak repair can bring.

What do I do if my Roof is Leaking?

Personal Safety

Personal safety always comes first! If you’ve discovered a severe leak (especially if water is pouring through your electrics), we recommend switching the power off at the mains. If you’ve got a ceiling that’s bulging precariously, due to the weight of water, make sure there are no people or pets in the room below. Similarly, if a portion of the roof has blown away or become detached, so that water is pouring directly into the room below, any occupants need to be evacuated.

Damage Limitation

Depending on the size of the leak, you can take any (or all) of the following measures:

  • If possible, remove belongings from the immediate vicinity of the roof leak to a place of safety.
  • Place a bucket under the leak (line with a towel to prevent the irritating splashing noise, as well as to reduce splashback).
  • If a ceiling is bulging, carefully cutting a slit in the plaster will allow the water to leak through in a controlled manner, reducing pressure and reducing the risk of the entire ceiling collapsing. Exercise a bit of judgment here – if the ceiling looks on the verge of collapse, leave it well alone!

Temporary Measures

If it is safe to do so, try to fasten a tarpaulin, heavy-duty plastic, or some other weatherproof cover over a hole in the roof, if there is one. If you know where the leak has originated from (remember that water always takes the easiest course, so where water comes out isn’t always directly below the source of the leak), you can try to fix a temporary cover in place.

We recommend contacting a roofer as soon as you can to come and complete a correct repair.

Why we Don’t Recommend DIY Roofing and/or Leaving the Leak Unmended

  • Leaks cause structural damage. Every time a leak occurs, your home’s structure deteriorates.
  • Leaks are dangerous – water in your electrics can be lethal. Why risk it?
  • Leaks require repair on several different levels. It’s no use just patching up an interior ceiling or attempting to apply a roof sealant. The roof is composed of several different layers, each of which will need to be correctly repaired for a permanent solution to your leak.
  • DIY roofing is dangerous! Please don’t try to fix the leak yourself. Working at height without the correct skills, tools, and safety gear is hazardous. Don’t put yourself (or others) in danger.

Contact the Roof Guys to fix a roof leak, or fix your roof if it’s showing signs of deterioration or wear.