Keeping Your Roof in Shape
If you have noticed several neighbors getting a new roof, maybe it’s time to have your roof inspected. It doesn’t necessarily mean a good salesperson has canvassed the neighborhood selling roofing jobs. Or you can wait and take a chance of not needing emergency roof repair. Your home, your choice.
Is a roof leak an emergency?
Any roof leak needs to be addressed, but not every roof leak is an emergency. Emergency roof repair is needed when the daily routine of your household is interrupted by rain pouring into your home. If the roof leak is caused by a tree sitting on top of your home or your roof is partially missing, that is an emergency roof repair.
A tiny to small roof leak where you’re able to go about the normal activities should be addressed and repaired sooner than later, but it isn’t a cause for calling a contractor for an emergency roof repair.
How do you handle an emergency roof repair?
The first essential step is to evacuate the house if the leak is from a tree on the roof or the roof is partially gone. Once everyone is safe, take the following steps for a temporary emergency roof repair:
Minimize Water Damage
You need to minimize any more water damage to your home’s interior, including electronics, furnishings, and personal belongings. Move everything you can out from under the leak and then place a plastic tarp on the floor with a bucket on that. This will collect the water. Next, if the ceiling is bulging, poke a hole in the center. This will allow any built up water to drain out and keep from causing more damage to the ceiling.
Determine the Location of the Damage
It is never recommended for homeowners to climb up on the roof to locate a leak. The structure may not be stable. However, if you can gain access to the attic, with a flashlight, look for water dripping from the joists and decking, moisture on the insulation, etc. Follow the dripping water backward to determine where it is coming from. Typically roof leaks are not where the water is dripping. Use chalk to circle the area and then measure from the closest outer wall to the leak. This will help you locate the leak on the roof.
Apply a Tarp
From inside the attic, stretch a plastic tarp over the damaged area. Secure it in place with 2×4 boards and nails. If you can safely get on the roof, the following steps will walk you through how to put an emergency tarp on a roof:
Once you’re on the roof, measure from the same exterior wall to the damaged area. Place a plastic tarp over the damage and position 2×4 boards in a square around the damage and nail or screw into place. This is only meant for a temporary emergency roof repair – never plan for that to be “the” repair.
If you haven’t already, call a roofing contractor that offers emergency roof repair service. Explain the damage you’ve found and the steps you have taken. Then call your homeowner’s insurance company and file a roof damage claim.
How can I cover a hole in my roof?
As a homeowner, it is beneficial for you to know how to temporarily fix a leaking roof until the roofing contractor arrives. If the leak isn’t considered an emergency roof repair, but there is a definite leak, you can take these steps to stop any further leaking:
- After you have secured your ladder to your house and safety equipment on, get on the roof and locate the damaged area. You can use the same measuring steps described above from the exterior wall to the damage.
- Remove the old roofing shingles using a pry bar.
- Remove any remaining nails.
- If the decking has any damage, remove it.
- Measuring the damaged area, cut a piece of plywood to be 2” larger all the way around
- Cut 2 x 4 boards to create a square frame around the damage.
- Attach the cut piece of plywood to roof joists with galvanized nails
- Apply tar paper over the plywood.
- Frame the plywood with the 2×4 boards.
Should the time come that you need emergency roof repair, you need to know how to get emergency roof repair after storm damage. Making a connection with a roofer when you don’t have an emergency will help you going forward. Do this by scheduling annual roofing inspections. They will learn your home’s roof and structure and you can establish a relationship with them. With that relationship in place, when you do have an emergency roof repair, they’ll put you to the top of the list.
How much is an emergency roof repair?
Emergency roof repair charges by most roofing contractors can reach a total of $400. They typically charge by the hour, anywhere from $45 to $75 per hour, with most minor roof leaks taking under 3 hours.
Topping Off The Roof
Is a permit needed to do an emergency roof repair? In the Fort Worth, Texas area, roofing jobs do not require a building permit. The only time a roofing job would require a permit is if the roof was a new build or expanding on an existing structure.