Is a Roof Leak an Emergency?

water leak coming through ceiling

When water seeps in

Next to the air conditioner or the water heater needing repair, a roof leak repair would rank as one thing a homeowner doesn’t want. Yet, these are things that happen, all a part of homeownership. Today, we’re going to discuss roof leaks, what causes roof leaks, and what to when you have a roof leak. 

So, starting off with a basic question, what causes roof leaks? There are few factors that cause a roof leak, leading to a roof leak repairs:

  1. Shingles compromised
    Poor workmanship during installation is too often found to be the problem with faulty materials being a problem. More than likely though, a leaking roof is caused by mother nature from hailstorms or high winds. Once a shingle is loosened or blown off, the roof’s integrity is compromised, leading to roof leak repair being needed. 
  2. Roof valleys compromised
    Every roof has valleys where two different slopes meet. A metal flashing is installed there to keep water running of the roof. If that flashing comes loose or is punctured, it allows the shingles under it to become loosened, compromising the roof, and again, a roof leak repair is needed.  
  3. Poor Installation or poor quality materials
    When you have a roof installed, you want the best workmanship possible. Using a contractor that doesn’t have experience or offer recent, local references can result in poor installation. Or a contractor that doesn’t use the best roofing materials possible can result in need roof leak repair.  
  4. Punctured roof or obstruction
    When branches or limbs fall out of trees, or the roof is hit with hail or other objects, it will often cause roof damage. After a significant weather event, it recommended to walk around your home and check or any broken branches and limbs. If you notice any, have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof and see if there any need for roof leak repair or replacement. This inspection should include check the gutters and valleys too.
  5. Improper Ventilation
    If your attic has improper ventilation, or the rooms in your home aren’t properly ventilated for the HVAC, it can allow moisture to build up and over time, create a leaking ceiling. This may not require roof leak repair, but it warrants having a roofing contractor inspect your attic and roof to make sure. 
  6. Old roof
    The roof on your home will not last forever. The life expectancy of a roof is between 20 and 30 years, depending on the quality of shingles. If your roof is 15 years or older, a professional inspection is recommended. You may need to get a new roof before repeated roof leak repairs start. 

Can roof leaks be fixed?

Yes, most times, a roof leak repair is possible by a professional roofing contractor. As soon as you notice that you have a roof leak, take the steps to stop the leak from damaging your home’s interior anymore. We’re going to  answer the question “How do you fix a leaking roof yourself?” in minute. 

Next, call a professional roofing contractor. They will inspect the roof and your attic, get an assessment of the problem and the discuss the options of roof leak repair or replacement with you. Keep reading for information on what to do when you have leaking roof.

Who do you call for a leaky roof?

When you have a leaking roof, what should you do first? You’ll want to take the steps we outline next to minimize damage, but your first phone call should be to a roofing contractor.  Make this call first and while waiting on the contractor arrive, follow the steps we’ve outlined. Once you have done your part to minimize the damage and the roofing contractor has either completed a roof leak repair or provided you an estimate of what is needed, call your insurance company. 

What to do if your roof is leaking?

Here we offer a step-by-step process to follow for successfully handing your leaking roof: 

  • Step One: Minimize the interior damage: Where the leak is coming into your home, place towels under the area and a bucket or some type of container. Next, if there is a bulging area, poke it with a sharp object and let the water fill the bucket or container. This will relieve any pressure that the built up water is creating. Next, using old towels, and clean up what you can, cover your furniture and other items that can’t be removed from the immediate area with plastic. Pull up carpeting and rugs, place fans around the room, this will prevent mold from starting. 
  • Step Two: The Roofing Contractor: Next, call a local, professional roofing contractor. Hopefully, you have minimal damage to your roof and a roof leak repair is possible then. Otherwise, if a new roof is needed, they will provide you an estimate that you’ll need to share with your homeowner’s insurance company. If a new roof is necessary, the roofing contractor should be able to do a temporary fix to keep the leak from getting worse. 
  • Step Three: Inspect your roof and interior: As you wait for the contractor, go around your home and take pictures of the damage that you can share with your insurance company.  When the contractor arrives, ask them to take pictures while on top of the roof as well.  Inspect the attic too and take pictures if possible.  
  • Step Four: Call the insurance company: If the damage is minimal and the contractor can do a roof leak repair on the spot, there isn’t any need to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance.  Save these claims for more serious issues that will exceed your deductible. 

Can a roof leak be repaired from the inside?

So you have a leaking roof, and the roofing contractor can’t to you for a few days. If there has been a significant weather event in your area, this isn’t unusual. Here, we are providing you steps for a temporary fix until the roofing contractor can provide you a permanent solution. 

Divert The Water

  1. Create a track for the incoming water to drain by pushing a nail into the hole where the water is coming.
  2. Place a bucket or container, a large size, under the area and tie a string onto the nail and stretch it to the bucket. The water coming in will follow that string to the bucket. 
  3. Once the rain has stopped and the area of the leak has dried, follow the next set of steps. 

Seal The Leak

  1. First, you need to find leak and you can do this by getting in the attic with a flashlight. Shining it around the attic, look for damp, moist areas, and mold. 
  2. Using chalk, draw a circle around the problem area to help identify it when time to make the permanent repair.
  3. Once the area is dry, place a piece of plywood over the hole and apply a roof patch tar product to the area, spreading it around the leak, cover the entire region.
  4. Once that has dried, caulk the edges, using a finger to spread it out.  
damaged tile roof

Can I claim for roof repairs on insurance?, or Does insurance cover a leaking roof?

These are the most common questions a homeowner will ask, and for good reason. You pay monthly premiums, you’d like to get your money’s worth, right? Most insurance policies for homeowners will cover roof replacement when the damage happened from a natural act like hail, wind, etc.  Or if an accident not of your fault, roof replacement maybe covered.  

Every policy is different, and it is to your best interest to review your policy before you need to file a claim.  of nature or sudden accidental event. A roof leak repair or replacement due to age of the roof or negligence will not be covered by any homeowner’s insurance policy.  

Even if the negligence is from the previous owners, the preliminary inspection every insurance company performs before issuing a policy, the adjuster will advise you of repair or replacement needed. If you choose not to do this, any roof leak repair or replacement will be at your expense. Call (512) 299-6576 today for your roof leak repair in Austin, TX.