Roof damage sustained during a storm is something that no homeowner wants to think about. Yet minimizing this kind of damage is something every homeowner should be prepared to deal with. While any type of storm damage should be carefully inspected by a good residential roof company, in order to determine its extent, homeowners who react quickly with an emergency repair can help to minimize damages. When waiting for their roof to be repaired by experienced roofers, temporarily patching these damages could make the difference between just needing a repair, or needing an entire roof replacement.
Stopping Small Leaks Quickly
After a storm, especially if the roof has been hit by debris such as falling branches, it is always a good idea to check for leaks and other damages. Leaks would likely first be noticed inside the attic, or evidenced by new staining on the ceiling drywall due to water coming through the roof and soaking through the ceiling. Getting these leaks stopped is critical in preventing even more damage, since roofing materials, decking, and everything underneath can suffer from water damage. For a quick fix until the roof company can make a proper repair, and if the leak hole can be found, a piece of aluminum flashing can be slipped in between shingles and tacked into place with one or two roofing tacks. This method is only useful if the actual source of the leak can be located.
When the exact source of a leak is not able to be located, or there are multiple leaks or damages like torn off shingles, the best thing to do is to cover the entire area with a tarp to keep more water from getting through the roof, and further damaging roofing material and more. The simplest way to do this is to apply a tarp so that it lies over the ridge of the roof, with the larger portion of the tarp covering up the damaged areas. Tarps can be screwed down by their grommets into the roof decking to hold it in place.
This type of quick fix is a good way to get rain off active leaks, exposed decking, or holes, but it should only be relied upon as a very temporary solution, with a correct repair or roof replacement being done as soon as possible, preferably within days. If it is going to be longer before the right repair or replacement can be made, a tarp can be used in such a way that is sturdy enough to last a few weeks to a few months. First sheets of plywood must be screwed down over the damaged areas, and then heavy duty tarps are placed over the plywood. Tarps should be held down with 1x3 inch wood strapping at the edges, all screwed into the plywood to make a more weatherproof seal.
Flat Roof Leaks
Anyone with a flat roof should always have a container of roof sealing compound that can be applied at any time on hand, even while it is raining. This is to seal up holes or other areas where water is getting through the roof. Ideally, the roof should then be inspected and checked for water and other damage, and then either permanently patched, or re-roofed if necessary.
Making an attempt to immediately cover up any damage to prevent it from worsening is the best thing that a homeowner can do once they realize their roof has been damaged in a storm. When bad weather hits an area, it can sometimes take a while for the a good residential roofing company to get out to repair a roof if a lot of homes have been damaged. Still, getting experienced residential roof repair is essential, so making a temporary repair to last until permanent repairs or roof replacement can be done is recommended whenever possible!