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How to Manage a Leaky Roof

March 22, 2023

If water is seeping through your roof, don’t panic. Take action and win the battle!  Here are some DIY tips that can help stop leaks in their tracks, and cut down on water damage.

Telltale Signs of a Leaky Roof

Your roof is probably leaking if you have water stains going across the ceiling or down your walls.  They usually show up as brown spots.  Fix leaks right away to avoid an expensive repair bill down the road. Even small leaks can lead to big trouble. If you let them go, they can cause mold, damage your ceiling and destroy the insulation.

Finding Roof Leaks

When searching for a leak, look for items that penetrate the roof. Chimneys, plumbing and roof vents are the most common sources of leaks.  Sometimes water appears at a spot some distance away from the leak, making smaller leaks harder to find. Look for roof patches that are brittle or damaged by age. Also, examine metal roof flashing. Once you spot a problem, go into the attic with a flashlight and look for water stains, black marks or mold.

Preventing Roof Leaks

There are steps you can take to prevent leaks from occurring.  Water can seep into your home through cracked, bent and missing roof shingles. Replace missing shingles right away. A cracked shingle can be repaired with roof sealant.  Call a professional if you feel you don’t have the ability to make the repairs yourself.

Look for puddles on your roof after it rains.  Ponding can cause a roof to rot, which can lead to leaks and water damage.  Flat and low-sloped roofs are the most vulnerable.  Have the surface repaired as soon as possible.

Clear out your gutters regularly.  If they are clogged, they won’t be able to properly move water away from your roof and siding.  Gutter guards help prevent debris buildup so you won’t have to clean your gutters as often.

Inspect your attic ceiling for leaks.  If you notice damaged or moldy insulation; rotting or stained boards or ceiling panels, you may have a leak.

In areas that have a lot of snow and ice, ice dams can form.  Heat rises from your home and melts the snow on the roof.  The snow melt can refreeze on the colder edges of your roof and clog your gutters.  Check your attic to make sure it has enough insulation.  

How to Manage Roof Leaks

After you schedule a date for repairs to be made,  you can take a few temporary measures while you wait.

Minimize the damage to the inside of your home.  Move furniture and valuables to another spot. Cover the area with a waterproof plastic sheet or tarp. Place a large bucket beneath the leak to catch falling water.

Check the attic or crawlspace to try to pinpoint the source of the leak.  If you find it, create a barrier. Try laying a piece of plywood across the joists to stop the water from reaching the ceiling.  Place a large bucket on top..

You can also redirect the leaking water with a bottle funnel.  This homemade device features a hose, an empty plastic bottle, and duct tape. The water will flow through the tunnel and out of the house.

Has Water Damaged Your Home?

When it comes to home disasters,  Flood Department is here to help. We provide repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses.  We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke and more.  We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Contact us today at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.


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