Is a Roof Leak an Emergency?

water damage to ceiling from pooling water from a roof leak

What Does a Roof Leak Look Like?

A roof leak repair is something that no homeowner ever wants to deal with, but it is something that you need to be prepared for handling. To begin being prepared, a homeowner need to know what roof leak symptoms are and how to identify a roof leak. While identifying that roof leak, a homeowner should also be able to identify causes of roof leaks too so they can fix them and avoid having future problems. 

Your roof could have been telling you something all along and you haven’t recognized the signs yet. Here are nine signs that your roof is  warning about possible roof leak repair is in your near future. Pay attention to these now so that you don’t find yourself in an emergency situation: 

  • Warning #1: Algae and Mold on the roof are caused by algae deposited on your roof by way of airborne fungi. The immediate landing of algae isn’t an issue, but when you leave it alone, let it sit there, then you’re creating a problem for the future. Regular roof inspection and cleaning can prevent algae from becoming a problem and cause the need for a roof leak repair.
  • Warning Sign #2: Buckled Shingles could be caused by improperly installed felt, decking moving because the house is shifted, or the roof has reached its life expectancy and the UV rays have baked the shingles.
  • Warning Sign #3: Curled Shingles can be caused by the same issues as #2 above in addition to water absorption. The shingles are buckling and curling, water is getting in under them. Ignoring this will lead a roof leak repair soon.  Another issue that can cause this is poor ventilation in the attic is letting hot air build up in the attic.
  • Warning Sign #4: Flashing Damage can happen when it has been improperly installed allowing the wind to catch it, bend it, loosen it, or even lift it off. In those cases, it can be replaced without replacing the entire roof. It also happens when a roof has reached its end of life because the nails have loosened. 
  • Warning Sign #5: Granules Missing can indicate the roof’s age and roof replacement is recommended. Some loss is normal, but if you’re noticing a lot in the downspouts or around the house,  you may be looking at roof leak repair soon or the aged roof needs replacing. 
  • Warning Sign #6: Attic Ventilation lacking causes hot air to stay in the attic, and as we discussed in warning sign #3 above, this lets the sun’s UV rays bake the shingles, shortening their lifespan.  It also makes your air conditioning work harder, which cost you more in energy bills. 
  • Warning Sign #7: Shingles Missing usually happens after high winds during a storm. It can happen with the shingles haven’t been fastened down properly, the flashing has loosened or came off, and the shingles are old, and you need a new roof. 
  • Warning Sign #8: Roof Rot is caused by moisture absorbed in the underlayment matting. This is a common issue for roofs with organic-based shingles. 
  • Warning Sign #9: Water Spots on Ceilings and Walls. If you’re noticing water spots on the ceilings or walls, you already have a roof leak started and you need roof leak repair now. 

Will a Leaking Roof Collapse?

When the components of a roofing structure has bene permeated with water that has leaked in, yes, it could collapse unless it is addressed, fixed, and treated.  It can happen quickly, or it can happen slowly over time, but water will weaken a structure. Some indications that your roof is in possible danger of collapsing: 

  1. A roof leak means there is water pooling up between the ceiling and roof and if a roof leak repair isn’t doesn’t in a timely matter, that water will weigh and stress on the roof beams, attic insulation, and the ceiling drywall. Sooner than later, it will begin to droop and sag, then collapse. 
  2. Structural problems are indicated by bends, ripples, and sunken areas of the roof.
  3. Cracking masonry is often the foundation, but it can also be the roof is saturated with water and the added weight is causing the masonry to crack. 
  4. Cracks and gaps in the interior walls can indicate foundation problems and are also indications of a weighted roof from water saturation. 
  5. Creaks and popping noises could be a ghost or could be the roof is about to give up. Call a roofing contractor for roof leak repair before you call a ghostbuster. 

What To Do if Your Roof is Leaking?

  • Stabilize: First thing to do is stabilize the leaking area and move valuables out and away. Place a container with a tarp or towel under the leak to catch any more water that comes in.  If your ceiling is covered in drywall, poke a small hole in the center of the area that is bubbled up and leaking. This will let any water built up out. 
  • Tracking:  Now you need to track down the problem and source so you can do your roof leak repair. The actual leak may not be coming from where the water is leaking in, so climb up in the attic and with a flashlight, look for the leak, the water will reflect the light.  You can also lay sheets of toilet paper along ceiling joists and where the leak is, the toilet paper will absorb the water. 
  • Dry up the Damage: Before you begin roof leak repairs, you need to make sure the area is thoroughly dry,  especially if there is any moisture trapped. If you allow the moisture to remain, you’ll have mold growing soon. 
  • Repairs:  You may be able to repair the damaged roof with spackle and paint, or you may need to replace the entire ceiling and repaint, that all depends on the severity and size of the leak. 

How Do I Temporarily Fix a Leak in my Roof?

Don’t panic but do what you can for temporary roof leak repair, taking it one thing at a time. Minimizing possible interior damage is first, following the steps we described above. Now, take the following steps for a roof leak repair temporarily until you have a roofing contractor:  

  • Tarp the Roof: Every homeowner should have a tarp or two around. It is a handy material for many things, and it can keep water out of your house temporarily. After you have located the leak, use 1×2 or 2×4 boards and nail down the tarp over the leaking area.  
  • Cement the Roof: Using a roofing cement, seal up small holes. For larger holes, use a shingle, metal, or wood over the leaking area and seal with roofing cement. 
Roof leak repair

What Can I Use to Seal a Leaking Roof?

Dripping water from your ceiling is stressful and it is vital to get the cause of that drip resolved quickly. Until your roofing contractor arrives, you can to a short-term roof leak repair with roof sealant. Because you don’t know when your contractor will available, you want to choose a sealant that is formulated for any type of weather condition. 

Before you begin your temporary roof leak repair job, make sure the area you’re repairing is clean and dry so the sealant can stick. Now follow these steps with your roof leak repair material: 

  • Prepare the Surface – read the instructions on the sealant and if primer is required, do not skip that step. 
  • Apply the Sealant: – With steady pressure, apply the sealant, forcing into the joint, using a rod to force it if necessary. Protect the area from any more rain with a tarp nailed down, the sealant should dry and cure within 3 to 7 days.  

Can You Repair a Roof Leak From the Inside?

No, that will only make matters worse. How?  The water can’t get through the leak where you patched, so it will move down under the shingle and deck to another area.  Make your temporary roof leak repair on the rooftop and a temporary roof leak repair in the attic. Then call a professional roofing contractor. For your emergency roof leak repair needs in Erie and Denver, CO, call (303) 647-3883 today.