Leaky Roof Repair: What You Need To Know
This past 12 months we’ve witnessed some epic storms across Sydney and the calls for emergency roof leaks and leaky roof repair has increased exponentially.
Often the leaks are already there, undetected. But when the battering of torrential rain bears down on our homes, the evidence starts showing on our ceilings and the damage is exposed.
Did you know that water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims? There’s no denying it, a leaking roof can be a painful and expensive disaster. But the good news is, there are things you can do to minimize the cost, reduce the damage and prevent future leaks.
Before we look at prevention though, let’s first look at what you need to do when you discover your leaky roof.
1. Stop the damage
It goes without saying, but when you realise you have a roof leak the most important thing to do is to stop any further damage. Anything that can be removed from the water should be moved to a safer place. Cover any valuable items that can’t be moved with a sheet of plastic or a tarp. This way your valuable furniture, electronics, and other items are protected.
2. Contain the water
As quickly as possible put buckets, tubs, or some form of a container under the leak to catch the water. Put towels or sheets down on the floor to catch any other drips. Assess how serious the situation is and if you can’t contain the water, call a licensed emergency plumber for help.
3. Remove water thoroughly
Stains, mildew, and smells are all possible consequences of a roof leak. So it’s worth spending some time drying thoroughly any areas exposed to water, including furniture, walls & woodwork. Pull up any soaked carpet and try to expose both sides so that it dries faster. Use fans if you have any, to speed the drying process. You may need to consider calling a carpet cleaning company to professionally extract the water.
4. Ring your home insurance
If the damage looks quite bad, call your insurer and find out whether you are covered. Your policy may not cover damage from a leaky roof, but it is best to find out as soon as possible.
5. Diagnose & Repair the Issue
It’s now time to work out what’s going on. In Australia, roofing is taught when you study plumbing and a reliable plumbing company should have the knowledge and ability to help you.
Your plumber can diagnose and detect whether you’re dealing with an issue that has been gradually getting worse, or if your roof leak is the cause of a recent event. In many instances, your plumber will be able to resolve the leak. If you’re unsure, simply ask your plumber if they do roof repairs.
Once they’ve diagnosed the issue, your plumber should provide you with a description and quote for the work required for your leaky roof repair. Then you can make an informed decision about resolving the issue.
If the entire roof needs replacing, you will need to get in contact with a licensed roofing contractor. It’s best to get a range of quotes, make sure they are licensed and insured and remember to ask for the guarantee, expected life of the roof as well as ongoing maintenance instructions. You don’t want your roof leak back in any hurry.
How to prevent further roof leaks
To avoid dealing with leaky roof repairs again, there are some simple maintenance routines you can follow.
1. Clean your gutters
Blocked gutters are one of the main causes of roof leaks. Gutters easily get filled with leaves, sticks and rotting debris clogging your downpipes and leaving nowhere for the water to go. Cleaning your gutters and downpipes regularly (4+ times per year) ensures proper drainage of any stormwater or rain. If you can’t do this yourself engage a licensed contractor who can.
2. Check Collars & Flashing
Damaged, cracked chimney and vent flashing can create roof leaks. Compromised pipe collars can also be the cause. If you are unsure, call a licensed roof or plumbing contractor for help with replacing them or re-sealing.
3. Maintain your garden and trees
Keeping trees trimmed and clear of the roof means less rubbish can fall on your roof. Protect your roof from any heavy branch drops.
So get to it!
Schedule these checks in before the next storm hits. Reducing the risk of a roof leak could not only save you money but also the hassle of a water damage insurance claim.