How To Handle An Emergency Roof Repair
The roof is one of the most important aspects of any property. It is the first line of defence against the elements, and therefore, it needs to be properly cared for and maintained.
But even the most proactive and careful homeowner can’t control everything, and in some circumstances, roofs can become weakened or damaged.
If this is the case, you might be in need of an emergency roof repair, particularly if the weather is bad and you need to protect the interior of your home. The best way to handle this situation is to get clued up on the subject and always be prepared.
To help you do this, we’ve created the following guide. You can check out our top tips and advice below, so you can effectively handle the need for an emergency roof repair should an issue arise.
What causes a damaged roof?
Let’s start by looking at what you might be up against and the issues that could lead to an emergency roof repair. Understanding the typical causes of a damaged roof can help you to prepare and act if something happens. Some of the top causes include:
- Strong winds that displace or remove tiles
- Lightening strikes
- Nearby trees falling onto the roof (particularly during extreme weather)
- Fire damage
- Wildlife, such as squirrels or birds making a home on your roof or guttering
All of this can compromise the integrity and durability of your roof. So if you spot any of the following, or you know bad weather is approaching, you need to take action.
What to do in an emergency
Having some knowledge of what to do in an emergency means you can act quickly to stop further damage to your property. To build your understanding and to help you prepare, here’s what you need to do.
1. Always stay calm
When disaster strikes, it’s vital that you stay calm, or you could actually do more harm than good. You need to make rational and practical decisions, which becomes much harder when you’re in a panic.
Often the damage seems a lot worse than it is, particularly if you don’t know much about roofing systems. However, don’t let this overwhelm you and wait until you’ve spoken to a professional. They’ll be able to give you more clarity on the amount of damage that has been done.
2. Protect the interior
In the event of a roofing emergency, the first thing you need to do is to see which rooms in your home are being affected. You then need to try and protect as much of the interior as you possibly can, starting with the most at-risk areas.
To prevent leaks and damage to furniture, try to cover holes with tarpaulin or any waterproof materials that you have around. If you’re running out of tarpaulin or other items, you can also use buckets or tubs placed under the leaks to try and reduce the amount of water damage.
By doing this, you can mitigate the amount of damage that is done to the inside of your property, allowing you to focus solely on getting your roof repaired.
3. Document the damage
Providing you have safe access to the area, it’s a good idea to start documenting in detail what’s happened and the extent of the damage. You should take some photos or even videos of the damage and retain these for later.
This will help you with the upcoming steps when you reach out to a roofing specialist and then again when you make an insurance claim.
4. Find a roofer
Next up, you need to contact a professional roofer as soon as possible. It’s worth noting that they are unlikely to send someone out during a storm or extreme weather whilst it is still going on. However, it’s best to get in contact with them right away so they can get you booked. This way, they’re more likely to make you a priority.
It’s important that you choose a reputable roofing company to ensure they do the best possible job on your property. There are certain things you should look out for when choosing a roofing company, and you may need to shop around a bit and run some checks first. The important things to look out for include:
- Whether they are licensed and insured – you need to choose a legitimate business
- If they are a member of a trade association
- Their experience
- If they will provide you with an estimate
- The cost of their services
- If they have a good reputation – you should look out for online reviews and testimonials
5. Reach out to your insurance company
Finally, an emergency can be expensive to fix, especially if you have to call someone out on very short notice. Therefore, it’s highly likely that you’re going to want to make an insurance claim or, at the very least, check what is covered on your policy. As such, you should reach out to the insurance company as soon as possible to let them know what has happened.
These claims can take a while to process, so you might not get your money right away, but just be patient. You’ll probably be asked to send over any pictures, videos, notes and invoices related to your damaged roof to support your claim.
Spotting the signs of a damaged roof
You now know what to do in an emergency, but if you are able to spot the sign of a leak or potential damage to your roof earlier, you have a better chance of mitigating the problem in the first place.
The sooner you recognise issues with your roof, the less likely they are to develop and become a real emergency. Some of the key signs of a problem are:
- Water spots inside the property
- Light streaming in through holes in the roof
- Missed or damaged shingle or tiles
- A noticeable increase in your heating/electricity bills
- Sagging roof
- The sound of animals nesting in the roof
If you are always on the lookout for these signs, you can ensure you address the problem as quickly as possible. This can stop it from becoming an emergency that requires urgent and expensive repairs.