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Top Homeowner Strategies
How to Handle a Leaky Roof Situation Until Help Arrives
It is always seems to be the weekend when something goes wrong that requires a repairman, only to find they are not contactable or want to charge you a higher rate for out of hours service.
The sight of an increasingly larger brown stain on the ceiling or a worrying dripping noise coming from above, is often an indicator of a leaky roof that needs your urgent attention before the problem is allowed to get any worse.
Repairing a leaking roof will generally need some professional help but in the meantime, there are some things you could do to identify the problem and possibly even apply a temporary fix.
Leaks tend to start slowly and you could actually find that the problem is building up in your roof space before it starts to penetrate through to the living area and become noticeable.
A water leak caused by a damaged roof that is then allowing water to penetrate through into the roof space, will then start to form a small pond above you, until it manages to find an escape route. This will invariably turn out to be a specific penetration point such as a light fitting or a point in the ceiling where there is a weak or unprotected spot.
If the leak still goes unnoticed, even just a few hours of puddle-forming drips could soon become a series of different leaks as the water finds numerous different avenues and areas where it can escape through.
Your number one priority whilst waiting for professional help, or until you can actually see where the problem is originating from, is to try and get the water flow under some sort of control.
If you locate where the ponding water is or find a noticeable bulge in the ceiling, this is where you should concentrate your efforts and apply some leak management.
You need to be prepared for what maybe gallons of trapped water to come cascading down so have some large buckets at the ready. Punching a hole in the middle of the wettest spot on the ceiling where it is gathering the most volume, will help you to gain slightly better control of the situation, as most of the water will then seek out the escape route that you have created.
With a few standard household items you should be able to construct a basic but effective funnel that can help you to channel the water out of your property.
You will need an empty plastic bottle that can hold at least a gallon of water. Also get some duct tape, your garden hose and a ladder.
Remove the bottom of the bottle by cutting it away neatly and then turn it upside down in order to create a funnel. Using the duct tape, attach one end of the hose to the small opening at the bottle neck and then run the hose out of a window or the nearest outside door, whichever is the shortest route that allows you to channel the water safely away.
Once you have set this up, use some more duct tape to attach the funnel to the ladder so that you can position it directly under the leak, allowing the water to funnel through and out of your property.
This makeshift funnel could help you to avoid some serious water damage and will help you to get the situation under some sort of control until professional help arrives.
Guest Blogger: Mark Holmes is a longtime home construction contractor. When he’s not working, he likes to sit down and write about what he has learned in the industry. You can find his articles mainly on home DIY and gardening websites.