Even if you don't live in an area especially prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, you may at some point find yourself dealing with a roof that has been severely damaged by high winds. With parts of your home's interior and frame now exposed to the elements, you could be facing potentially catastrophic repairs to your upper floor if your roof goes unrepaired for long, even once the heavy winds and rains have passed. What should you do to help prevent further harm to your home and belongings once your roof has been compromised by a heavy storm? Is it safe to try to temporarily patch your roof yourself, or should you wait for the professionals to handle this task? Read on to learn more about what you can do to minimize fallout damage once the storm has abated.
Short of moving any possessions out of harm's way, should you attempt to secure your roof yourself?
If your roof has been damaged enough to allow water to immediately leak or flow into your home, you'll want to quickly remove any valuable or sentimental items from the immediate area to avoid permanent harm. Even if the storm has ended and there's no rain in the immediate forecast, the typical levels of nighttime moisture or morning dew could be enough to cause issues when it comes to upholstered furniture or paper products.
You may want to place buckets beneath any leaks or drips to prevent them from seeping into the carpet or potentially warping your hardwood or laminate. While these steps can be taken with no real risk of physical harm, securing your roof from the outside may seem a scarier prospect, and you'll likely be tempted to simply contact a roofing contractor to help identify damage and make necessary repairs.
However, if your immediate vicinity has suffered tremendous damage from the same storm that caused your leaky roof, it may be some time before crews can make it to your home -- performing these tasks yourself may be your only chance to avoid further structural damage. If there are no downed power lines, heavy hanging tree branches, or other potentially lethal hazards on or near your roof, it should be relatively safe to tackle any holes before repair crews arrive. As a bonus, this will help insulate you from any potential counterclaims by your insurance company alleging the damage to your roof was partially due to neglect. .
What should you do to protect your roof from further damage before it can be professionally repaired or replaced?
The primary step in protecting your home from a damaged roof is to erect an impermeable barrier over all holes or other weak points of entry. Doing this can help keep your roof waterproof indefinitely, and will allow you to take your time and consider your options (as well as negotiate with your homeowner's insurance company) rather than being pressured into replacing your roof immediately or paying a premium for emergency repairs.
One of the most versatile options for covering leaky roofs is a regular plastic tarp. Unlike some other patching options, these tarps won't impede drainage or impair the local ecosystem. To secure your roof with a tarp, you'll likely only need to attach a rope from each corner of the tarp to a fixed point around the perimeter of your home, like your gutters or deck.
Most home repair experts recommend the purchase of a tarp that extends at least 3 feet beyond the damaged area on all sides. This larger size helps allow rainwater, snow, and even ice to slide right off the roof rather than potentially becoming a liability down the road. You may also want to look for a tarp with built-in protection from UV rays, as this will help keep your roof in top condition for as long as it takes to schedule a repair.
Once you have your temporary fix in place, reach out to a local contractor by visiting sites like http://www.centralmassbuilding.com/, in order to get your roof functional as quickly as possible. .