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5 Steps to Fix Your Leaky Roof

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Finding a roof leak is stressful. Not knowing where the roof leak is coming from or how to fix it is even more stressful. Trust us, we’ve been there before.

When did the roof leak start? How long has it been happening? Can the leak be repaired? If so, how much will it cost? In our 30+ years of roofing experience, these are just a few of the questions we’ve heard from homeowners dealing with stressful roof leaks. Before you let the unknowns overwhelm you, take a deep breath. We’re here to help.

If left unaddressed, a roof leak can cause serious damage that impacts more than just your roof. That’s why we came up with these five steps you can follow to get your roof leak fixed as soon as possible. Let’s get started.

1. Contain the Leak

Experiencing a leak is stressful. On top of worrying about the state of your roof, you shouldn’t have to also worry about your personal items getting damaged. That’s why the first step you should take to handle your roof leak is to contain the water to prevent widespread damage.

A man with a bucket trying to stop a roof leak

You can do this by putting a bucket, pot, or some other large container under the leak to catch water as it comes down through your roof. If you don’t contain the leak, the cost of repairing water damage inside your home can be even more than the cost of repairing your roof.

2. Call a Local Roofing Company

The most crucial step to getting your leak fixed is calling a reputable local roofing contractor. The contractor you call must have a physical office location in your area and a local phone number. This ensures you know where to find them if your roof leak comes back even after their initial repairs.

When you choose a local company, you know you’ll be working with individuals who are familiar with the specifics of your region. This means they’ll know how to time projects according to your area’s weather patterns and specific challenges. They’ll also know what installation codes to follow, the paperwork required, and everything else they’ll need to ensure your leak is repaired correctly.

It’s also easier to access a local roofing company rather than one from out-of-town because you can just drive to their office and meet with them face-to-face. Hiring a company that doesn’t have a local office can result in longer response times if more leaks pop up.

This is especially true if your roof is leaking after a big storm. Some out-of-state companies chase storms just to use scare tactics that convince homeowners to let them repair their roofs using shoddy workmanship. They then take the money and move on to the next storm-inflicted town just to do the same scam all over again.

3. Have the Leak Inspected

A roof inspection is when a roofing contractor checks the condition of your entire roof. Once your local roofing contractor comes out to your home, the first thing they’ll do is inspect your roof and track down your leak.

They’ll check your roof penetrations, your attic’s ventilation, and other crucial areas of your roof and determine if your roof leak is isolated or if it’s from roof failure. After making an assessment of your roof, they’ll determine if you need a repair or a full roof replacement. 

a wet ceiling as a result of a leaking skylight

If your leak isn’t caused by premature roof failure, a roofing contractor can do repairs just to help you get more life out of your roof. They’ll likely put a temporary patch on the leak or tarp the affected area to prevent further damage until they can find replacement shingles.

However, if your roof leak is caused by roof failure or extensive storm damage, you’ll need a full roof replacement.

4. Get an Estimate

Sometimes, the real issue may be larger in scope than what the roofer has time and materials to repair immediately. If this happens, you should request an estimate for whatever it takes to properly repair the roof so it doesn’t leak again.

After your roofing contractor determines if you need repairs or a full replacement, you’ll receive an estimate for the scope of work that needs to be done. Your estimate should include a line item list of repairs, the company license & insurance information, the materials to be used, and more. You can read this article to learn more about what should be included in your roofing estimate.

5. Get a Second Opinion

Before signing on the dotted line, you should get an estimate from at least one more roofing contractor. We recommend getting opinions from three different contractors to fix your roof leak. 

But why? Isn’t one estimate good enough? It can be, but getting three estimates gives you the opportunity to compare prices, the products used by each roofer, and ultimately helps you find the right contractor to repair your leak.

a roofer showing a couple their roofing estimate

This is also a great way to figure out what your roof actually needs. If you only get an estimate from one contractor, you’ll have to take their word on whether your roof needs a full replacement or just a repair. However, if you get estimates from three contractors and one says you need a replacement but two others say you only need repairs, then it’s a safe bet that you probably don’t need a new roof.

Ready to Get Your Leak Fixed?

The best defense against roof leaks, alongside regular maintenance, is to get them fixed as soon as possible. If you are confident you know where the leak is coming from and can safely get to the source, cover the exterior surface with a large tarp. 

If you can’t reach it or feel unsafe doing so, your immediate next step should be to call a professional roofing contractor. They will diagnose the issue, walk you through the process of needed repairs, and then use professional-grade equipment to put an end to your roof leak. Read this article to learn how you can find the best contractor for your roof repair.

We know a little something about professional roofing contractors because we are professional roofing contractors. Every year, we provide high-quality roofing services for over 900 homeowners in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. If you’re a Raleigh resident and need help with a roof leak, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below. We’d be happy to help.

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