Read Our Blog

What To Do If Your Roof is Leaking?

It is likely that in the history of any home or commercial building owner; they have had to ask themselves the question `What should I do now, as the roof is leaking?”.

Step 1, Try and Mitigate Interior Damage

Residential ceiling

As an example; if water is dripping from the ceiling, it is advised to poke a hole in the area of the ceiling where the worst drip or largest water stain is visible. This will help contain the water to one area, instead of water travelling along the ceiling and creating further damage.

Before making any drainage hole, first protect the floor beneath by placing tarps, plastic sheeting, or even garbage bags in a pinch; across the floor surface. Get a  container or containers, to catch any dripping water. Garbage cans and buckets are the first line of defense.

Move away any vulnerable goods or furniture that may sustain water damage.

Commercial Office

In a commercial office setting; remove ceiling tile panels, which will also provide a view to the source, or the direction of travel, for the leak issue.

Cover over , or better remove electronic equipment such as computers, photocopiers, and server equipment.

If water is observed to be coming from light fixtures, or near electrical outlets, avoid turning on switches, in fact turn them off ,and better still is to cut power to the room or appliance, at the breaker panel. This will reduce the chance of shock or fire.

Related Content: Warning Signs That You Need Roof Repair Services

Step 2, Who to Contact? Licensed Roofing Contractor, Your Insurer, or Both?

Depending on the severity of the leak(s), determines whether to call a licensed roofing contractor as the next action, or whether to contact your insurer, or both.

Ask yourself the following questions; which may help determine how you will proceed to seek help:

1. Does the damage or potential damage appear to exceed my deductible costs? And what is my deductible amount?

2. Does insurance cover my roof? ( this can depend on the age and condition of the roof, and whether one’s policy actually covers such damage. It is good to be familiar with your coverage, prior to a loss event).

3. Insurance companies typically work with a pre-determined list of insurance general contractors whose business model revolves around responding quickly to such perils. Such contractors may handle the roofing, drying out the damage, carpet cleaning, etc. The roofing component is usually sub-contracted to a vendor of the insurance contractor.

4. If your roof has been recently installed (10 years or under residentially, and 5  or 2 years for commercial roofs), then your first call should be to the roofing contractor who installed the roof. This is because reputable roofers supply a written labour warranty. If the leak is caused by workmanship, a reputable contractor will repair or replace the peril at their expense. Interior damage may or may not be covered by the roofing contractor based on details or limitations of their supplied written warranty.

5. If a property owner has an older roof, 15 years or greater; insurers may not be willing to extend coverage, citing that the property owner is responsible to keep the roof in good working order. Making a claim under such circumstances may alert the insurer to a deficient or aged roof circumstance, which in turn may require the property owner to replace the roof, or the policy may be cancelled or non-renewable unless the request is met. Therefore; think carefully and gather facts before enacting a claim.

6. During a catastrophic weather event, both insurers and roofing contractors may become overwhelmed with requests for service. You are advised to contact the original installer of your roofing system, as they will typically supply preference to their previous clients, and you will avoid warranties being cancelled as a result of others working on the roof. While there still may be a waiting period, likely your loyal roofer will respond more quickly.

7. Consider the type of roofing that is involved. If it is a commercial or industrial roof, or if it is slate, cedar, or some other specialty product; you need an expert familiar with such systems. Such circumstances favour that you contact your expert roofing contractor.

Related Content: What Are The Most Cost Effective Roofing Materials?

Step 3, Gain More Information

Having considered these factors in determining whom to alert to supply service; the next step is to gain information. Information helps to determine such basics as where the leak is originating from, and whether a temporary repair may be done, or whether permanent repairs or roof replacement are necessary.

As an example, most newer roofs can simply be repaired.

Information is power. It helps the property owner to make a sound decision, on what solution to proceed with ,and what kind of financial resources will be required.

Documenting the leak issue is important. Take photos of the where the leak shows itself to be entering the room. Take pictures in the attic ( if possible ), when inspecting such areas, to track the source or path of water entry. Take pictures of the roof to clearly show the condition, type of material, roof access, and details of appliances ( such as Skylights); which can demonstrate potential causes.

The beauty of photos is that the roofing professional, or insurance adjuster, can see the issues clearly and may be able to more swiftly meter the correct solution.

Pictures also serve to educate the property owner so they may better understand the value of what they are receiving for required service work.

Another strategy which is overlooked by many home and building owners is the provision for resources to deal with emergency roofing leaks, ongoing maintenance or eventual roof replacement.

It takes away considerable stress when a property owner has resources set aside to deal with for what most Canadian homeowners will be an occurrence they may deal with twice on average in one’s lifetime.

Consider that roof replacement in today’s terms represents typically 1-2% of a home’s value for roof replacement. Example : Home value $1,000,000- roof replacement cost $10,000-$20,000.

Consider that average life-cycle for a residential roof is plus or minus twenty years.

Therefore; a property owner should set aside between $500 to $1,000 annually to cover the cost of emergency roof leak repair services, prolonged maintenance, or eventual roof replacement.

Related Content: What To Do if Roof Shingles Get Blown Away?

To learn more about what to do if your roof is leaking, contact www.avenueroadroofing.com

Certainteed
FIRESTONE
VELUX
RAIN PRO
IKO
Heritage Contractors
BBB
Cadar Shake & Shingle Bureau
Select Shingle Roofer
ACMO
WSIB
Canadian Condominium Institute