Considering the fact that your roof acts as your home’s primary defense against the elements, the last thing that you want is a roofing emergency to weaken your home’s defenses. Unfortunately, while modern roofs are built to withstand heavy abuse, unusually heavy rain and snow, as well as high winds, can end up causing severe damage to your roof. Considering the important role that your roof plays in protecting your home, it is important that you know what roofing repairs can be put off, and what is considered a roofing emergency.
Yet, how will you know if you are facing a roofing emergency? The fact is that what some might consider a minor nuisance may seem like an emergency to others. Yet, it is important that you are aware of what constitutes a roofing emergency, as waiting too long to have severe roof damage repaired can have dire consequences, as a compromised roof can leave your home’s structure vulnerable. To help prepare you for a potential roofing emergency, here is a look at a few signs of a roofing emergency, and what you should do if you believe that you are in need of emergency roof repair.
Your Roof Has Sustained Wind Damage
One of the most common causes of severe roof damage is heavy winds. No matter the climate in which you live, there is a risk that heavy winds could cause damage to your roof. While roofs are built to withstand heavy winds, extreme gusts, or debris carried by the wind, can cause severe enough damage to your roof to warrant emergency roof repair. Yet, what wind damage is considered an emergency? While it is not uncommon for heavy winds to dislodge a shingle or two occasionally, you likely have a bigger problem on your hands if the damage is severe. Wind and/or debris that damages or removes large sections of shingles, flashing, or even your roof’s decking can leave your home vulnerable to further damage, making it critical that you call for emergency roof repair.
Debris Has Penetrated Your Roof
Of course, one of the most obvious signs that your roof is in need of immediate repair is if your roof sustains an impact from a heavy object that damages or even penetrates your roof. When you are hit by a particularly heavy storm, fallen tree branches, and even large hail, can damage or penetrate your roof. In fact, anytime debris falls on your roof, it is critical that you inspect it for signs of damage. While large damage may immediately be visible from the ground, such as if a large tree branch falls on and penetrates your roof, other damage may not be immediately noticeable. However, even multiple small branches crashing onto your roof can cause widespread damage. If you plan on inspecting your roof yourself, make sure that you wait until the weather has cleared up and it is safe to do so. Otherwise, it may be best to consider having your roof professionally inspected if you suspect that it sustained damage in a recent storm.
Your Roof Has Sustained Burn Damage
After a heavy storm passes, you may feel grateful that your roof was not damaged by heavy winds or falling debris; however, this does not necessarily mean that you are out of the woods just yet. If heavy lightning came through with the storm, and lightning was striking close to your home, there is a chance that your home took a direct hit from lightning. If so, it is possible that the lightning strike actually burned a hole through your roof, which could leave you susceptible to further damage when the next storm comes to town. This is why it is always a good idea to inspect your roof, or have your roof professionally inspected, after a heavy storm, as this could help you find and repair roof damage before it becomes more widespread. Ultimately, most storm damage requires emergency roof repairs, as you do not want to leave your home exposed for long in case another storm rolls around.
There Are Strange Noises in Your Attic
While less common, it is important that you do not underestimate the serious threat that pests can pose in your home. If you hear scurrying sounds in your attic, it is likely that squirrels, raccoons, rats, or some other pests have found their way into your home. While these critters may or may not have caused damage to your roof, the fact that they are in your attic means that you likely have severe roof damage that needs addressing. Cracks and holes large enough to let in pests can lead to serious water damage, and the pests themselves can wreak havoc, causing further damage to your attic and roof. If you suspect that there are critters in your attic, do not hesitate to call a roofing contractor for an emergency inspection and repairs.
Your Roof is Sagging
It is also important that you do not underestimate the seriousness of a sagging roof. A surprising number of homeowners will see that their roof is visibly sagging, but they will assume that this is a result of age and will put off having their roof fixed. However, the fact is that your roof should not sag, and if it does, this is a sign that your roof has sustained severe structural damage. If you do not have this problem addressed immediately, your roof will not be able to withstand heavy weather this winter and is liable to collapse in on itself. Unfortunately, if the sagging is widespread, and/or your roof is old, it is likely that you will need to have your roof replaced, as repairs may not be sufficient.
What Should You Do If You Have a Roofing Emergency?
When faced with a roofing emergency, you may find yourself unsure of what you should do, or how you should proceed. Ultimately, the steps that you should take to address your roofing problems will depend on the type and severity of the emergency that you are dealing with. In any emergency situation, your first step should be to assess whether or not the situation poses a threat to you or anyone else.
For instance, if there has been a full or partial collapse of your roof, your home’s structure may not be safe, and it would be best to vacate the home. Alternatively, if there is a small leak, you may be able to put down a bucket to catch the dripping water and wait until help arrives. However, if storm damage has left you with a sizable hole in your roof and rain is flooding in, you should shut off electricity to your home to reduce the risk of exposure to a live wire. You can then set out buckets or large plastic containers to try to catch as much of the water as possible. Try to move large furniture to a dry area, and cover anything that can’t be moved with tarps. It is important that you do not try to go onto your roof to inspect the damage until the storm passes and your roof is dry. In this situation, it would be best to call a professional roofing contractor for emergency services.
Damage Control Steps for Minor Problems
Of course, if damage to your roof is small, you may be able to put off more thorough repairs until you have the time and money to do so. In these cases, a roofer may be able to suggest temporary fixes that can work nicely to seal your roof. For instance, If you had a few shingles that were damaged or blown off in a storm, a roofing contractor may be able to replace these shingles. However, if your roof sustained other damage, or is particularly old, this solution may not last long as you may be in need of a new roof. In the meantime, patching your roof with new shingles can help to protect your home while you make a plan to have your roof replaced.
If your roof is leaking heavily but weather or budget constraints make it impossible to repair or replace your roof immediately, roof tarping may help provide a temporary solution. If you are unfamiliar with roof tarping, it is exactly what it sounds like. A roofing contractor will place heavy tarps over the damaged section(s) of your roof, and they will secure the tarp in place. Tarping can be critical in helping protect your home from the elements, and further damage, until your roof can be repaired or replaced.
Don’t Wait to Call a Roofing Professional
If you find yourself facing a roofing emergency, the most important thing to remember is that it is critical that you do not wait to call a roofing professional. Waiting to have the problem addressed could leave your home vulnerable to further damage, potentially costing you more money in the long-run. This is particularly true if your roofing emergency if the result of weather damage. Calling a roofing expert as soon as possible can allow you to have the problem fixed, even if temporarily, before the next storm arrives. Feel free to contact us at Roofing Dearborn to learn more about roofing emergencies and to find out how we can help you if your roof recently sustained weather damage.