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Five Steps to Emergency Roof Repair

Five Steps to Emergency Roof Repair

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November 9, 2009

It's something every homeowner dreads: A serious storm blows through, and suddenly you have a roofing problem. Whether it's a small leak in the kitchen or shingles scattered all over the yard, you are facing an emergency repair.

Five Steps to Emergency Roof Repair

Most serious repairs require a contractor, but in the immediate aftermath of a storm, you might have to undertake minor repair work on your own. These five steps can lead you through the job.

  • Protect. The moment you realize rainwater is coming through the roof, take steps to protect the interior of your home. Move appliances, furniture, and anything else that might be damaged by water. Catch the dripping water in a bucket or similar container.
  • Wait. The storm will pass, but until it's gone, you are better safe than sorry. Don't attempt any repairs while Mother Nature is still showing her might. You could obtain a serious injury, which is far worse than a damaged roof!
  • Inspect. It doesn't take a gaping hole to let water pour into your home--sometimes the biggest problems come from the smallest damage. With binoculars, look for missing shingles, dented metal vents, indentations, or other obvious signs of damage. Look underneath the roof sheathing for water stains. However, do not climb on the roof to check for the source of the leak, no matter how safe it may look.
  • Tarp. A large plastic tarp can be your home's best friend in the aftermath of a storm. Unroll the tarp to cover the damage, with several feet to spare. Wrap each end of the tarp around a 2x4, staple or nail it down, and then use another 2x4 to "sandwich" the wrapped tarp between the wood for stability. Do this on both ends, stretch the tarp over the damaged part of the roof, and then nail 2x4 boards on the tarp sides to hold it all down. Be very careful, as both the roof and tarp might be slippery.
  • Call. The rest of the job should be left to a roofing contractor. An expert roofing contractor can look at the problem and tell you exactly what it will take to fix the damage. Keep in mind that roofing contractors are in high demand after severe storms, so it may take a few days before they can get to you.

Dealing with storm damage immediately helps prevent further problems. Get that tarp on the roof to protect your property, and let the roofing contractor handle the rest.

About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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