Drip, drip, drip. While this might be a welcome sound coming from your coffee pot, when the drips are dropping from your ceiling, there’s a problem. Chances are, that problem is a hole or a weak spot in your roof. If you’re not sure what to do, don’t panic. Get an Eric LLC invites you to keep reading for quick tips that can get you dry again.
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Start With Containment
You’ve no doubt been inside a business where they’ve had top place buckets on the floor to collect water falling from the ceiling. This is a popular method of leak containment. If you see water coming from your ceiling, particularly if it is a slow drip, grab a bucket.
If the ceiling bulges downward, poke a small hole in the lowest section using a screwdriver. This will relieve pressure, and hopefully prevent the drywall overhead from caving in. You will also buy yourself some time to complete the next steps.
Evaluate the Damage
If the leak began after a storm, take a peek at the roof for obvious damage. You will also want to look in your attic space to see how much insulation is soaked, and how far the water has expanded. Inside, look for signs of water intrusion in other rooms.
If the leak is more than just a few hours old, you might have to start ripping out carpet and removing saturated furniture to prevent mold. If the moisture has been accumulating for a while and you suspect mold has started to grow, put on a mask and protective gear and begin tackling as much as you can. You don’t want to breathe in any mold spores or chemicals as you begin to clean up.
Stop the Leak
Depending on the extent of damage, you might need to do this before the evaluation stage. Regardless, stopping the water from entering your home is a priority. Install a tarp to block rainwater. If you are uncomfortable getting into the attic or on top of the home, reach out to handyman and contractor immediately.
Call a Contractor and Your Insurance Provider
Once the problem is temporarily contained, you will need to work with your preferred roofing contractor to ensure that your roof is fixed correctly and permanently. Get an estimate in writing and be sure to discuss the timeline for repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, weigh the costs and benefits of repairing versus replacing your roof. Keeping a damaged roof means you’ll have to list your property as-is, but that might be more cost effective than replacing it.
You’ll also need to pick up the phone and call your insurance company to alert them of the damage. Often, if the leak happened because of rain, high winds, or lightning, your policy will cover repairs or a full roof replacement.
In the event that your insurance provider doesn’t pay or only pays a portion for repairs or replacement, you’ll need a plan to cover the costs. In a perfect world, your emergency fund will be able to do this, but not everyone has enough money in their home emergency stash.
Your next best solution is a cash-out refinance. This gives you the opportunity to access some of your home’s equity by replacing your current mortgage with a new one, possibly with better terms. Be sure to shop around for the best refinance loan rates when choosing lenders. A lower rate can save you a lot of money.
Mind Your Gutters Too
If a storm is the reason for your roof issues, it’s wise to have your gutters assessed when you have your roof inspected. A particularly heavy storm can lead to a buildup of debris, which can force the gutters to pull away from the fascia. This is why it’s key to clear your gutters a few times a year.
Just as you did for a roofing contractor, you’ll want to practice due diligence when finding a gutter repair specialist. The right professional will be able to quickly assess any damage, explain your options and offer you a competitive quote and timeline. If you have time, consider getting three quotes. You can find top-rated gutter pros online, or your contractor or roofing contractor may be able to refer you to someone.
Keep an Eye Out
Mold is one of the biggest concerns after a water intrusion event. Once everything is dry, you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for signs of mold. Even a small amount of water that escaped your initial cleanup efforts can lead to mold growth. If you notice a smell emitting from an area that might have been wet, look for mold. If no mold is present, use baking soda to absorb and eliminate the smell that could have come from dirty water.
Visible mold is easy to spot, but your family might experience cold-like symptoms well before you see black spots on the ceiling or walls. If you suspect a problem, contact a mold remediation company. Even though the CDC does offer tips on mold cleanup, this is not a DIY task, particularly if the mold is behind the walls or in the ceiling.
It’s worth paying for a mold inspection company and then let them refer a trusted remediation company to clear the mold. Keep your handyman or contractor up to date in case they need to come replace dry wall and repaint.
No Matter What – Don’t Delay
When you have a leak, fast action is the best way to prevent further damage. So, remember,
· stop the water
· remove unsalvageable items
· and call in a professional for evaluation and repairs
Your roofing contractor and/or mold remediation company can give you more advice based on your circumstances.