What is Considered a Roofing Emergency?

chalk circled damage on a roof

When damage strikes

There are several types of emergency roof repair and knowing how to handle the situation is vital to keep your home and property safe. There are times that you have emergency roof repair needs, but nobody else around you does. Then there are times that everyone in your neighborhood has emergency roof repair needs. 

What is emergency roof repair? Everyone has a different definition for the word emergency, so precisely what constitutes an emergency roof repair that should have immediate attention by professional? A professional roofing contractor is like a professional plumber. 

When you call for rapid response, you’re going to pay extra, so for your pocketbook, you want to make sure it is truly an emergency and ask yourself, “Is a leaking roof an emergency?”. Making sure what you’re about to spend on emergency roof repair cost is worthwhile.  Some examples of an emergency roof repair would be:

  • Missing shingles may be, based on how many are missing and what part of the roof are they were covering. 
  • If your roof is leaking a large amount on a steady basis, this is an issue that needs immediate attention. 
  • A rotted roof deck can pose a structural hazard and should be addressed immediately. 
  • A tree has fallen on the roof, and rain is pouring in. 
  • If most of the roof is inside your house or missing, this is an emergency. 

How long can you leave a leaking roof?

The smallest leak can become a huge problem faster than you may realize, creating an emergency roof repair. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact timeline for this question. So, let’s go to the next issue, “How long before more damage happens?” and that is another question there is no timeline. 

However, we can tell you that it depends on the roof, the size of the damage, the roofing material, the attic space, and if there are any drainage measures in place before the leak. Other factors that should be considered before answering that the second question is the type of building materials that were used to build your home and what the weather is like where you live. 

The best way to look at this matter is if you have any size or type of roof damage, believe it is causing more damage as we speak, and if you don’t have it taken care of soon, you may be dealing with an emergency roof repair soon. Being a risk-taker with your roof isn’t recommended. Why? There are three main reasons that you should take care of any roof leak before it needs an emergency roof repair. 

  • The first reason:  Water leaking inside will stain the ceiling and walls after it stains the roof and ruins the decking and rafters. 
  • The second reason you don’t want to let a leaking roof become an emergency roof repair is because of the mold that will start growing. There is a host of health issues caused by mold, and it can structurally damage your home, making it hazardous. 
  • The third reason not to let a roof leak unaddressed is that water can get into the electrical system and damage the breakers, appliances, and electronics.

The more damage that happens will only make it worse. Waiting too long can create an emergency roof repair that will cost you more in the long run. Remember, your home is your most valuable investment, and the roof protects that investment. 

damaged shingles

How do I temporarily fix my roof?

Plastic tarps should be an emergency staple for every homeowner, just for an emergency roof repair.  If your roof has a leak that needs temporary repair, follows these steps: 

  1. Fastening a tarp over the leaking area is the cheapest and fastest temporary repair. Stretch the tarp over the area and pull tight and smooth, then nail along the edges and cover the nails with roofing cement.
  2. If the asphalt shingles are found, you can reapply them for a temporary emergency roof repair. Straighten them out, slide under the shingle above, attach with roofing cement, then galvanized roofing nails. 
  3. If you don’t have any shingles or a tarp, you can cover the damage with metal.

How do you repair a damaged roof? 

Make sure the roof is safe. When you don’t have the proper tools, experience, equipment, and tools, it can be dangerous.  The first thing after making sure it is safe, and you’re prepared is to clean off any debris. 

  • Replace any rotten wood on the decking rafters. 
  • Apply roofing felt.
  • Apply the shingles in a brick pattern to give them extra strength, starting at the bottom edge and working up, six inches at a time.

Does homeowners insurance cover a leaking roof?

This is one of the most common questions and for a good reason. Roofing is not inexpensive! Whether your homeowner’s insurance pays for repairs or replacement will be determined by what is stipulated in your policy. 

If you file a claim, you’ll need to have proof as to why emergency roof repair was necessary. It is recommended to take pictures from all angles, inside and outside, for evidence. A video would be good to have, if possible, along with any notations you have about the roof and any contents inside. Call (940) 441-4544 today for roofing assistance!