What to Do if You Have a Leaking Roof

By John Brook AssocRICS on and updated on

The drip, drip, drip of a leaking roof is one sound sure to cause panic among any property owner. A leaking roof can quickly cause serious damage and be expensive to fix, so what do you do if you discover one?

1.     Try to limit the damage

Water escaping anywhere into your house can potentially affect everything from your fixtures and fittings to your personal belongings, so step one is always to try to identify the source of the leak and move as much as you can from the area. This may be pushing furniture out of the way, covering carpets and protecting vulnerable items such as books or photos. Not only can water cause immediate damage, but it can take a long time to dry out when it comes to fabric items, so do what you can to minimise the impact.

2.     Catch the water

Minimising the damage also means containing the water, so look for buckets, pans, bowls, and the like that can be used to stop the water from hitting your belongings. Try to have a supply of empty pots on hand in case the leak worsens, and don’t forget to check them regularly to make sure they’re not overflowing.

3.     Be proactive

Not all leaks will be a steady drip or trickle through the ceiling. It may be that you’ve noticed a bulge in your ceiling that looks to be a build-up of water. While it may be tempting to ignore this for as long as possible, this could lead to more severe damage, especially if it eventually bursts without warning. To avoid being taken by surprise, you may decide to burst it yourself. If you do this, prepare the surrounding area by covering absorbent surfaces and place a bucket underneath before carefully puncturing the lowest point of the bulge with a tool such as a screwdriver.

4.     Find a professional

Of course, the best way to ensure a long-term fix will be to find a professional roofer with the tools and knowledge needed to sort the problem. An online search will find roofers in your area but be sure to check reviews and ask friends or neighbours for recommendations. Fixing roofs can be costly, and it can be challenging to see the extent of the damage yourself, so take the time to find a roofer with a good reputation in your area.

5.     Get a roof survey

Before committing to a particular roofer, it can be a good idea to get a roof survey from an impartial inspector. This will ensure you know exactly what state your roof is in and what needs to be done to fix it, putting you in a much more knowledgeable position when sourcing quotes. It will also highlight other areas of the roof that you need to be concerned about.

If you’re claiming on your insurance for the damage, a roof survey will also help. By detailing the extent of the damage, repair costs and cause of the problem, your insurer will have no choice but to live up to its obligations and pay your claim. In fact, you might be required to obtain an impartial report before you can make a claim.

6.     Take photos

If you are planning on making a claim, it’s also a good idea to document the damage, so take pictures of any items affected by the water as well as the roof itself.

7.     Maintain your roof

Once you’ve had your survey, found a suitable professional and had the roof fixed, don’t stop there. Now is the time to ensure you maintain and look after your roof, so it remains in a good state of repair for as long as possible. Top tips here include keeping an eye out for overhanging trees that could cause problems; cleaning out your guttering regularly to allow water to run away; and checking for loose or missing shingles, especially after periods of bad weather.

All in all, it’s important to act quickly if you find you have a leaky roof, as this will increase your chances of being able to resolve the problem without having to replace your entire roof. Remember, leaks won’t go away on their own, and they can lead to serious structural problems, so don’t ignore any warning signs.

The Novello Approach

At Novello, we know how important it is that you get your roof fixed quickly and properly, which is why our roof surveys are carried out by an expert roofing specialist who spent ten years as a roofing contractor before training to become an independent roofing surveyor.

During our accurate and extensive roof surveys, we’ll visually inspect the roof to assess its condition, even using specialist polecams to access those hard to see areas. We’ll also inspect chimneys, guttering and all the other bits that can affect the state of your roof. We’ll then produce an impartial report detailing your roof’s condition and all its components and approximately what you can expect to pay for all the necessary repairs. This will be delivered in a matter of days so you can proceed with repairs quickly and confidently.

Contact us today to find out more about the services we offer and how a roof survey could help you.

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