6 Steps to Take When Your Roof Starts Leaking

Residential | August 6, 2021  | By: John Esh

You don’t think about your roof every day. It’s something that exists as a part of your home to protect you and your family! Yet, it’s typically not top of mind – until something goes wrong. When a rain or snow storm strikes and you notice a water spot or an active leak, then the wheels start turning. Is that caused by the roof?

Questions to ask yourself to determine if it’s a roof leak:

  • Is the leak presenting itself on the ceiling or upper corner of the wall?
  • Is it on the uppermost floor of the building?

If you answered yes to these questions, it’s very likely that your leak is caused by a roof insecurity. 

If the leak is showing up on lower floors of the building, you should check for other possibilities such as plumbing leaks from upstairs toilets, faucets, and pipes. 

red and black lines titles "6 steps to take when your roof starts leaking"

Steps to follow if your roof is leaking:

If you notice an active leak, it’s important to act quickly to prevent extensive damage.

Clear the area

Move furniture, electronics, and other valuables out of the way! No one wants to experience a roof leak, but you definitely want to limit the amount of damaged items. 


Capture the water

Buckets, bowls, pitchers – whatever you have that’s large enough to contain the water that is coming in! If you have old towels or tarps, lay them under the bucket to protect your floors!


Call a local roofing company

Do your research and contact local roofing companies as soon as you can. Tell them where the leak is happening and when it started, that way they have detailed information prior to their visit. 

A good roofing company understands the urgency of a roof leak, and should respond quickly to your request. The maxim “When it rains, it pours” is true both literally and figuratively for roofing companies. Keep in mind that roofing companies are busiest during and shortly after a rainstorm, so try to contact them as quickly as possible to get on their schedule. 

Roofers who respond quickly to your request usually come prepared to do a quick fix. It’s best to have the leak at least temporarily stopped, even if they can’t do a full and proper repair immediately. Even if it is as basic as tarping the roof, it’s important to act on the immediate problem of water getting into your home. You don’t want to risk more wet weather damaging your home. 


Request an estimate for a permanent solution

Sometimes, the real issue may be larger in scope than what the roofer has time and materials to repair immediately. In these cases, you should request an estimate for whatever it will take to properly repair the roof so it doesn’t leak again.


Determine if the roof leak was caused by something more serious

When the roofing company is inspecting the leak, ask if there are other issues that could have caused the leak. Some factors that could be warning signs of a larger roof issue include:


Contract with a trusted roofing company

After discussing the issue and gathering estimates that you feel comfortable with, prepare to move forward. Make sure that you have a good understanding of the issue and the resolution! A repair estimate should make sense to you. 

Many times people are frustrated by roofing estimates because the real problem is never explained. You don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t make sense. Your roofer should be able to at least provide you with pictures of the issue to help you make a good decision. 

Be sure to ask questions that help you gain understanding of the situation. Don’t write a check before you know what you’re buying. 

Discuss with the company about how far out their repair team is booking so you know how long it’ll take to get your roof fixed.

    Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor License (HIC) # PA124258