What is a Roofing Emergency?

Wind damaged roof system

What Constitutes a Roofing Emergency?

Any roof leak is an emergency, but if the is water leaking into your home to a point where you can’t use a room or the entire house, you need emergency roof repair. What are the most common causes resulting in needing emergency roof repair? There can be a few reasons why there is a roof leak that requires emergency roof repair, such as: 

  • Severe weather damage like hailstones or high winds
  • Structural damage from a tree or other objects crashing on the roof
  • Poor roof maintenance and upkeep
  • A loose or missing shingle
  • A crooked chimney
  • Missing flashing
  • A structure fire or a fire in a damaged chimney 

How important is emergency roof repair? 

As we said, any size roof leak should be treated as an emergency. However, some roof leaks may be noticed as water spots or water stains on the ceiling or walls. They shouldn’t be ignored, but you can make a temporary emergency roof repair yourself that will stop the leaking after notifying a roofing contractor. until the roofing contractor arrives. 

How soon should you contact a roofing professional? 

Immediately as soon as you notice the roof leak! Delaying an emergency roof repair, even a temporary emergency roof repair, can lead to further damage to your home. What other damage can happen by delaying an emergency roof repair?  Several things can result from delaying emergency roof repair or non-emergency roof repairs, such as the following: 

1. The Costs 

Even the smallest of roof looks will damage the interior, which isn’t always visible right away. o your home’s interior. Water is destructive to the frames of a structure starting with the roof decking, rafters, and joists. It is also destructive to the drapes, drywall, electronics, flooring, furniture, and any personal items that may be in the area. 

2. Mildew & Mold 

When moisture and water are left unattended, the surfaces start to mildew, then mold forms. Mold is ugly in appearance and can be a major health hazard if not promptly removed and remedied. This results in more than needing emergency roof repairs!

3. Insects, Rodents, Vermin 

The older a roof gets, the less likely is able to keep unwanted insects, rodents, vermin, and other unwelcome guests out of your home. Once these have access to the roof, they will spread throughout your home, leaving bacteria behind from their feces and urine. They get into animal and human food supplies, chew through the electrical wiring, the walls, and more. 

4. Roofing over Roofing

If the exterior roofing material was installed over the previous roofing material, this adds weight to the structure. The two layers telegraph between them, making the outer layer raised, allowing moisture to seep in, causing roof leaking, often leading to an emergency roof repair.

5. Storm Damage 

When minor roof repairs are delayed, this puts the roof susceptible to more severe damage, leading to emergency roof repair needs.

6. Denied Roof Insurance Claims

Another risk of delaying non-emergency or emergency roof repairs is any future insurance claims being denied, possibly your policy being canceled due to homeowner neglect. 

7. Structural Damage 

When water is able to seep under damaged, loose, or missing roofing shingles, over time, roof rot will form. This will cause the structure of the roof subjective to collapse. 

8. Energy Efficiency Reduced 

A roof in need of non-emergency repairs is less energy efficient. Air conditioning and heating are leaking through the roof, making the HVAC system work harder. This causes the energy bills to increase. 

Other factors to consider when non-emergency roof repairs are delayed include the property value decreasing and the increase of liability risks, which can affect the cost of homeowner insurance. 

What steps should you take for a temporary emergency roof repair? 

The first thing you need to do if the water is dripping into your home is to place a bucket under the leak with a tarp or towels under it. Then you need to determine where the leak is coming from. This will require going to the attic with a flashlight. 

Look for moisture on the insulation and the roofing beams above you in the attic. When you find where the water is dripping, follow that drip up with the flashlight to find where it is coming from, remember water runs downhill. 

Once you find the leak, measure the size of the leak, and then take a piece of plywood cut to size along with roof sealant and screws. Spread the roof sealant around the edges of the wood then position it over the leak. Next, install screws every 2” around the outer edge of the wood, and last, spread roof sealant over the screw heads. Remember, this is only a temporary emergency roof repair, you still need to have a professional roofing contractor inspect the roof. 

How much does professional emergency roof repair cost?

The size of the damage will be the first factor that determines the cost of emergency roof repair. Roofing contractors have different rates for repair, some will have a flat rate. The roofing contractor you contact should inspect the entire roof while inspecting the leak. If the roofing contractor determines that the damage is more than 25% of the roof, or depending on where the damage is located, they will recommend a complete roof replacement. 

What are the signs that roof repair is needed before it is an emergency? 

As a homeowner, you should do monthly roof inspections to watch for possible signs that roof repairs are needed. You don’t have to climb up on the roof either, just simply walk around your home, looking at the roof for visible things like loose or missing flashing or singles. Look for any shingles that are curled. 

Topping Off This Subject

Your home is an important investment and taking steps to care for it from top to bottom, inside and out is the best way to get a long lifespan and returns. This includes following through with non-emergency and emergency roof repairs when they are discovered. When it comes to your roofing emergency in Osage Beach and Lake Ozark, MO, you can rely on us to help! Please reach out to us at (573) 789-8367 to learn more!