EMERGENCY ROOF REPAIR
The need for an emergency roof repair can arise suddenly, at any time of the day or night and are common during storms and severe weather. Emergency repairs can be costly and especially so on weekends or after normal hours of business operations. The cause of emergency roof repair may be varied as we shall look at further below, but the two main reasons are an unmaintained and worn out roof & poor workmanship. Nothing lasts forever and this is true with roofing products and roof shingles, but you definitely need them to be installed correctly when the time comes to replace your worn out roof and to avoid continued problems and roof leaks, down the road.
I know the cheapest price is hard to resist, but you will definitely get what you pay for when you cheap out on a roof replacement.
Most likely you’ll get sub standard Chinese knock off shingles combined with inexperience and horrendous workmanship. As the old adage goes, ‘ you can pay me now or pay me later.’ Roof, drywall, insulation, ceiling and flooring repair are not cheap, not to mention the mould remediation costs that can easily quadruple the price you paid for that cheap roof.
So be a smart consumer and do a little homework on the company you are about to hire by checking Google reviews, calling previous roofing customers, going out to see them work or looking at jobs they have recently completed. You can also check local business directories like the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce etc.
Emergency roof repair can happen anytime during the day or night or over the weekend, but you will be hard pressed to reach anyone during the overnight hours and even if you did, they won’t come out until the morning. No one is going to ascend your roof at night and during severe weather. So what to do?
Step one is to grab some buckets and some towels for starters, and then proceed to step two. Water always finds its own level or collects at the lowest point, so where you see your roof leak dripping from the ceiling is where you need to punch one to three separate holes.
Step Two If water is dripping from a light fixture, electrical fan, hard wired smoke detector or around any wall mounted electrical outlet, you’ll first need to shut off the power in the affected area at the breaker or fuse panel. As water is a conductor of electricity a roof leak can become a serious issue, and electrical shock can occur by just touching the light switch, and no, turning off the light does not resolve this problem, you must turn off power at the main panel.
Step Three To punch ceiling holes, a cordless drill, hammer & nail or a screwdriver will work well. In order to prevent your ceiling from collapsing you need to allow the water contained on the attic side to drain out. If the water cannot drain it will spread out over a much larger area on the ceiling, saturating the drywall and a ceiling collapse will be the eminent result. Place two or three buckets on towels or plastic sheet if you have some and onto the floor under your single or multiple holes. The idea behind adding the extra buckets and drainage holes, is not only to drain the water quicker but also it enables you to go back to sleep for a few hours during the night, without worrying about having to empty your bucket. You probably won’t go back to sleep at this point, and of course the entire house will be up by now, but you might also throw a sponge or tea towel into the bottom of your bucket to muffle that annoying dripping sound, just in case.
Step Four have a professional come out and inspect the roof damage and make any necessary roofing repairs. He will also give you an overall general roofing report idea of any further roofing remediation or roof replacement if required.
As water causes metal corrosion, if you have had roof leak water dripping through a light fixture or any other electrical device or outlet, we suggest you also have the device inspected and replaced if required
Emergency Roof Repair
The Whys and Wherefores
You’ve just had a new roof installed or you’ve gone years without nary an issue and all of a sudden your roof springs a leak and you don’t understand why. During severe weather, elements of your roof that are already compromised can become a potential floodgate for water infiltration and severe roof leaks. During normal day to day weather, showers, light rains etc. these compromised areas on your roof don’t typically allow enough water infiltration to become noticeable and often the attic insulation or attic vapour barrier catches these small amounts which eventually evaporate and dry. Severe weather, however often has two very different key elements. Wind & heavy, torrential rain.
The already compromised elements of your roofing now become open floodgates and it is often surprising, just how much water even the smallest opening is able to let or draw in during severe weather events. Have a look at the photos below, these are key elements of your roof,
that if installed incorrectly or are just plain worn out, you too may be in for a sleepless night plus extensive interior repair all due to a leaky roof.
Worn out roof shingles may look good to the naked eye from ground level but we suggest a roof inspection and roofing maintenance schedule at intervals of every 5 years.
Poor Workmanship on this newly installed roof. These metal roof flashings are incorrectly formed for the required application, are not fastened correctly and are not even sealed with a waterproof roof caulking or roofing adhesive.
Compromised roof caulking seals and incorrectly installed eavestrough drain pipes are very common causes of roof leaks and emergency roof repairs during severe weather.
Skylights that are plastic, old and worn out are another leading cause of of emergency roof repair. Plastic skylights have a 20-22 year life expectancy, and must not be overlooked and do require replacement along with every new roof. Quality manufactured glass skylights although lasting slightly longer, should also be replaced in conjunction with the new roof shingle replacement, every 20 -25 years.
Roof protrusions as seen below on two different but newly installed roofs, require new flashings always as in the photo on the left ( plumbing ventilation stack, and either a new stove flashing ( photo on right) or at minimum, shingles properly installed will that overlay it.
Exhaust Vents are all too commonly installed incorrectly and leaks commonly occur from condensation when its 20 below outside in winter. Insulated pipe is a must but also is the vertical position of piping. To much pipe and you have horizontal lie that traps moisture which in turn freezes and drips back through the fan unit. In the photos I am cutting out the excessive pipe and installing a correct exhaust collar.
An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Emergency roof leaks in winter are most often the result of roof ice dams. Ice dams are typically the result of both poor ventilation and insulation in any given attic space. Some small independent attic spaces are often inaccessible without removing the the shingles and plywood to properly insulate and install soffit baffles. At Tops Roofing Company we highly recommend you go the extra mile, spend the extra money and do it right. If your budget does not allow, roof de icing cables are always an alternative option. Installed correctly in both the eavestrough, eavestrough drainpipes and on the roof slope extending past the inside wall, they are an effective ice dam preventative alternative.