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How Do I Temporarily Fix My Roof?

February , 2022 | 9 min. read

By RoofCrafters

shadow of homeowner looking at asphalt shingle roof
Roof repairs can be incredibly frustrating to deal with, especially when you have numerous exhausting day-to-day responsibilities. The only thing that can take a bad day to worse is coming home to a leaky roof.

While you try to schedule an appointment with a roofing contractor, there are a few preventative measures you can take as a homeowner to ensure that even more damage isn’t done to your property.

RoofCrafters has been providing our clients with rook-leak-related assistance since 2005. We know the ins and outs of leaky roofs and how pesky and ultimately dangerous they can be. 

Okay, so how do I temporarily fix my roof in the meantime?  We hear you and have put this guide together to help. In this article, you’ll learn some tips and tricks to temporarily fix your roof until a professional can aid you. 

Is a Temporary Repair Even Possible?

 

To understand whether or not you can effectively complete a temporary repair until your roofing contractor comes by to do a full inspection, you need to fully grasp the nature of the damages. While you can fill in small cracks or holes that may be the cause of the leak above your bed, dealing with something like an entire section of missing shingles is not only unsafe but may not be possible.

With that being said, you can do a temporary fix if you have a small and traceable leak. While these steps may be a good fix for a few hours until your contractor can meet you, we do not recommend this method for a prolonged period of time. 

Here’s how to temporarily fix your leaking roof:

tarped roof

  1. Find the leak’s location.
  2. Cover up the faulty location with a tarp that projects 4 feet wide in all directions around the leak.
  3. Secure the tarp down with some heavy objects like sandbags or bricks.
  4. After 5-10 minutes, check if your roof is still leaking.

The tarp provides a waterproof coating that prevents any more water from entering into the roof’s infrastructure. While the tarp wicks away the rain droplets, you can get some much-needed rest as you wait for your contractor to arrive.

For your safety as well as the safety of your home, it is always best to wait for a professional to come and assess the damages on your roof. If you must inspect your roof, take the necessary safety precautions.

  • Pick a clear, calm, and cool time of day to inspect your roof.
  • Wear rubber sole shoes for extra traction, and keep the bottom of your shoes clear from any dirt or mud.
  • Have a friend hold the ladder and avoid carrying anything up with you. 
  • Have your friend send you any materials you may need up in a bucket with a rope.
  • Leave high or steep roofs to the professionals.

It is important to remember that this quick fix is far from a long-term solution. If there is sizable damage to your roof, any moisture, debris, or pests can enter and possibly damage your home. Talk about a bad day, right?

Read now: Storm Damage Roof Repair

How Do I Temporarily Fix My Roof if It’s Still Leaking?

 

water pooled on roofOkay, so your roof is still leaking after you’ve completed the steps listed above. If you detected the leak during a storm that’s been happening for a few hours or even days, water may have soaked into the other layers of the roof and could continue to drip down for a while.

Another aspect to note is that if water has pooled on your roof, adding a tarp may not help much because pooled water will continue to seep below the tarp and make its way to the leak. In this case, the use of silicone caulk may be your best bet.

Use Silicone Caulk

 

Silicone caulk is an excellent material for temporary fixes because it is waterproof and easily available. If the damage is small enough, simply take some caulk and apply it where the leak is. Be sure to fill the gap in enough so that it prevents more water from flowing in.

Remember to read the directions carefully. Caulk needs to be applied to a dry surface in order to hold its place, so you must dry the area you need to patch before applying it. 

Loose Shingles

 

If you absolutely cannot find the cause of the leak, you may have to take a look at your roof. There is a high possibility that your shingles may have misaligned during strong winds and storms or even blown off.

While you’re up there, look for any loose shingles and shift them back into place before you secure them with nails. Then, cover the nails with caulk to prevent them from rusting and causing further damage to the roof.

Do remember that this is not a permanent fix and you should only do this on an emergency basis. Prolonged use of these repairs could cause greater damage to your roof.

Avoid DIY Roof Repairs

 

Can i fix my own roof

If there’s one thing that we will strongly emphasize, it is that you should never conduct DIY repairs unless necessary. You can always call in a roofing contractor to diagnose and fix your roof, but sometimes there are rare occasions when they are not available.

The only situation when you should try to temporarily fix your roof is when you cannot get an immediate appointment with a professional roofing contractor. Take the safety precautions listed above to ensure that you are safe and won’t get hurt climbing onto your roof.

After conducting a temporary repair, always call your roofer to have them take a look. Even if your fix seems to hold up well, it is possible that you have only merely concealed the damage and it might be wreaking havoc in the roof’s structure.

Signs that You Need Roof Repairs

Leaks

 

One of the most common indicators that you need a roof repair is a leaky roof. Even if the leak is slow-moving and located on the ceiling of your dining room that only gets used twice a year on Thanksgiving and Easter, you should immediately call in a professional roofing contractor. If a leak persists for too long, you run the risk of peeling paint, damaged housing materials, and developing harmful mold. 

Pests

 

When you start to notice an unusually high amount of pests besides the normal ant or two, you should inspect your roof. Pests can come in from windows, doors, and you guessed it, leaking roofs. If you can’t find the source of the infestation, call over a professional roofing contractor and an exterminator to help.

Mold

 

Commonly found in damp and warm areas, mold is terrible for your home’s structure as it traps moisture and causes the area to rot. On top of that, mold is terrible for you and your family’s overall health. If you see any signs of mold, call a professional roofing contractor immediately.

How Do I Permanently Fix My Roof?

 

You’ve exhausted your temporary fix efforts, and are confused, anxious, and unsure of the next steps. Contacting a dependable roofing company to come out and assess your roof damage is your best bet. During your estimate, they will provide you with a detailed list of repair or replacement requirements. 

RoofCrafters has over 28 years of roofing experience in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. With thousands of satisfied customers, you can be certain that we will do the job to your satisfaction. Whether you need a small repair service done to your leaky roof or a complete roof replacement for your home, our experts at RoofCrafters are here to help guide you along the way.  As for the kids and the dog, well, you’re the expert there.

 
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