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How to Temporarily Stop Roof Leaks While It’s Raining

Posted October 8, 2019 by Patrick Morin
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One of the best things about living in Portland is the beautiful foliage that surrounds us. The variety of trees we get to enjoy on a daily basis is part of what we love most about our state. The rain required to make those trees a bright shade of green, however, it can cause roof leaks in heavy rain for Portland homeowners. 

Between October 1 and May 31, Portland receives 88% of the annual precipitation. We call that our busy season because many homeowners don’t realize they have a leaking roof until it’s too late. Often, there’s a problem way before the first heavy rainfall, but the leak won’t show up until the second or third. Homeowners have to work fast to stop the leak so it doesn’t ruin any more of their home. 

If you’ve discovered roof leaks during heavy rain, here are some temporary fixes that can protect your belongings until you can hire professionals to do a long-term repair job. 



Common Causes for Roof Leaks During Heavy Rain

Despite popular belief, the heavy rain itself is not usually what causes a roof leak. Sometimes, during a bad storm, a tree will fall or a branch will puncture a hole that causes a leak. But most of the time, the problem in your roof already exists and the rain simply reveals the damage. 

A neglected roof will eventually start to leak. All roofs require regular maintenance, but if your home is more than 10 years old, the normal wear and tear of age will begin to cause damage. This is the recommended point to begin a regular and thorough maintenance schedule. Roof leaks also tend to show up in places where there are seams. For example, where your chimney meets the rest of your roof, around your skylight or around the roof vents

You can also see roof leaks from heavy rain if you haven’t cleaned your gutters in a while. Without a clear path through the gutter, the water backs up and pools on your roof. Eventually, it can rot your roof and start leaking into your home. Unfortunately, you won’t know that any of these risks exist unless you are proactive with your roof maintenance. You’ll only find out when you start to see water damage on your ceiling and in your walls.

5 Immediate Steps to Take

If you’ve found yourself in that situation, where your roof has started to leak in a heavy rainfall, here is the best way to keep your belongings protected and prevent further damage. 

1. Contain the Leaking Rain Water 

First, you want to grab a bucket or pot to catch the falling water. Keeping the water contained to a single area will not only make cleanup easier, but it will save you money. If you can prevent major damage to your flooring and most of your walls, the cost of your repairs will be much lower. 

2. Move Electronics and Furniture

Next, move your electronics and your furniture. It’s common for the water from a roof leak to seep down the walls of your home, where your electricity is running. Unplugging and removing electronics from the room will prevent your roof leak from turning into something much more dangerous. Also, this is a good time to move any large furniture you want to protect from the rainwater. 

Water pocket in ceiling

3. Drain Any Water Pockets

If you notice a wet bulge in your ceiling or wall, you likely have a pocket of water forming from the roof leak. To prevent any further damage to the structure or interior of your home, you need to drain these pockets. Get a bucket or something ready to catch the water, then use an ice pick or screwdriver to poke a small hole in the wall to allow water to escape. 

4. Dry and Ventilate the Area

Try to dry out the affected area as quickly as possible. Standing water, especially in cool, dark areas, encourages mold growth, which will be an even bigger issue to address. Use towels and ventilation to dehumidify the area and keep everything dry. 

5. Contact Emergency Roof Repair Service

As a last resort for extreme roof leaks, you can try to cover the damaged area of your roof with a tarp. Be warned that climbing on top of your roof in the middle of a storm is very dangerous and should only be done with the right equipment and if there is no other option. Remember that Portland residents can call Roof Life of Oregon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you have a roof leak emergency.

Permanently Stop Roof Leaks

Unfortunately, these temporary fixes will only get you through the rainstorm rain. To keep your home and belongings protected, you need to make a permanent repair to your roof and any other areas that were affected by the roof leak. 

If you contact Roof Life of Oregon during your emergency leak, we will return to your home as soon as possible to assess all the damage and give you an estimate for the repairs you need. Your safety and the integrity of your roof is most important to us, so we work fast to make sure a roof leak like this doesn’t happen again. 

We can repair the damaged section of your roof, ensuring that it looks as great as the rest of your roof. Our team can also talk you through replacing your roof. If you own an older home and don’t know when the last time the roof was replaced, this may be an option to ask about. 

The best part about using Roof Life of Oregon to repair your roof leak is the No Leak Warranty that we provide. We guarantee that your roof will not leak from the area we repaired for up to 5 years if it is properly maintained.

Once you’ve experienced an emergency roof leak in heavy rain, you know exactly how important a quality guarantee can be. Learn more by giving us a call. You can schedule a regular roof maintenance appointment, or if you’re in the middle of an emergency leak, we’ll get someone to help you immediately. 

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