Summer storms have been merciless all along the Eastern Seaboard this year, especially in Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. Fierce, tornado-like winds and torrential downpours can tax many exterior fixtures of a home, but none so much as your roof. A leaking roof needs urgent attention, as it can quickly devolve from a mere leak to severely damaged drywall, insulation, and interior walls and ceilings.

If you have made it this far with a roof that is unscathed, consider yourself lucky! But if you are one of the many homeowners who will come across a suddenly leaking roof this summer season, read on for an overview of how to handle the problem like a pro.

Step 1: Protect Your Possessions

Before you begin the process of tracking down the leak, place a bucket or large pot directly underneath of dripping water and put someone in charge of switching it out as needed. A small dish towel placed in the bottom of the bucket will help control splashes. Then, take a few minutes to assess the damage, dry off any wet possessions that can be quickly dried, and protect any items in the vicinity of the leak from becoming damaged. Use any plastic material you can find to drape over carpets and furniture that cannot be moved.

Step 2: Call for Help

After addressing any pressing water damage, call a professional to schedule an appointment ASAP. Most roofing companies will list an additional number that you can use to reach them if your leak occurs outside of business hours. It’s important to enlist a professional roofing contractor who can expertly address the leak and properly assess the full extent of the damage.

Step 3: Investigate the Source

Next, try to find the leak. Your best bet for locating a roof leak is to start in the attic. Find the brightest flashlight you have and head up to the attic to examine the state of things. Look for an active leak or for water stains which will help you track it down. Once you have figured out a general point of entry for your leak, use a roofing cement or tape–widely available at home-improvement stores–to patch the leak as well as you can while you wait for help to arrive.

When your roofing contractor arrives, point them to the general area of the leak and leave the rest to them. Be sure to obtain a quote for any work that needs to be done, both to the exterior and interior of your home, before proceeding with a leak repair.

Step 4: Consider Your Options

It’s possible that a leaking roof was a long time coming, and that the state of your roof was deteriorating far before this summer’s storms. If your roof is older than twenty years, consider requesting a roof replacement estimate in addition to your repair estimate. A repair to an ancient roof now may only be the first in a series of repairs to come. A new roof does more than protect against leaks; it plays an integral role in your home’s energy efficiency and helps your heating and cooling systems run more efficiently.

If you have a leaking roof and need assistance, or if you’d just like to discuss your options for roofing replacement, contact us.