Emergency Measures

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Your Roof is Leaking – What to Do Until We Get There!

When heavy storms hit, every roofer in the area receives calls. Most reputable companies would love to get to your property immediately, but the overwhelming demand makes it impossible to be everywhere at once.

If you see the telltale signs of a roof leak – don’t panic. Here are our recommendations for immediate action you can take to reduce the amount of damage that is being caused by the incoming water.

Pots & Pans

It may seem cliché, but placing buckets, pots, and pans under the leak is the most common way to catch dripping water.

Create a Drain

Water dripping through the ceiling typically comes from an ever-growing reservoir that is accumulating above ceiling material. To limit the spread of the ceiling damage, it often helps to make a hole (about the diameter of a pencil) in the ceiling exactly where the drip is occurring. Since the ceiling is going to need some repair anyway, a simple plaster patch of a small hole is generally cheaper and easier than replacing large sections of plaster or drywall.

Get to the Source

While catching water in the living room might help save the floor, it is far better to catch it before it hits the ceiling in the first place. This will require a trip to the attic. Once in the attic, use a bright light to help spot the entry point of the water.
Note: moving through the attic must be done slowly and cautiously since ceilings are not intended for foot traffic. Always step on the ceiling joists and never on the ceiling material since it is not strong enough to support your weight. It may be easier to place boards across the ceiling joists to act as walk boards.

Buckets in the Attic

Once you’ve spotted the leak, strategically place buckets, pots, or pans under it, to catch the water before it reaches the ceiling. You must remember to periodically check the contents of these containers and drain them before they become full.


Covering the area of the roof where the water is entering can be effective. But DO NOT attempt to get onto your roof during the rain. Roofs can be very slippery when wet. Putting tarps in place between rain storms may help, but this can still be a dangerous proposition for people unaccustomed to walking on roofs. What’s more, tarping the roof is not always a solution, depending on the source of the leak.

Please Note: All of these measures are stop-gap emergency steps only. They do not take the place of proper roof repair, no matter how well they work in the short term. It is still important to have a professional evaluation done to determine if your roof is repairable or in need of total replacement.

At August Roofing, we understand the urgency of leaks in your roof. We’ll do everything within our power to provide the appropriate service and solution. Thank you for your patience as we work to get your problem solved.