Skip to main content

Is your roof old or damaged? Get a free estimate today

« View All Posts

Roof Maintenance

5 Steps to Take for a Roof Leak

June 24, 2022 | 4 min. read

Print/Save as PDF

Roof leaks are no joke; if you’ve ever spotted that dreaded brown spot on your ceiling you would know. 


Once the water stain is there, the issue can worsen until you’re scrambling to find water buckets to contain the water pouring in from your ceiling.


Leaks can be a hidden issue, so you don’t know what kind of damage they are doing to your home. Once you open that can of worms, you may even find mold that can harm you and your family. 


Rescue My Roof has been helping homeowners conquer roof leaks for over a decade. This article will use our expertise to help you find the next steps after discovering a roof leak.  


We will be covering the signs of a roof leak and the best next steps so that you can make educated decisions about your home’s health. In the end, you will know exactly what to do when you spot those pesky water stains. 


Top 4 Signs of a Leaking Roof


Roof leaks can be challenging to spot, and by the time you do, it may be too late. If a leak gets too far, it can result in costly repairs and potentially a total roof replacement. 


Here are the top signs you should look for that indicate a roof leak:


1. Water Stains


Water leaks that have cause interior damage need an urgent repair - don't wait.When leaks have had weeks to progress through the layers of your roof and attic, eventually, they will make their way into the interior of your home.


You will begin to notice brown, water-color-like stains on your ceiling. These stains are from the excess water leaking into your home.


When homeowners notice water stains, they think the leak is above the affected areas. However, in many cases, the leak is in a different area and is tough to diagnose.


If you notice water stains in your home, it’s time to call a roofing professional for an inspection. They will be able to diagnose the issue and repair the leak correctly.


2. Mold or Mildew in the Attic


Black mold growing in an attic due to poor ventilation or a roof leak.
Mold growing in the attic space.

One of the issues homeowners pray they never have to face is mold or mildew growth.


When there is excess moisture in the attic space, whether it’s a result of poor ventilation or a roof leak, it can result in mold and mildew.


You will notice the dark stains popping up all over the attic and the smell of mildew. 


Mold and mildew can not only call for extensive repairs and treatment but can also negatively impact your family’s health.


A roof leak may be to blame when you notice mold or mildew. Call a professional to determine its direct cause and the proper treatment. 


3. Crumbling Drywall


Crumbling drywall due to water damage. Excess moisture from a leak can wreak havoc on your home’s interior. 


Crumbling drywall may be a sign that there is water damage in your home. If your drywall is beginning to crack or crumble, it’s best to call a professional for a repair.


Drywall damage is an issue many homeowners want to tackle on their own to save money. You may be able to put a bandaid on the issue, but if the underlying cause is not addressed, it will lead to more future issues.


Calling in an expert for an inspection is free in most cases and will save you the cost of future repairs. 


4. Active Water Leaks


Water dripping from a roof leakOne of the tell-tale signs of a roof leak is an active water drip in your home.


If you’re currently scrambling around for buckets while water pours into your home, it’s definitely time to call an expert. 


Active water drips can be caused by many things like a roof leak or a burst pipe. Regardless, these are problems homeowners shouldn’t tackle alone. Calling a professional will ensure your roof gets the proper care it needs. 


What Should You Do If Your Roof is Leaking?


Now that you know the signs of a roof leak, it’s time to learn the next steps.


Here are the best steps to take if you’ve noticed water stains, mold, drywall damage, or active water leaks.


1. Using a Tarp to Protect Your Roof


This step is trickier than it sounds.


Using a tarp to help protect your home is one of the steps Rescue My Roof recommends while you are waiting for a roof repair.


The time in-between calling a repair person and them coming to your home should be spent trying to prevent as much damage as possible.


Laying a tarp over the affected areas of your roof can help prevent water from coming in and causing more damage.


Gather a few friends and some weights, and secure a tarp over your roof until the roofing professionals arrive. 


2. Contain the Water


When you have an active leak, the goal is to prevent as much damage as possible beyond what’s already been done.


You can protect the interior of your home to a certain extent by containing the water.


Using buckets, towels, or bowls, try to collect the water that drips into your home. This will protect your home until help arrives. 


3. Move Important Items Out of the Way


When your roof is leaking, that’s bad enough. You don’t want to add insult to injury by your belongings getting ruined in the process. 


To preserve your personal belongings, you should move them out of harm’s way. Clear the affected area and follow the step above to contain the water. 


4. Relieve Water Pressure


A sagging bubble hanging from your ceiling is a sign of water collecting in that spot. 


While it might seem extremely satisfying to pop that bubble, homeowners may hesitate because they don’t know if it will worsen the damage. 


We’re here to tell you to give in to that intrusive thought and pop the bubble. 


If you leave it, the water could spread and cause more severe damage to the ceiling. Additionally, it could erupt on its own and create a larger mess. 


Puncture the bubble, and put a bucket underneath to catch the water. 


5. Take Photos for Insurance Documentation 


Documenting the damages will come in handy when you file your home insurance claim (if the damage is eligible). 


Photos will show the severity of the roof damage and all other compromised items. If the roof leak ruined items like your television or computer, your insurance could potentially fix the roof and replace the items you lost. 


The Recommended Solution to a Roof Leak: Call a Roofing Company


When you’re facing a roof leak, you can take many steps: tapping your roof, containing the water, and even relieving water pressure. But the recommended step is to call a local roofing company to repair the leak.


Leaks can be hard to diagnose and difficult for an amateur to repair. Calling a roofing professional means your roof will get the best possible care. 


If you want to get educated about roof leaks before calling a rescue team, here are more resources. Read “4 Places Where Roof Leaks Can Happen” and “How Much Does It Cost to Repair My Roof” to prepare for the day when you need a roof leak repaired. 


If you’re located in Southeastern Wisconsin, Rescue My Roof may be the contractor for you. With over a decade of experience, we can rescue your roof from leaks. 

Contact us today to get your free, fast, and honest roof evaluation.