You rely on your roof to keep the elements outside of your home. Unfortunately, when your roof springs even a small leak, major water damage and headaches can result. By knowing what to do in the event of a roof leak at your home, you'll be better prepared to act quickly and have the necessary repairs done as quickly as possible while also mitigating damage.
Determine the Source of the Leak
Start by figuring out exactly where the leak is coming from, if at all possible. Don't assume that the leak is located directly above where you're discovering water entering your home, as this is rarely the case. Depending on the pitch of your roof, water can travel quite a distance from the source of the leak to the area where you've found dripping water. Typically, you can pinpoint the precise location of a leak by taking a peek into your attic; in some cases, however, a professional roofer may need to ascend your roof to find the exact source.
Consider a Temporary Fix
Right now, it's all about mitigating damage to your home--and this often means rigging up a temporary fix. If water is dripping into your home slowly, then placing a bucket underneath the location of the leak can help to catch the water and protect your home from water damage. If water is entering your home at a more rapid pace, then you may need to place a temporary tarp over the damaged area of your roof (if you can safely do so) until a more permanent repair can be made.
Contact Your Home Insurance Agent
Roof leaks are often covered by home insurance, especially when they're caused by storm damage or high winds. It never hurts to call your home insurance agent to report the damage and file a claim. Keep in mind, however, that you may still be on-the-hook for your insurance deductible.
Request Roof Repair Estimates
Last but not least, call a few reputable roofing companies to come out to your home and provide you with a repair estimate. Be sure to ask exactly what will be involved in the repair and take time to read third-party reviews of each company before you make a decision. If your repair will be covered by your insurance, it can also be helpful to work with a roof repair company that will bill your insurance directly and help you with your claim paperwork.