As a homeowner, you’ll experience roofing emergencies at least once in your lifetime. They could stem from a simple leak as a result of missing shingles to serious damage caused by a strong storm. If your sloped or flat roofing system is compromised because of such issues, you need to know how to manage the situation properly to ensure the protection of your most important investment – your home. This is where you’ll need a well-thought, carefully constructed emergency action plan.
Establishing one allows you to mitigate roof damage and implement necessary repairs as swiftly and efficiently as possible. Failure to create one beforehand may result in you having to delay repairs, not to mention dealing with the stress and frustration of handling property damage. The longer you sit it out, the more your roof’s structural integrity will deteriorate, which can have an impact on the safety and comfort of your household.
But what should a roofing emergency action plan look like?
What Counts as a Roofing Emergency?
Before we proceed to discussing the elements of a roofing emergency action plan, it would be worth highlighting some of the typical examples of a roofing emergency that require immediate attention. These include the following:
- Roof deck rot. The decking or sheathing of roofing systems is an important layer that holds the underlayment and the outer roof covering together. However, it can suffer from rot due to moisture intrusion caused by poor ventilation or storm damage.
- Shingle damage. A few missing or damaged shingles is considered an emergency that must be dealt with immediately through simple repairs. However, if the extent of the issue encompasses a large section of the roofing system, then the best course of action would be to replace the entire roofing system.
- Fallen tree on roof. Strong winds can reach high speeds enough to cause trees to be uprooted. It is considered an emergency if one of them has fallen onto your roof during a storm.
- Persistent leaks. A comprehensive roof inspection can help determine, isolate and fix any existing leaks. Some of them, however, are bigger emergencies than others, like dripping water in different locations inside your home.
The Importance of Roof Management
Whether you have a sloped or flat roofing system, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to be on the lookout for possible issues that can deter it from performing its primary function, which is to protect your home against the elements. An integral part of roof management is coming up with a comprehensive plan in anticipation of such problems.
You’ll never know when strong hail, high-speed winds or a heavy downpour will ravage your location and do a number on your roof and home, which is why you want to have a reliable emergency action plan written before a potential emergency occurs. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t take too long to create one.
What Should a Roofing Emergency Action Plan Entail?
Your own roofing emergency action plan may vary from other homeowners due to several factors, including type of roofing system. Some have metal roofing while others have the typical asphalt shingles installed. The local climate is also seen as a prevailing factor as well as the availability of local contractors in the area.
Nevertheless, your roofing emergency action plan should include certain measures to ensure your roof’s protection against serious weather conditions before, during and after they happen. Here are some of them:
- Regular inspection and maintenance schedule. This is arguably the most important component of a well-thought-out roofing emergency action plan. Having one in place allows you to be proactive when it comes to your roof, heading off potential issues before they become bigger and costlier problems. It also helps you keep track of your roof’s age and condition, and whether it will benefit from continuous repairs or a complete replacement. A typical roof maintenance is usually carried out at least twice a year: once in spring and another in fall. However, you’ll want to have your roof checked following a severe storm as well.
- Repair priorities. Suppose you’ve been told by your chosen local contractor about some of the defects they found on your roof following a comprehensive inspection. All of these will require repairs, but the pros will categorize them based on the degree of urgency. In other words, some will require immediate attention while others can be planned for later.
- Records of emergency repairs. Your roofing emergency action plan should outline the important procedures necessary to document losses that your home suffered because of the storm that hit your area. It all starts with contacting your insurance agent and roofing contractor to inform them about your situation. You also have to read your homeowner’s insurance policy thoroughly so you know what to expect when filing a claim. To bolster your claim further, be sure to collect the necessary documentation, including photos and videos of the aftermath of the storm on your property. Be sure that both your insurer and roofing contractor are working together to make sure everything is settled before the actual repairs to the roofing damage can commence.
Important Steps to Take During a Roofing Emergency
So, you’ve crafted your own roofing emergency action plan. All that’s left to do is prepare yourself in the event of an actual emergency. Knowing what to do allows you to handle the situation seamlessly without getting panicky.
It all starts with doing everything you can to mitigate damage to both your roof and property. Consider putting a tarp to cover the affected areas and shield your important items from water damage. Be sure you have plenty of buckets to catch any dripping water leaking from your ceiling or walls. Of course, you must get in touch with a trusted team of roof repair specialists to perform the necessary fixes. They’ll take advantage of the tools and equipment they have to check the areas of the roof that need attention.
At Done-Right Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., you can count on our professionals to provide emergency roof repairs when storm damage or another incident suddenly impacts your roof. All of our team members are health- and safety-trained, and covered by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) for your peace of mind. We also use satellite imagery and measurements to provide you with an accurate estimate for your roof repair with us, so when it comes time to complete the job, there are no surprises.