What to do if your roof starts leaking during heavy rainfall
If you notice your roof is leaking, don’t panic.
Whether you can hear the water or see a spreading dark spot on your ceiling, it is time to act. A leak left unattended can cause significant damage.
The very first thing you should do if there is water dripping is to place a bucket under the leak. Top tip: to muffle the sound of the water dripping into the bucket, place a small wooden board across the bucket. You should then unplug and move any nearby electronics. These could be damaged and even cause a fire if they get wet. It’s important to minimize any potential hazards as quickly as possible.
If water is visibly spreading across the ceiling but has not broken through, you need to allow it to drain in a controlled manner. If the water continues to pool, it could cause your ceiling to collapse or leak into your walls, light fixtures and wiring. Use a ladder and a screwdriver to poke a hole in the middle of the ceiling. Have a bucket ready to catch it. Put some towels down on the floor to catch any water in case you miss with the bucket. Again, move any electrical items out of the room and minimize any other hazards.
Now that you are managing the leak, you need to find where the water is getting in. Go up into the loft (if this is possible) and look for any major gaps, holes, or visible damage. If you can’t detect any visible damage, look where the water is coming in. Keep in mind: the original hole may not be where the water is dripping. Water can travel a long way before becoming a visible leak, and the hole may be on the outside of your roof and flowing downwards before entering. Leave it to the professionals to check the outside of your roof.
To control the water that is getting into your loft, a temporary fix is waterproof roofing tape (known professionally as Flashing Tape or Flashband). You could also use roof and gutter sealant. These items can be purchased at most home improvement shops and are great to have to hand should anything happen.
Following these steps will minimise the damage to your home but you will want your local roofers to come as soon as possible to asses the situation and find a permanent solution.