Unfortunately, you may not know that you have a problem with your roof until it starts leaking. It is important that you have the problem fixed as soon as possible to prevent damage to the roof structure, your ceilings, walls and floors, and possible damage to your possessions. This may mean that you have to do something about it yourself until you can get a roofer out to do the repairs or can buy the necessary materials to do the repairs yourself. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the damage.
Minimize Water Holding Spots
As it rains, or ice melts, water will collect in the ceilings. You may see water dropping, a water stain growing, or perhaps even bulging in the ceiling tiles or drywall. It is important that you poke a hole to allow the water to flow freely instead of sitting and spreading. Use a bucket to catch the water as it falls. It will be much easier to repair a hole in the ceiling you created than it will be to repair all the water damage that can be done if you let it sit.
Find the Leak
Once you have controlled where the water is going, you need to locate the leak. This can be difficult because water can flow along drywall and lumbar t drip in a spot far away from where the roofing is damaged. The easiest thing to do is to go into the attic or crawl space and look up. Look for wet spots and then watch to see where the water is dripping. When you see a drip, look closely and follow the water to where it is coming into the house. Mark the spot by measure from all four walls.
Now that you know where the water is coming in, you need to try to stop it. Of course, you will need to wait for it to stop raining to be safe. Go up on the roof to the area you had figured with the inside measurements and see what is going on. You can use a tarp weighted down with bricks over the area, use a liquid rubber roofing product, or replace a few shingles to keep the water from coming in.
After you have found the leak and done an emergency repair, contact a local roofer to come and assess the problem correctly. They will be able to tell you if simple replacing some roofing material will solve the problem or if you need to have some of the roof structure repaired.