What qualifies as a roof repair emergency?

fallen tree on top of a house

The Work After a Storm

New Orleans isn’t a stranger to harsh weather that leaves emergency roof repair needs in the aftermath. But exactly what is considered an emergency roof repair? Well, if it is your roof that is leaking, to you that needs an emergency roof repair. However, we all have different definitions and opinions on what is truly an emergency. 

You certainly don’t want to pay a professional roofing contractor to come out and tell you, “Yes, you have a roof leak, but it can wait till next week when I don’t have true emergency roof repairs.” So, with that in mind, here are examples of what is considered an emergency roof repair need by most roofing experts:

  • A large number of missing shingles on crucial parts of the roof. 
  • A significant and steady amount of water is leaking through the roof. 
  • A rotted deck posing a structural hazard. 
  • A tree or large branch has fallen on the roof, and it is raining.
  • A majority of the roof is missing.  

Is a leaking roof an emergency?

With these examples of what experts in the roofing industry consider to be an emergency roof repair need, a leaking roof actually opens up another level of emergency roof repair. For a roof leak that is not affecting the daily routines or the lives of anyone inside the house, it is not an emergency roof leak. 

However, that does not mean it should be ignored! Monitor the amount of water and how fast it is leaking through the roof. The faster and the larger the amount of water that is coming in, the more it may qualify as an emergency roof repair need. And even if the leak is small, just showing water stains and maybe a little moisture, it should not be ignored. The longer a small leak is left unaddressed, the more damage it is causing to the roof and the home. 

How to Make Temporary Emergency Roof Repairs

A roof has one job, but it is an important one: keeping the house dry and safe. This is why when you have a leaking roof, you need to act immediately. Unfortunately, even if you know who to call for emergency roof repair, that doesn’t mean they are available immediately for an emergency roof repair. If the surrounding area has had storms coming through, your home likely isn’t the only one having roof leaks and other problems. 

As a homeowner, you should have materials on hand and be prepared to do a temporary emergency roof repair in the rain. This will minimize the damage and hopefully allow you to stay in your home until a professional contractor can arrive. Take the following actions as soon as you notice moisture in the house: 

Move Valuable and Vulnerable Items

Anything that is of value or vulnerable that can be damaged or ruined when wet, move it to a dry place. This includes emptying the attic and any furniture, artwork, electronics, and rugs in the living area below where the roof leak is located. Any area that gets wet is at risk for water damage and mold growth. The first thing you should do is move any valuable or vulnerable items out of the way of the leak. You may need to move some items from your attic to the garage or push some furniture to the other side of the room. 

Catch the Water

With everything in a safe place, locate where the water is coming in place plastic or towels under it then a bucket on top of that. If the ceiling is bulging, poke it with a screwdriver and allow the water to drain into the bucket. Every hour or so, check the bucket and empty it if needed. 

Document and Take Pictures 

Document everything and take pictures/videos of any damaged areas in the living area or the attic. Take pictures of things that were damaged by the leak like furniture, art, and rugs, even electronics. This will be useful in filing your insurance claim. 

After The Rain Stops

Once the rain has stopped, fasten a tarp to the roof top with 2×4 boards on 4 sides over the leak. Secure with nails and roofing cement. 

Call a Roofing Contractor

Before you call the insurance company, call a roofing company. They can fix your leak; the insurance company can’t. The roofing contractor will inspect the roof as well as areas such as inside the attic. They will also inspect inside the house, even in areas where you aren’t aware of any emergency roof repair being needed. 

Will insurance cover emergency roof repair?

Most homeowner insurance policies will cover perils like fire, hail, and wind. A tree blown on top of your home and causing roof damage would be covered by insurance. If your roof is older and should have been replaced already, and then starts to leak, no; insurance will not cover that emergency roof repair. That will be deemed as owner neglect. 

Once you call your insurance company about an emergency roof repair being needed, they will ask you if you have contacted a roofing company yet. If not, they will tell you how to get emergency roof repair done in the quickest way possible. 

What does emergency roof repair cost? 

There is no set pricing for emergency roof repair because of the many variables that need to be considered. The severity and size of the damage, the type of roofing material, and other elements that are involved like removing a tree from the house can all change the pricing of an emergency roof repair. 

A Final Question 

Is a permit required for emergency roof repair? No, the City of New Orleans does not require a building permit to be issued for an emergency roof repair. The only time a roof is involved in a permit requirement is in the construction of a roof, which would be included in the building permit already.

damaged asphalt shingle roofing
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