What to Do If You Need Emergency Roofing Services

Homeowner Learning

Author: Amy Freeman | April 21, 2021

You depend on your home's roof to protect you and your family from the elements. But certain circumstances can unexpectedly and dramatically damage your roof. Hailstorms, thunderstorms, and tropical storms can all cause significant damage to a roof, even if your home is fairly sturdy.

House struck by lightning
What counts as a roofing emergency? Here's how to tell if your home needs emergency roof repair.

One challenge for homeowners is determining whether the damage requires emergency roofing services, or if it's something that can wait. Since roofing emergencies should be fixed ASAP, it's vital that you know what to look for and what to do if one occurs.

What Determines a Roofing Emergency

In many cases, a roofing emergency will be obvious. During a storm, strong winds might pull shingles off the roof, revealing the layers below. A tree or large branch might fall on your roof, creating a hole or causing a partial collapse. Lightning might strike the roof and cause a fire.

When determining if you're facing an emergency roof situation, figure out how severe the potential damage could be over the next few days. If a tree falls on your house, you most likely can't stay in the home safely. If winds tear the shingles off the roof or a lightning strike creates a hole in it, water can get into the home and quickly damage the ceilings and walls. In the event of a roof emergency, you and your family might need to find somewhere else to stay until the issue is resolved.

Although wear and tear on your shingles is something you want to fix, it doesn't constitute a roof emergency. A small number of buckled, cracked or soggy shingles means the repair can wait until extreme weather has passed or a contractor is available.

Who to Call for Emergency Roofing Services

If you believe you're in an emergency situation, your best bet is to call an experienced roofing contractor right away. In the event of an emergency, the contractor should arrive at your home quickly. They might wait until after the worst of the storm is over, depending on how bad weather conditions are. A reputable roofing contractor will prioritize the safety of their crew and won't send out their team during lightning strikes, strong winds or heavy rain. As soon as the storm is over, someone from the roofing company will inspect your roof and discuss the next steps.

What to Do While Waiting for a Roof Repair

While you wait for the contractor to arrive, assess the damage to your roof. If a lot of water is coming in through the roof, and you can safely reach the fuse box, turn off the electricity in your home. You might also want to take shelter in another location, such as a neighbor's house, until the contractor arrives.

For safety reasons, avoid trying to get up on the roof to investigate the extent of the damage. Climbing around on the roof when the weather is sunny is risky enough: It becomes more dangerous when there is wind or rain. Trust that the contractor will assess the damage and recommend the best course of action for your home.

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