man checks out the roof leaking with heavy rainfall outside

What To Do When Your Roof is Leaking in Heavy Rain

Bondoc Team

Posted By: Bondoc Team

Posted Date


It’s frightening to notice when your roof is leaking. And then comes the heavy rain.

Even a small drip means water is getting into the house from somewhere, and it may be a much larger problem than it seems at first glance. Though many homeowners will initially panic at the thought of a total roof replacement, you may only need minor roof repairs from a local professional.

Instead, start by focusing on what’s happening now, work to protect the interior of the home, and then have an expert inspect the roof to see if it can be repaired. 

Here’s a thorough step-by-step of what to do if your roof is leaking during heavy rainfall.

1. Be Proactive Inside the Home

Homeowners set out buckets when roof is leaking to keep home dry.

When your roof is leaking, start immediately taking steps to protect the interior of the home. While it’s raining, water is still going to enter through the roof if there is a leak.

Catch the Water

Where the water is dripping, put down buckets and pour the water into the tub, then replace the buckets as needed to catch as much water as possible. Anything can be used, including pots, pans, or bowls. Use towels to soak up any water that does get on the floor or on furniture, then squeeze out the excess water in the shower and hang them to start drying. 

Keep Things Dry

If any items get wet inside the home, carefully dry them as quickly as possible and place them somewhere they can dry. It’s a good idea to put them on something if possible, so air can flow underneath the item. Larger furniture may require additional steps like using a shop vac to remove water to help them dry before there is permanent damage.

Be Diligent to Avoid Deeper Problems

Working quickly is required to prevent permanent water damage to the home and belongings. There will be repairs needed for the ceiling and roof, but working fast will minimize the damage done and the cost to tackle all of the repairs. It can also help prevent mold growth, which can cause medical issues for those living in the home. 

2. Look for How the Water is Getting Inside

Homeowner check attic to find source of roof leak.

While it’s raining and your roof is leaking, it’s most important to simply protect the interior of the home as showcased avobe, but once the water is under control, it’s time to find the roof leak.

Explore the Issue

Start looking into how the water is getting into the home. Keep in mind, this is not necessarily going to be where the water is coming through the ceiling. Water tends to follow the path of least resistance, so it may flow down a pipe a long way before it drips and comes through the ceiling. If it’s safe to do so, enter the attic to check underneath the roof and look for how the water is getting inside.

Keep Things As Dry As Possible

If it’s possible to find out how the water is getting in, use a bucket to catch the water there. If the water is flowing down a pipe or board as soon as it enters the home, wrap the pipe or board with a towel and let one end of the towel drop into a bucket. This will help stop the water from going down the board and instead allow it to go in the bucket to minimize further damage.

It’s possible that it will be difficult to determine how the water is getting inside the home. If this is the case, wait until the rain has stopped to take the next steps. Simply focus on keeping the interior of the home as dry as possible and catching the water to reduce the amount of damage done to the home. 

3. Inspect the Roof From the Ground

After the rain stops, take a moment to look at the roof and see if it’s easy to determine where the leak is coming from.

Closeup of asphalt shingles on leaking roof.

Safely Assess the Problem

It is not advised for homeowners to climb onto the roof on their own, especially after a storm. A dry roof is dangerous, and there is a risk of slipping and falling – the risk is much higher when the roof is wet after the storm.

Look from the ground and see if the shingles are lifting up, if there are any that are missing, if there is damaged flashing, or if there are other signs that the roof is damaged. It is advised to call a roofing professional at this point to do a closer inspection and determine the steps needed to prevent the leak in the future. 

4. Use Temporary Measures to Stop the Leak

After the rain has ended, it’s important to take measures to prevent future leaks. This should involve repairing the roof, but that might not always be able to be done immediately, especially if many homes in the area were damaged during the storm.

If the roof can’t be repaired for at least a few days, use temporary measures to protect the home from further damage. It is a good idea to let a dependable roof repair company handle this task, as they can do it quickly with less risk due to the right training and equipment. 

Tarping and Caulking

Homeowner uses caulk to patch up roof leak temporarily.

In most cases, roofing caulk can be used around flashing and other areas that are leaking to stop water from getting inside the home. More extensive repairs may be needed, but this should help until the repairs are done.

If there are larger areas that are damaged, a durable tarp can be placed over the damage to cover it and protect the roof from the rain. It is important to make sure this is tied down properly so it won’t blow away during the next storm. These measures are only temporary, but they should help until proper repairs are completed. 

5. Dry and Repair the Home

Once the storm is over, start working on restoration for the interior of the home.

It is important to dry out everything as fast as possible to prevent mold growth or permanent water damage. Some drywall in the ceiling may need to be removed to allow the attic and interior of the ceiling to dry out. It is better to replace a bit of drywall in the ceiling than to deal with mold growth inside it. 

Anything that can’t be repaired should be thrown away. Use dehumidifiers in the home to help remove as much moisture as possible. Fans can also help push the wet air out of the home and help the flooring, walls, and dry as quickly as possible. 

6. Have the Roof Repaired

Closeup of qualified roofing contractor repairing roof leak.

The final step is to contact a San Antonio roofer to have the roof properly repaired.

Temporary measures may last for a week or two, but they shouldn’t be relied on to protect the home from further damage. A roofer will carefully inspect the entire roof to determine the extent of the damage and what needs to be done to restore it, so it once again protects the home from water. 

It’s easy to worry that a whole new roof is needed. But unless the roof is reaching the end of its lifespan or has suffered significant damage during the storm, it’s likely that repairs will restore it to good condition.

Get Informed When Your Roof Is Leaking

The roofing company should be able to provide detailed information about what is damaged and what repairs are needed. They can also answer any questions about the condition of the roof or the repairs that are needed before work begins. 

It’s easy to become worried when water starts dripping inside the home during a storm, but it may not be as bad as it looks. Taking the right steps can help protect the home from damage and minimize the cost of repairs.

If you’re in San Antonio, TX, or the surrounding areas and experience a leaking roof when it rains, now’s the time to get help so the issue doesn’t get worse. Contact Bondoc Roofing now to get the fast and reliable help needed to protect your home. 

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homeowner happily relaxes in home during full roof replacement by Bondoc roofing