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Fixing a Roof Problem

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There are two types of roof fixes: temporary and permanent. A temporary fix not only minimizes additional water damage inside your home, it's also important from an insurance perspective. Here's why: It's your responsibility as a homeowner to protect your house and belongings from further damage. If you don't take the appropriate steps to do so, your homeowner's policy might not cover this damage.

Temporary Roof Relief

Around the House

Homeowner's insurance pays for emergency repairs. Be sure to keep all of your receipts so you can file them along with your claim.

As mentioned in Plugging a Roof Leak, all you're going to do for a temporary fix is prevent additional water damage inside your house. Temporary fixes are appropriate if…

  • You can see obvious damage to your roof, such as holes, missing shingles, mangled flashing, etc.

  • Water is still coming into your home.

  • An appropriate repair person, such as a roofing contractor, is unavailable.

Be sure you, or the person who is going to do the repairs, is physically able to do them. Here's what you'll need:

  • Ladder

  • Plywood boards, tarp, or plastic sheeting

  • Strips of wood, if you're using a tarp or plastic sheeting

  • Hammer and nails or duct tape

And here's what you'll do:

  1. Climb onto your roof.

  2. If you're using plywood sheets, nail them into place.

  3. If you're using plastic sheets or trash bags, nail strips of wood over them or secure with duct tape. If the holes are large, you might have to support the plastic in the middle to keep it from tearing if additional water collects in it.

Only attempt these repairs if your roof isn't sagging. If it is, leave everything alone as it's too dangerous for you to be up there. Call a contractor, and describe the problem. These areas need bracing to prevent further damage, and this needs to happen sooner rather than later.



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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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