Calling in a professional just for them to say you need to clean your gutters is frustrating on the best of days. When you’re experiencing heavy rainfall or noticing water accumulating on your patio, follow these tips by homeowners to assess and catch some easy fixes before scheduling a repair.

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton, CEO at Loftera.

Your Roof’s Installation May Be The Culprit

Water rolls off patio roofs more slowly due to their low slopes. They are more susceptible to letting water in. Therefore, material for patios must be less permeabilized. It may also be necessary to waterproof them completely.

It is usually due to improper waterproofing and installation of that area that leaks occur. Having a certified roofing specialist handle any leaks on your roof in this area is the best way to avoid problems. Here are some steps to consider before calling an expert:

1. Identify the source of the leak and use a brush to remove dirt and debris from the area. The area can also be pressure cleaned. You can use this method to remove rust and reveal any other punctures or cracks that might be contributing to the problem.

2. Decide if the hole on the roof can be repaired by yourself or if it needs an expert. If you think you can repair it, then you can apply roofing cement to cover the hole that causes the leak.

3. At least 24 hours should pass before applying the second layer. You should cover the area with plastic if there is a chance of rain.

Steps to Take Before Calling an Expert

1. Move things away and contain the water.
Water from a leaking roof can destroy things placed under the patio. Hence, the first step should be to move anything that the water can ruin away from the area. Since the water can also destroy the floor, try to contain it by capturing the water in buckets and cans.

2. Identify the source of the leakage.
Based on where the leakage is inside, [try to] identify its source before climbing onto the roof to confirm. However, one should exercise caution and only climb when it is safe to do so. If water has formed a pool that caused the roof to sag, relieve the pressure since it can cause more severe damage.

3. Tarp the roof
A tarp is the best option for instances where you can’t get the roof fixed right away. The tarp should be extended at least four feet across the leaking area and should go up to the peak where applicable. This provides temporary protection until you can get the roof fixed.

Jonathan Tian

Jonathan Tian

Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder of Mobitrix.
Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, CEO at CocoSign.

Check Your Drainage System

My steps included cleaning the patio, taking a closer look at the drainage system, and checking for any visible damage. It is important to take these steps before calling out experts because there could be an issue with the design or construction of your patio.

You should also note that the probability of a leak occurring is greater when rain falls outside your home on a roof. If you are experiencing any flooding around low points on your roof, it is recommended that you call in professionals to investigate.

The next step is to take a closer look at the drainage system, which could consist of any pipe, gutter, downspout system, or another type of drainage point. One common problem is the wrong size pipe being used in an attempt to accommodate more water after heavy rainfalls. There are a variety of drain systems for installation on patios, and you should contact a plumber for further advice.

Locate the Leak’s Source

Before calling a professional, you can assess the extent of the leak first. Even if it is just a small leak, it is vital to catch it early to prevent further damage. Small leaks can easily lead to mold, rotted framing, sheathing, and an overall damaged roof. Locating the leak is trickier than repairing the leak itself. Start looking at the roof from the stains as the most common source of leaks are usually items that penetrate the roof. Examine if it needs a professional to be repaired or if you can do it yourself.

Bob Scott

Bob Scott

Bob Scott, Founder of Sell Land.

Alex Varela

Alex Varela, General Manager of Dallas Maids.

Clean Your Gutters and Look For Impact Damage

A patio roof leak is most likely due to a clogged rain gutter. Because the rainwater doesn’t have anywhere else to go, it might end up on your patio roof.

To clean [your gutters], you should grab a pair of heavy-duty gloves, as well as an air-blower or pressure washer.

Get on a ladder and grab the biggest pieces of [debris] (most likely leaves and rocks). Then, apply the air blower/water pressure blower to remove the smaller [debris]. While you’re at it, you can clean your roof and floors.

[The leak] can also be due to a hole or crack on the roof, which can happen because of an impact, such as rocks or an animal. If the opening is not big (less than 2”), you could use a waterproof patch & seal tape. You can find them either in tape or spray. Once it dries, it will form a seal against water, air, and moisture.

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