A leaking roof deck may go unnoticed for some time, but heavy Vancouver rains will eventually make the failure known. Heavy snowfall and snowmelt are also major culprits of bringing on roof deck leaks. When waterproof membranes fail, they need to be dealt with swiftly or damage and costs can multiply quickly.
Here’s what to do when your roof deck springs a leak:
1. Identify the source
If water is leaking into your home through the ceiling, your rooftop deck may or may not be the culprit. Examine the leaking water. If it’s clear, it could be from pipes running through the ceiling or walls. Water from leaking roofs and decks is often dirty and will create stains as it passes through drywall. If the leak appears to be from plumbing, you can cut a small hole in the drywall to check it out further.
2. Examine your deck
Take a look at the deck. Clear all furniture and debris so you can have a clear view of every square foot. Look for pooling water, weathered flashing, failing seams, and peeling caulking. Take a walk around your deck and feel for soft spots under your feet. If an area feels spongy, it’s a sign of rot and a clue to a compromised membrane. If you can identify where water may be coming in, set up a temporary barrier with tarping, sandbags, or caulking to slow the leak.
3. Damage control
Once you’ve done your best to determine the source of the leak and slow it down, head back inside to battle the water from below. Your objective is to dry the walls and floors out as best you can. The faster you dry things out, the lower your chance of mold–which is a costly and harmful effect of a long-term or major leak. Soak water up with towels, catch it with buckets, and set up fans and space heaters to evaporate remaining liquid.
With any luck, your homeowner’s insurance will cover damage and repair costs. Keeping your deck properly maintained is the best way to avoid a leak and ensure that you’re covered if one does occur. Let your provider know about the situation and get specifics on what’s needed to file a claim. It’s best to take photos to document the water damage and the suspected source.
5. Call a pro
The sooner you get a professional deck builder out to take a look, the sooner your roof deck will be leak-free. Your insurance company may require you to get multiple quotes, which is always smart if you’re able. However, time is of the essence when you’re dealing with a leaky roof deck in Vancouver. The longer you wait, the higher costs will be. Look for a reputable deck builder in your area and check out their online reviews for peace-of-mind.
A leaking roof deck can cause a high-stress situation, but if you follow these five steps, you’ll have everything under control.