Rental Property Owner Guide: Actions for Damaged Roofs

Imagine receiving a call from your tenant on a rainy evening. They inform you that water is dripping from the ceiling, soaking through the living room carpet, and threatening their belongings.

Panic sets in as it dawns on you that your property’s roof has been compromised, and immediate action is necessary to prevent further damage and ensure your tenant’s safety.

In such scenarios, knowing the correct steps to take can make all the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major disaster. Let’s go through what a rental property owner needs to know about damaged roofs.

Look at the Damage

When you first discover roof damage, it’s crucial to take a comprehensive look at the extent and nature of the problem. Start by conducting a visual inspection of both the exterior and interior of the property.

On the outside, look for visible signs such as missing or damaged shingles, cracked tiles, and any areas where the roof appears to be sagging or compromised. Check for debris, which can indicate recent storm damage, and ensure gutters are clear and intact.

Inside the property, inspect ceilings and walls for water stains, which are often the first indicators of a roof leak. Pay attention to any areas with peeling paint, bubbling wallpaper, or other visible irregularities, as these signs often point to prolonged water intrusion.

Don’t forget to check the attic, where you might find damp insulation, visible leaks, or water damage on the rafters and underside of the roof decking.

Protect Tenant Safety

As soon as you become aware of the roof damage, inform your tenants about the situation. Clearly communicate the potential risks and the steps you are taking to address the issue.

Provide them with instructions on any immediate actions they should take. That might include avoiding certain areas of the property or using buckets to collect leaking water.

Before professional repairs can commence, implement temporary safety measures to mitigate hazards. This might include placing tarps over the damaged parts of your property’s roof to prevent further water ingress, securing loose shingles or tiles, and setting up warning signs in affected areas.

Inside the property, use plastic sheeting to protect furnishings and floors from water damage, and ensure that any electrical appliances or outlets in the vicinity of leaks are turned off to prevent electrical hazards.

Bring in Emergency Roof Repair Services

Calling emergency roof repair services ASAP can help stabilize the situation quickly and minimize additional damage.

Identify and contact roof repair professionals who offer emergency repair services. Look for contractors with 24/7 availability, good reviews, and appropriate licensing and insurance.

Having a pre-vetted list of emergency contractors can save valuable time when a crisis occurs.

When contacting emergency roof repair services, provide them with detailed information about the damage. Include specifics such as the type of damage, affected areas, and any immediate safety concerns. Clear communication helps the contractors prepare the necessary tools and materials to address the issue promptly.

Emergency roofers often start with temporary repairs to prevent further damage. This can include tarping over damaged sections, securing loose shingles or tiles, and clearing debris.

These measures help to stabilize the situation and protect the interior of the property from water damage until permanent repairs can be made.

Schedule Repairs

Select a time for repairs that minimizes disruption to your tenants. Coordinate with tenants to find a convenient time, possibly when they are away or during daylight hours when they are less likely to be at home.

Prepare the property for the repair work to ensure a smooth process. Ensure that the roofing team has clear access to the roof and any necessary areas inside the property.

Cover up your furniture and other items in the attic or top floor of your rental buildings to protect them from dust and debris. Ensure that safety measures, such as warning signs or restricted access areas, are in place to protect tenants and workers.

Stay in touch with the roofing contractor during the repair process to monitor progress and address any issues that arise. Regular check-ins help ensure that the work stays on schedule and meets your quality expectations.

Document the damage and the emergency repairs thoroughly for insurance purposes. Take photos and videos before, during, and after the repairs.

Obtain detailed invoices and reports from the emergency repair service, as these documents will be essential when filing an insurance claim.

Landlord Roof Maintenance

You can also do regular roof maintenance to help lower the chances of emergency roof issues.

Overhanging tree branches can damage your rental property roof. Branches can scrape and wear down roofing materials, and falling limbs can cause structural damage.

Regularly trim trees around the property to prevent branches from hitting or dropping on the roof. This also helps minimize leaf and debris accumulation on your property’s roof.

Proper roof ventilation helps maintain roof integrity. It helps regulate temperature and moisture levels. That prevents heat and humidity buildup that can cause roofing materials to deteriorate.

Ensure that attic vents are cleared out and working properly. Consider adding additional ventilation if necessary.

Moss and algae growth can trap moisture. That, in turn, can lead to rot and damage. Use recommended methods to remove moss and algae, such as a specialized roof cleaning solution.

Avoid using high-pressure washing. That can damage roofing materials.

Consider scheduling professional maintenance services. Professional roofers can provide more thorough cleaning, repair, and maintenance services. That ensures that your roof remains in optimal condition. 

Put together a maintenance schedule that includes regular professional inspections and routine upkeep.

Plan for biannual inspections — once in the spring and once in the fall — to catch any seasonal damage and prepare for the upcoming weather conditions.

Rental Property Owner: Protect Your Roof Today

Now that you know what to do with a damaged roof as a rental property owner, you’ll be able to keep your investments in better shape.

Are you searching for help with rental property upkeep? Check out Innovative Roofing. With over 40 years of experience and the industry’s highest certifications, you won’t have to worry about your property when it’s in our hands.

Contact us today.

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1254 SW 6th Street,
Pompano Beach FL 33069

(855) 455-6063

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“I work with a lot of contractors as a real estate broker. There are a few that stand out. It is very hard to find a company that does great work at a fair price – and – has outstanding communication and customer service. Brett and Innovative Roofing is one of those rare breeds. They have earned a reputation as being one of the best in the business as it has been earned through great work. I received a reply from them on a Saturday and that put them over the top in customer service – such a rarity.”

Doug L. Boca Raton, FL