Fiscal prudence and an adherence to safety dictate a leaking roof must be repaired without delay. Unfortunately, a homeowner may not even know that a roof is leaking. Holes in a severely storm-damaged roof may drip water, but the water could be absorbed by insulation. Eventually, the weight of water-sogged insulation breaks through the drywall. By this point, the damage is revealed but may be extensive, and so a careful approach to budgeting the repair work must be taken.
Addressing the Damage
Water and mold both will cause damage to the interior of a home. Severely rotted rafters won't hold up the weight of a new roof. Worse yet, the damage to the roofing membrane and support beams may be hidden behind drywall and insulation. Cutting out a portion of the insulation and the drywall is suggested in order to determine whether or not the underside of the roof has to be torn out and rebuilt as well.
Unfortunately, the need for extensive repairs drives the cost of the repairs sky high. Or does it? There may be limited solutions to the current problem. Depending on the extent of the damage, one- or two-year delays may be made possible by your performing certain possible fixes. Two things to consider include the following.
Explore the Possibility of Support Fixes
Instead of tearing out the rafters, putting new support lumber side by side next to the old rafters may deliver a decent amount of added support to the roof. Obviously, a decision to take this approach is going to be based on a roofer's or contractors safety assessment. In a worst-case scenario, the steps can still be taken solely as a "better-than-nothing" emergency fix until funds or credit are available and proper work can commence.
Explore a Leak-Patching Plan
Perhaps a "patchwork" fix to—at the very least—reduce the amount of water coming into the property can be done for the short term. Doing so could stem additional damage to the interior and allow for proper mold-killing steps to be taken. Placing aluminum over the damaged section of the roof and covering it with a massive amount of tar might work do the job. Again, this is a short-term fix at best.
Ultimately, homeowners must follow the best recommendations of a commercial roofing contractor. If the short-term solutions are not feasible, figuring out ways to finance a thorough repair becomes the next step. A well-established roofing contractor surely can advise on options for financing the repair work. Consult a company such as WNC Roofing for more information.