April 23

How To Tackle An Emergency Roof Repair Like A Pro


In the Land of Lakes, being prepared for an emergency roof repair is essential for homeowners. As the weather turns and storms approach, your roof is your home’s first line of defense against a variety of challenges. These include heavy snowfalls that can lead to structural damage due to the weight, or ice dams that gradually harm your home’s integrity. It’s important to understand these risks and take proactive steps to protect your property.

Common Roof Emergencies in the Land of Lakes

Gutters filled with ice and snow

Heavy Snowfall and Weighted Dangers

Minnesota’s winter, while beautiful, poses significant hazards to your roof. The accumulation of heavy snow or dense ice layers can put undue stress on the structural integrity of your home. Over time, this weight can cause the roof to sag, leading to potential leaks that might not only damage the interior of your home but, in severe cases, could compromise the ceiling’s stability.

Ice Dams

Ice dams occur on the edge of your roof due to an uneven mixture of warm air from your attic and cold external air. This imbalance causes snow on the upper part of the roof to melt and then refreeze as it reaches the colder eaves, effectively preventing melted snow from properly draining off the roof. Consequently, water pools behind these ice barriers and can seep under roof shingles, potentially causing significant water damage to the interior of your home..

Hail Storms

These storms can unleash hailstones of various sizes, some large enough to shatter roofing materials. When this happens, the protective barrier of your home is compromised, leaving it vulnerable to water damage. This can lead to costly repairs and the need for quick action to prevent further damage to the interior of your home.

Signs You Need Emergency Roof Repair

granular loss on a roofing shingle

Recognizing when your roof is in crisis is the first step in protecting your home. Here are the signs that should not be ignored:

Water Infiltration

The sudden presence of a drip or the emergence of water stains on your ceiling should be treated as a clear and urgent signal for emergency repair. This unexpected issue not only disrupts the comfort of your home but also indicates potential damage to your property that requires immediate attention to prevent further deterioration.

Shingle Debris

Finding displaced or damaged shingles on your property signals the need for quick action to prevent further damage. Additionally, it’s important to inspect your downspouts for a significant quantity of shingle granules. The presence of granule loss can indicate potential storm damage, which is a crucial aspect of home maintenance to be aware of.

Daylight in the Attic

If you observe daylight filtering through your roof boards, this is a clear indication that your home’s structural integrity might be compromised, leaving it susceptible to extensive interior damage. This could lead to issues such as water leakages during rainfall, which not only damages the interior of your home but can also lead to mold and mildew growth, posing health risks to you and your family.

Immediate Steps to Take

Performing an emergency roof repair and replacement

When faced with a roofing emergency, immediate action is crucial for preventing extensive damage to your home.

Safety First

Prioritize your safety above all else. It’s of utmost importance to steer clear of the affected area, especially when it involves standing water, which can conceal numerous dangers. Additionally, be exceptionally cautious of electrical hazards, as water can conduct electricity and pose a serious risk of electrocution.

Temporary Repairs

When it is safe to proceed, consider implementing temporary solutions such as applying a tarp to halt water entry or shield against further elemental damage. It is wise to document these interim repairs meticulously for your records.


Document the damage carefully through photographs and meticulous notes. This essential documentation will prove invaluable when you’re coordinating with insurance providers and roofing contractors.

Finding the Right Roofing Contractor

shelter customer with sign in yard

Selecting a contractor can be daunting, but it’s a critical decision. Consider the following when selecting your partner:

Ask the Right Questions

Ask about their qualifications and credentials, inquire about their experience specifically with handling emergency repairs, and ask for details on the types of materials they commonly use in their work.

Look for Quality and Trustworthiness

When selecting a contractor, it’s important to verify their certifications and qualifications. Additionally, asking for and reviewing testimonials from previous clients can provide insight into their reliability and quality of work. A trustworthy contractor will always be proud to stand by their work and should be transparent about their past projects.

Evaluate the Estimate

When seeking services, it’s crucial to request a detailed estimate that clearly outlines all the anticipated costs and the comprehensive scope of work intended to be completed. Exercise caution with bids that come in significantly lower than others; this could be a red flag indicating substandard quality or the potential for hidden charges that could arise later, inflating the initially attractive low cost to much higher, unforeseen expenses.

Financing Emergency Roof Repair

Shelter Construction with homeowner discussing an emergency roof repair

Dealing with a roofing emergency is not just a logistical challenge; it’s a financial one too. Here are some ways to handle the costs:

Check Your Insurance

It’s crucial to thoroughly review your insurance policy to fully understand what types of damage are covered. Not all damage scenarios are insurable, and coverage can vary significantly between policies. Understanding the specifics of your policy is essential to ensure that you’re adequately prepared and know your standing before you face any unfortunate events or damages.

Assess Your Savings

If the damage to your property is substantial and the repair costs are high, it might be wise to consider dipping into your emergency fund. Although it’s not the ideal situation to use your savings, remember that emergency funds are specifically set aside for these types of unexpected situations.

Explore Payment Options

Numerous reputable contractors understand that financial flexibility is important for their clients and, as a result, offer a variety of flexible payment plans. It’s worth investigating these options to see which plan best fits your budget and project timeline.

Preventing Future Emergency Roof Repair

Shelter construction performing a Roof inspection with homeowner

The best way to handle an emergency is to prevent it. Here’s how you can lower the risk of future roofing crises:

Regular Inspections

It’s crucial to schedule regular roof inspections, particularly after experiencing severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain, strong winds, or hail. Early detection of potential problems, such as leaks, missing shingles, or damage from fallen debris, can prevent these issues from worsening.

Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is key to regulating your attic’s temperature throughout the year, which can significantly reduce the risk of ice dams forming during colder months. This could involve installing additional vents or improving existing ones to ensure optimal airflow, thereby protecting your roof and home from potential water damage.

Seasonal Care

Ensure your roof receives the seasonal maintenance it needs to stay in top condition. This vital care should encompass thoroughly cleaning out gutters to prevent water damage, removing debris like leaves and branches that can accumulate and cause issues, and regularly inspecting for critters such as squirrels or birds that might compromise its structural integrity.

Navigating homeownership in Minnesota comes with its distinct challenges, but armed with the right knowledge and preparation, you can confidently overcome these hurdles. It’s vital to recognize that your roof does more than just top off your home; it serves as the primary defense, safeguarding your family and possessions against the unpredictable forces of nature. By staying informed about potential risks, being vigilant for signs of wear or damage, and familiarizing yourself with emergency procedures, you are actively reinforcing this essential barrier.

Turn to the Pros at Shelter Construction

At Shelter, we perform free inspections and consultations. We will perform minor repairs during the examination to small damage that we find. Call us at 612-284-6985 or contact us today on our website!


ice dams, insurance claim, Roof Shingles, Roofing, Storm Damage

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