What Dearest is doing right now is stabilizing the roof structure and preventing further water damage. We plan to re-roof in the Spring/Summer (gah, more color decisions!). If we left the leaks through the winter, not only does water continue to penetrate the house, porches, and basement, BUT it also would freeze-thaw cycle. That does the most damage, more so and more quickly than just water and water rot. Freezing actually destroys the wood fibers by exploding them on a minute level, allowing for more rot and instability; many freeze-thaw cycles later it is almost like paper fiber and about as strong as cardboard. Water is an amazing and formidable enemy to homes of any age.