It’s a sight no homeowner wants to see: water dripping down from the ceiling and into your home. Water leaks can lead to huge sums of damage, both to your belongings and to the structure of your home itself. When your ceiling is leaking, the cost of figuring out the problem and repairing it can go well beyond any damaged possessions or furniture. That’s why it’s vitally important that you do everything you can to determine the source of the leak, then call in the appropriate specialist. Here’s how to salvage the situation, do some detective work, then plan your steps from there.
Stop Any Further Damage
When you stumble across a leak in your home, the only thought in your head might be a panicked, “My ceiling is leaking!” It’s completely understandable if you’re caught off guard, but you have to maintain your composure. Once you know that your ceiling is leaking, time is of the essence. Move anything out of the way that might be more susceptible to water damage, particularly if it’s lightweight and easily transported far away from the leak.
Afterward, shove any furniture in the surrounding area far away from the dripping water. A coffee table may be able to sustain more drips than that paperback novel you keep meaning to finish, but prolonged exposure to water can cause wooden furniture or flooring to warp. Are there any rugs or upholstered furniture in the disaster zone? Move them out of the way and dry them as best you can. If you have carpeting that’s been soaked, you may even want to pull it up and let it air out. Yes, it’s a major pain to do, but if left alone, you could be putting yourself at risk of mold. Better to rip it up now and figure it out later than put your health at risk.
Stop Things from Getting Any Worse
With your possessions out of immediate peril, you’ll need to get the situation under control. It’ll take some time to find and fix the leak itself, so first, you’ll need to find a way to contain the leak until you can properly seal it. If you don’t, water will only continue to flow uncontrolled into your living space, potentially leading to even further damage to the structure of your home. Grab anything you can find that can catch and collect the dripping water and strategically place it underneath the leak. You’ll want to have multiple options on hand so that when your first container of choice begins to fill up you can seamlessly switch to another.
While not necessary, some people find it useful to place something in the container to help muffle the sound of the dripping. It might not stop your ceiling from leaking, but after a few hours of constant dripping, you’ll be thankful for the silence. Whatever you end up using, don’t forget to check on it regularly. If you leave a bucket unattended and it starts overflowing onto your floor, you might as well have done nothing at all.
Locate the Source of the Leak
Now that you’ve bought yourself some time, you can get to work figuring out just what exactly is going on. Try to pinpoint where the water is coming from, tracing backward from the leak toward the source. If you have access to your attic, climb up and start poking around with a light. Water stains, warping plaster, or other deformations can be helpful clues in tracking down the point of origin. Following the water back to its source will also help you find any other areas that may have suffered water damage.
Investigate the Cause
Once you’ve located the source of the water, it’s time to do some sleuthing to get to the root of the problem. Now, no one expects the average homeowner to be able to diagnose all mysterious leaks that may crop up with unerring accuracy, but understanding the nature of the problem will help you immensely when it comes to fixing it. There are plenty of things that can lead to your ceiling leaking, so work through the process of elimination and come down on a likely suspect.
Is the water coming out of a leaky or cracked pipe? Then the issue comes down to your plumbing. Is condensation gathering in your air conditioner, causing it to drip out of the unit? Then your HVAC system is the culprit to blame. Or is it gathering along the interior of your attic or crawlspace due to poor ventilation? Improperly regulated humidity can also cause water to gather and, eventually, leak down into your home.
What about your gutters, are they clear and directing away from the building? A clogged gutter leaves rainwater nowhere to go, potentially causing it to leak back into your home. Does the leak appear whenever it rains, or do you notice any breaks or protrusions on the inner side of your roof? If so, you may be looking at some roofing repairs. If you feel confident you’ve identified the source of the leak, it’s time to get some help.
Call in the Experts
Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can call in the right backup. If it looks like your roof is the problem, Interstate Roofing is ready to help. With decades of experience providing roof repairs and maintenance in the region, we have the skills and expertise needed to patch up any damage to your roof.
Most leaks can be repaired quickly at our standard repair rates. If the problem is of a larger nature, we are happy to get your roof watertight temporarily and provide an estimate for a permanent fix. When it comes to leaks, there’s not a second to lose. Give us a call, and we’ll be there to the rescue.