What To Do if You Have Water Leaking Through the Ceiling
Your roof weakens over time, and you may eventually find yourself in the unfortunate situation of water leaking through the ceiling. Protecting your roof from extreme temperatures, elements, debris, and even air can be a challenge for any homeowner.
No ceiling material is completely waterproof, so regular checks, maintenance, and enhancements can go a long way in preventing leaks and water damage. But even the best intentions can fail. So what do you do when you end up with a leak anyway?
You’ll want to locate the source of the leak and stop it ASAP to prevent an even larger problem. Unfortunately, ceilings can be a tricky place to get into. The mess of plumbing inside can cause even worse confusion. If the source and extent of your leak is not clear, calling the professionals is always the best choice.
When you encounter water damage or a leak, a few key observations can tell you how much of an emergency you’re dealing with. Take a look at the color of the water. If the water is brown or dirty, it’s most likely coming in from the outside. Clear water could be either rain or a leaking pipe.
Needless to say, if the water is a constant drip or steady stream, the problem is more severe and should be handled as an emergency situation.
Did you know that leaking roofs can also cause mold growth if they're not repaired within 24 to 48 hours of the water intrusion? If you have water damage in your ceiling you most likely have mold, which can be extremely dangerous to your health.
Make sure your family is protected by calling water damage and mold remediation experts like those at Five Star Restoration.
But where do you start? How do you know you’re dealing with a water damage problem?
Warning Signs of Ceiling Water Damage
Ceiling damage can present itself in a few different ways, if you have any of the following signs, find and fix the water leak immediately:
Stains on the ceiling
If you’re seeing dark spots on your ceiling, you almost certainly have a leak somewhere. On the small chance it’s not a leak, it’s still smart to call professional help. If you notice any unexplained discoloration or stains on your otherwise white paint, there’s no denying something’s not right.
Water leaks from the ceiling
Needless to say, water should not be coming from your ceiling. Water leaks should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Address the source if it is clear, then call in a professional to fix the pipe and clean any hidden water spots.
Ceiling is sagging
If you notice your ceiling is starting to bend, it’s likely caused by a water leak issue. A sagging ceiling is often a sign of a ceiling leak because the moisture weakens the ceiling material.
Peeling plaster ceiling
Another common sign of a ceiling leak is flaking, cracking, or peeling paint. Over time, the water causes the paint to bubble or peel causing it to shrink and cause cracks.
Causes of Ceiling Water Damage
Our homes are full of various types of pipes and beams, so it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is causing a sudden water leak in your ceiling. Plumbing backups or other related issues are usually the culprit. A few possible reasons for the leaks are as follows:
Burst Pipes Leak
Sometimes the source of the problem is a broken pipe or an improper shower fitting allowing water to leak from above you.
The third common cause of water leaking from the ceiling is problems in faulty pipelines. The plumbing lines of the home can corrode or break over some time and begin to leak.
Whatever the cause of your ceiling leak, it’s best to call in the professionals ASAP. The damage is likely more extensive than is visible. Even if the leak seems small, it’s never smart to play with the structural integrity of your home.
Roof Leak Mitigation Steps
While it is not recommended that you perform your own ceiling repairs, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage until you can bring in a trusted professional to assess the damage thoroughly.
Step #1: Find and stop the source of the leak
First, start by finding and shutting off (if possible) the source of the water so as not to lead to a bigger water damage problem.
If you have access to the attic above the drip, carefully find the leak, set up a bucket, and mop up any standing water. If you’re not able to find or address the source, it’s best to call the emergency services from Five Star restoration for immediate help. The damage will only get worse the longer you wait to fix it.
Step #2: Repair the leak
Next, it’s time to repair the visible source, but keep in mind there might be an additional source leaking.
You may need to cut a hole in the ceiling to see where the water is coming from. Leaks in particular can be tough to isolate because water can quickly travel away from the initial leak.
Step #3: Dry and seal the ceiling
After you perform the minor repairs, you’ll need to dry out the wet ceiling as quickly as possible and allow any other affected materials to thoroughly dry also.
Proper drying is also imperative when trying to repair ceiling water damage. Why? Because this will limit damage and help prevent mold. Once dry, repair the ceiling.
Step #4: Paint the ceiling
Once the mud or plaster is dry, paint the damaged section with a sealing primer. This will not only block water stains and seams, but it also keeps the ceiling from soaking up paint. Begin with at least two coats of primer before applying your topcoat.
For smaller sections, you can feather the topcoat into the old paint. However, painting the whole ceiling is easier for larger sections. Please note that for minor ceiling water damage, you can usually make repairs without replacing the drywall or plaster.
Should You DIY or Hire a Pro for Home Ceiling Leaks?
If you’ve tried to check the problem yourself and are still unsure what’s causing the wet ceiling or worse yet the roof to leak, it’s recommended to call a pro because a leaking roof isn’t a minor repair job. It isn’t advisable to take this too lightly.
Fixing a leak is often tricky and not something you should tackle yourself without previous experience. Leaks can be much further reaching than you first notice. Failing to address the full extent of the problem can lead to bigger and health-related problems in the future.
In these situations it’s always best to call in the experienced professionals.
Need Ceiling Leak Repairs? Call Us Today!
You can’t choose when your ceiling will spring a leak, but you can be sure the professionals at Five Star Restoration will be there for you whenever you find yourself in this stressful situation.
We are a family-owned-and-operated restoration company specializing in water damage remediation and emergency water extraction services. Our state-of-the-art equipment is designed to quickly and efficiently make your home safe and dry again.
Have a ceiling leak? Don’t wait for a bigger emergency. Act quickly and call us at (951) 368-2227 for emergency services or a free estimate!
Tags: ceiling leaking, ceiling water damage, roof leak