What to Do When Your Ceiling is Leaking
Have you just discovered a leak in your ceiling? What a pain, right? In cartoons, people can put a bucket under a leaking ceiling, wait a few hours and the problem takes care of itself. If only real life were so easy…
The signs of a leaking ceiling are obvious: dripping water, discoloration in tiles and plaster, and paint that’s peeling away are hard to miss. However, it can be very tough to actually figure out where the water is coming from. Water does not always drip straight down, hit your ceiling, and come out the other end. It can travel along pipes and other material in your ceiling before finally hitting the surface, meaning that tracking the source down can be a nightmare.
No matter the cause, a leaky ceiling is more than an annoyance – it can lead to mold, structural damage and other serious consequences if not handled correctly.
If you’ve got a serious problem, you should call a professional ASAP. In the meantime, here are some steps to take.
Find the Source
If you can, track down the source of the water and fix it. A leaking ceiling can be caused by a variety of sources, some more obvious than others. A burst pipe or a backed up drain can be pretty easy to find. A leak in a roof might not be. But if you’re able to figure out where the water is coming from and stop it, you’re able to prevent any further damage from occurring.
Dry the Ceiling
To the greatest extent that you can, you want to dry out the spot that’s leaking. Fans and dehumidifiers are your friends here. You may have a few residential units to use, but if the damage is really bad, you might want to think about renting some larger commercial units instead, as well as scaffolding to get them closer to the ceiling.
Paint and Repair
Assuming you were able to fix the source and dry the ceiling out, you may be ready to make repairs. Scrub away any loose debris, wipe the area down and ensure it has dried completely. If your ceiling is painted, primer can be used to block out water spots before blending in a few coats of paint to cover the damage. If your ceiling is plaster, fill in the gaps with new plaster and you should be good to go.
We should mention: all of these steps assume a source that’s easy to find and fix and damage that’s minor. If you have a more serious problem, you’re better off calling the pros instead of fixing it yourself. At SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster, we’re always here to help – give us a call at 716-674-1103 when you need us.