You Have a Ceiling Leak, Now What?

Posted on December 9th, 2020 by carrolladmin

Ceiling stains and bulging drywall is far more than an eyesore.  These deformities may reveal a serious plumbing problem lurking behind the surface. 

It’s possible a leak may not immediately manifest itself by consistently dripping water, but this doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t require immediate attention. If you notice drywall bubbles, stains on areas of the ceiling, musty odors, damp floors, or dripping water, don’t ignore it.  These signs suggest problems like a burst pipe or damaged plumbing fixture.   

The danger of ceiling leaks 

Ceiling leaks are a serious concern because once a leak is present, the potential damage escalates quickly.  The home’s plumbing system, drywall, and even its foundation are all susceptible to damage if an active leak is ignored.  Mold growth is a serious concern with ceiling leaks as well.  

This is why homeowners must address leaks immediately, even if you can’t pinpoint the exact source of the problem.

Calling a professional plumbing company to locate, inspect, and repair the ceiling leak is always recommended.


Common causes of ceiling leaks

Your ceiling can leak for any number of reasons, but here are 10 common culprits

  • Your plumbing caulk is wearing off
  • Your pipes or pipe fittings are rusting or wearing thin
  • You have sweating pipes in the summer or winter

How to know if it’s a ceiling leak due to roofing or plumbing

Ceiling leaks are typically caused by issues with the roof or the plumbing system.  It can be difficult to determine the culprit, but here are some tips to keep in mind when investigating your leak. 

Roofing Leaks 

  • Typically have water damage directly below the attic or the roof itself
  • Occur during or after a rainfall
  • Might appear brown or dirty
  • Can coincide with ice buildup along your house
  • Your attic insulation might be damp and soggy

Ceiling Leak

  • Damage appears below a bathroom, kitchen, or inside ceiling space
  • Water is clear
  • The leak will be continuous or only when a water fixture is running

What to do when there’s a leak

Homeowners can attempt to locate the source of the water leaking and set-up temporary solutions while waiting for a plumber to arrive for the ceiling leak repair.  

Finding the exact location is the trickiest step in troubleshooting a ceiling leak. With an active leak, the water will travel to the ceiling’s lowest point before pooling and eventually dripping. Water drips from the ceiling don’t necessarily indicate the leak’s location, so start by setting up a temporary solution for the dripping water.  

Make sure to thoroughly dry the area, and assemble collection buckets or drip pans.  

Provide as much circulation as possible using a ceiling fan or portable fan and by opening windows.   

It’s recommended to leave the rest of the repair work to a professional who can identify the source of the leak and fix the problem.  

Minimize damage from a leak

While waiting for a professional, there are a few steps you can take to minimize damage

  • Drill a hole in the ceiling in the middle of the damaged area of sitting water can drain
  • Apply a plastic barrier to the floor to avoid trapping moisture
  • Apply a plastic barrier to the wall as well if water is dripping there
  • Once the leak stops, run a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process and help prevent mold from growing

Get professional help with your ceiling leak

Your home’s plumbing is a powerful and efficient system.  When properly maintained and regularly inspected, there should be few problems that arise unexpectedly.  

Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. recommends preventative plumbing maintenance, and inspections are performed yearly to prevent future problems.

However, in the unfortunate circumstance you find yourself with an active leak, our team will respond quickly and provide honest, high-quality repairs. Because we understand emergencies affect your family’s safety and comfort, we offer 24-hour service to fix any plumbing issue you may have.  

To schedule an appointment for a plumbing repair, maintenance or inspection, contact Carroll Plumbing & Heating today.