Picture of a boiler and tools

What to do when your roof or ceiling is dripping

Posted on 10/05/2018

If you’ve noticed that your roof and/or ceiling is dripping, you should act quickly to work out what the problem is take the appropriate steps to fix the problem.

When is it dripping?

The first question to ask yourself is not where the dripping is, but when. If the dripping is happening when it’s raining, but seems to stop during sunny or dry spells – then it’s likely the problem is somewhere on your roof.

Close up of a roof and gutter If the dripping continues even when it isn't raining, there's likely an issue with your plumbing

However, if the dripping is persistent regardless of weather, then it is most likely an issue with your plumbing.

This will affect the kind of tradesperson you need to call in order to remedy the situation.

A regular dripping regardless of the weather is most likely a plumbing issue

But there are still other steps you can take in order to work out exactly where the water is coming from.

Picture of hard rain on a roof Fixing a leaking roof is crucial, especially in the UK!

Where is the dripping?

For example, if you can get access to your ceiling insulation above the drip, through an attic or a loft space, this can give you extra information.

Simply give the insulation a pat, and see if it is dry or damp. If it’s dry then you know that whatever is causing the dripping must be below the insulation layer. But if it’s wet, well, clearly it must be coming from above.

What colour is the water?

Likewise, the colour of the water can give you clues; if the water appears brownish or dirty, then the chances are it’s rain water. Whereas if you’re seeing clear water then it’s more likely coming from a plumbing malfunction.

Brownish, dirty water is probably due to a leaky roof. Clean, clear water is more likely a plumbing issue.

Fixing a leak is something you may not want to tackle yourself as it can be very tricky depending on where the water is coming from – and any situation involving water damage can easily escalate to become quite severe.

Instead, now you’ve been able to work out roughly where the leak is, you should call the relevant tradesperson. If you think it’s a fault with your roof you should look to find a builder or carpenter to help you with the repairs. And if it’s a problem with your pipes you’ll want a plumber.

At Local Heroes we personally vet all the plumbers and tradespersons listed on our site, so you can go through us and know you’ll be getting the very best in the business.