What to do when your roof or ceiling is dripping
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.
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.
How to find a ceiling leak
A damp stain is the obvious sign you have a ceiling leak. Look out for peeling paint and mould too. Both indicate moisture which could indicate poor ventilation – but in a worst-case scenario, might mean there’s a leak.
To find the leak itself, head up into your attic. Go to the area where you think the leak is, pull away any insulation and check for signs of water damage.
If there are any pipes in the area, check them for signs of distress like cracks or holes. Feel them for moisture and see if there are any signs of rust or green patina.
How to fix a ceiling leak
If there’s a problem with your pipes, get in touch with a plumber immediately. Only a professional will be able to isolate the problem and fix it.
While you wait, place a bucket beneath the leak to catch any water and – strange as it may sound – puncture the ceiling with a screwdriver to drain the leak. If you don’t do this, the water build-up could put more weight on your ceiling and ultimately cause more damage.
How to identify roof leaks
If the water stain on your ceiling is dark, this is a sign there could be a leak in the roof. Any water that comes through will pick up dirt and impurities along the way, turning it a brown and dirty colour.
Another tell-tale sign is if there’s a damp musty smell in the attic. This will likely be caused by mould which means there’s a build-up of moisture somewhere.
If you head up to the attic when it’s raining it will obviously be much easier to spot any leaks. But if it’s a dry day, you could ask someone in the garden to sprinkle water onto the roof using a hose then you’ll be able to spot where it’s coming through.
How to fix a roof leak
The leak will likely be caused by curled shingles or a cracked (or missing) tile. Fixing both of these issues is easily doable – but only by a professional.
Repairing curled shingles requires a caulking gun, while replacing a damaged tile will need cement. These are quite specialised materials – and they should be handled by specialists, particularly when the work is being carried out way up high.
Get help from a Local Hero
Wherever the leak’s coming from, getting it sorted quickly before more damage is done should be a priority. We get you in touch with a plumber to fix the leak in your ceiling in no time.
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.