What Should You do When Your Ceiling is Leaking?

plastic sheet to cover large ceiling hole
plastic sheet to cover large ceiling hole

Mention ceiling leakages and what often comes to mind for most of us is the sight of dripping water from an area of our ceiling. At this point, we would probably find it to be nuisance and a hassle to handle until repaired. Yet, we seldom see it as anything other than this, failing to recognize the potentially larger damage that it can cause or the bigger dangers that are lurking around the corner.

In this article, we aim to guide you on the actions to take once a ceiling leakage is spotted. In addition, we will cover the dangers swelling as well as the earlier symptoms that you can spot in order to prevent ceiling leakages from emerging in your home.

What to do once you have spotted a ceiling leak

Remove all items under the dripping area

Whether it is a sofa, rug, tv or bed, the first course of action that you will need to take is to remove all items under the ceiling leak. While a couple of droplets may not sound like a lot, given the time span of a couple of hours or days and your items will get sufficiently damp for them to be damaged.

Covering Unmovable Items

covering furniture with tarp to protect

Certain items may be simply too bulky to remove or are fixed to the structure of your home. In which case, the next best alternative would be to cover them with a plastic covering. While not perfect, it should shelter your items from direct water penetration. However, this is a highly temporal situation as your items will still be exposed to an ever increasing amount of moisture in the space.

Catch the Water

Two actions are required from you here. Firstly, position a pail underneath the leak so as to catch the majority of the dripping. This prevents water from splashing onto other items in the room or soaking your floor. Secondly, do get a rag in order to soak up any remaining water around the bucket. This again reduces the rate at which your flooring would be absorbing water.

Contact a Waterproofing Specialist to Help

Once you have spotted a ceiling leak, it is important that you get in touch with a waterproofing contractor. Water can be a destructive force in your home if left to run wild over a longer period of time. This is due to the amount of moisture it would be introducing to hidden areas around your home, thus creating an environment ripe for mold growth and decay.

If this process is allowed to carry on, your home’s structural integrity will eventually be compromised as key parts of it gets weakened. This severely endangers the lives of everyone in your home. Furthermore, mold poses health risks to people, especially those with respiratory conditions.

The Dangers of Swelling

It is possible that your home is taking severe water damage without a leak appearing. This is known as swelling and occurs when water builds up behind your ceiling or walls. During which, since no hole appears for water to leak through, pressure gradually builds up. Without a release valve of sorts, moisture builds up while the rate of decay exponentially increases.

Consequently, without seeing much of a water leakage, you could find a chunk of your ceiling collapsing down. Swelling is thus considered to be a highly dangerous and a little tricky to spot. Should you determine that it is occurring, we recommend taking a sharp object and poking at your ceiling to create a small hole. This will help to drain some of the water and release the buildup pressure.

While not ideal in the sense that you would be creating a ceiling leakage, a hole in your ceiling with dripping water is safer than swelling behind it.

ceiling leakage from small hole

Earlier Symptoms of Water Leakages

As alluded to earlier, it is possible but tricky to spot swelling or the general presence of water within your home’s structure. For starters, after some time, water and mold would cause the paint of your ceiling to peel or flake off. In which case, you will find pieces of paint falling onto your floor.

Another sign of water building up above your ceiling is the yellowing or browning of spots on your ceiling. This is indicative of a concentration of mold growth and thus the weakening of that one area.

Thirdly, it is also possible that you will find the air in the space becomingly increasingly musky. This is due to the high concentration of moisture that would have been building up.

Sources of Ceiling Leakages

Finding the actual source of the water behind a ceiling leakage is can be a difficult task. This is due to the highly mobile trait that water has. Water is capable of travelling large distances behind the scenes in your home, moving in all directions. This is possible due to it being able to traverse as vapors when heated or as liquid through existing capillary forces.

As such, a ceiling leakage may not have been caused due to water arriving from your roof. Instead, it could have arisen from a penetration in the foundation, with capillary forces pulling water up and towards the space above your ceiling. Having said that, given the amount of exposure that roofs have to weather elements such as strong sunlight, wind and rain, they are a typical culprit for water seepages.

It is also possible that water leakages occurred within your home from a bathroom or pipe leak. Wet areas are common suspects when leakages occur, and thus are the first area to be checked.

Engaging Professionals to Investigate

repairing red roof

Given the lack of clear indicators as to the point of entry for water to your home, professional waterproofing contractors should be engaged to diagnosed your ceiling leakage. Their advance tools and expertise allows them to efficiently check and find the various gaps in your home that have allowed water to reach your ceiling.

Proof-Tech Offers Tailored Services for your Waterproofing Needs

With more than 20 years of experience in waterproofing, roofing repair and maintenance, Proof-Tech Waterproofing & Maintenance Pte Ltd has worked its way up to be the top and leading specialist contractor in Singapore.

With projects ranging from commercial to private landed properties, Proof-Tech is popularly known for its low price, affordable, cost effective yet high quality workmanship. Having more than 180 experienced professionals working round the clock, be it our sales team, customer service officers or operation staff, our response time to our respected clients is almost immediate.

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