Is it raining in your living room? Is your ceiling bubbling? Leaking? Water leaks are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They not only damage or destroy your belongings, if left unchecked a ceiling leak can damage the structure of your home as well. What to do when you have a ceiling leak?
Water leaks can come from many sources – a burst pipe, overflowing sink, dripping dishwasher or other plumbing fixture. What you do next is important and can save you time and money, minimize damage and get your home back in order as fast as possible.
If you have a ceiling leak, here are some steps you can take to minimize the damage to your home and belongings.
- The first thing you should do after discovering any leak is to move or cover any personal belongings from room. Even a small leak can spread and do a lot of damage if your belongings are not protected, especially leaks in your ceiling.
- Shut off water to the appliance that’s leaking. If that isn’t possible, shut off your home’s main water supply. If you don’t know where the shut-off valves are, now is a great time to locate them.
- If water is near electrical outlets, turn off the electricity at your fuse/breaker box and call an electrician.*
- Contact a plumber and water removal expert. Many are available 24/7 for emergency clean-up and repair.
- If you don’t need to turn off electricity, turn on fans and a dehumidifier to start drying out wet areas.
- If water is leaking from a ceiling, place a bucket under the leak. Then, grab a pencil. Stick a pencil through the drywall and wall in the middle of the leaky ceiling area. Poke a couple of holes. This will allow the water to drain out safely and will prevent the water from pooling. You will minimize your drywall damage, and it will also reduce the chances of your ceiling caving in.
- Use towels or mops to soak up as much water as possible, to prevent further damage.
- Use a wet/dry shop vacuum to pull water out of your carpet. Be certain the power cord isn’t near any water.*
- Put blocks under furniture to raise it up off a wet floor.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report a claim. Taking these steps can mean the difference between a major loss and a small inconvenience.