It is not the world's end if you find water leaking through your ceiling. Though such a leak will certainly be annoying, you can mitigate the damage by acting quickly and decisively toward effective water leak detection. Below, our plumbing gurus explain exactly what you should do when water leaks through your ceiling.
Before we get to that, we will quickly take you through some of the causes of water leaks and the symptoms to look out for. Knowing these, you will be better equipped to deal with the situation if it ever emerges. So let’s get to it.
What Causes Water Leaking Through Your Ceiling in FL?
When you notice water leaking through your ceiling, you can trace the cause to two significant problems. The first is that your roof may be leaking due to adverse weather situations, and the second is related to issues with your plumbing system. Any of the two can wreak severe damage, so you should not take them lightly.
The first cause of water leaking through your ceiling as a Florida resident is a crack in the roof. The crack may be from continuous rain, sunshine, or melted snow. The result is that water from the environment gradually seeps into your home through the damaged roof and wreaks havoc on the structure of your home.
If you have checked and your roof is not leaking, you have the tedious task of going through your entire plumbing system. When water starts leaking through the ceiling of a building, it is expected that the culprit is a faulty tap in a toilet or a leaky faucet in a kitchen upstairs.
You will have to check all the plumbing units in the space above the leaking ceiling to know the source of the problem. Then, you can start finding a solution to it.
What are the Symptoms of Water Leaking Through the Ceiling?
There are many ways to know that water is leaking through your ceiling and how you get to know the cause and the extent of the damage.
Sagging Ceilings and Peeling Paints
A sagging ceiling is one of the signs that water is leaking through your ceiling, and you have to deal with it urgently. You will notice that the ceiling structure is no longer firm and looks as if it would cave in at any moment. Well, it might.
Water leaking through the ceiling can cause financial damage to you as a homeowner, especially if you do not have insurance.
This kind of leak can also cause silent loss of water that may rack up to $500 in a year. Another symptom associated with a sagging ceiling is peeling paints around the leak area.
If you notice colored spots such as yellow or brown on your ceiling, you should start looking for a water leak around it. The discoloration may be wet or dry and can take various shapes, but it is formed from weeks of inconsistent water leaks. This symptom may also be accompanied by molds which are dangerous to the health of the building’s occupants.
Mold exposure can cause different health problems such as allergies, irritation, infection, and toxic effects. It may also worsen existing illnesses.
Water leaks from the ceiling
It is not uncommon to see water dripping directly from the ceiling. In this case, you have your work cut out for you. However, you know the cause already, and the next step is to find a solution to the problem.
If you suspect a water leak in your home, one of the best ways to confirm your suspicion is to use your water meter to check. When you turn off all the plumbing outlets and the meter is still running, you know to call a professional to help you find the source of the leak and fix it.
How to Address Water Leaking Through Your Ceiling in FL
Finally, we have gotten to the stage where we will tell you how to address water leaking through your ceiling in Florida. Professionals are familiar with the routine, and it is best to hire one when you notice any signs of water leaking through the ceiling. However, if you want to know what to do, here is a step-by-step guide.
1. Identify the Cause of the Leak
Water leaking through the ceiling is typically a symptom of a faulty pipe or other plumbing components. However, there is a chance the roofing system has been compromised. If even a small amount of water leaks through the roof, there is probably more water than you can see. Ignore the leak and you will likely end up with structural damage, mold, and mildew growth. If you spot peeling paint, blistered paint or discoloration on the ceiling, reach out to our plumbing team right away. We will perform a timely assessment of your home plumbing system to determine if a leaky pipe is a culprit.
However, if the water is dripping from the part of the ceiling directly below the attic or the roof's surface, the shingles or another component of the roofing are likely the problem. After all, plumbing fixtures rarely run through the attic so a leak in this part of the home is almost always a result of a faulty roof system. If the leak is steady, it is likely related to the plumbing system. The leak might continue indefinitely until the water supply pipe is addressed. If the drainpipe is the underlying issue, there might be intermittent leaking.
2. Minimizing Damage and Addressing the Leak
There is no single foolproof means of addressing a leak coming through the ceiling. The cause of the leak ultimately determines the approach to repairing it. Roof leaks typically require unique materials, the expertise of a roofer, the assistance of a proven plumber and possibly even a carpenter. The most important thing you can do is ask for help from the area's most trusted plumbers. Reach out to us for assistance with your leak and we will determine exactly why it is occurring and address it appropriately. In the meantime, you can do some things to minimize the damage.
Upon water leak detection, do not assume a couple of drips coming out of the ceiling are the leak's extent. There might be a considerable amount of concealed water moving along the drywall above. You can do your part to limit the damage and prevent the widespread replacement of the ceiling by drilling a small hole in the affected portion of the roof. Drill this hole smack dab in the center of the compromised area. This way, water pooled above will drain below into a bucket.
As long as you remove the water promptly, the damp drywall above will dry out. However, suppose the water is given enough time to pool. In that case, it is possible the paper backing will start to disintegrate or serve as a food source for mold that inevitably expands throughout your home, compromising your health and your home's structure. Instead of replacing drywall panels, it is better to patch a small portion of the drywall ceiling simply.
3. How to Handle a Roof Leak
If you are certain the leak results from a faulty roof, contact a roofer. Some local roofing companies provide emergency service including the addition of an emergency tarp. Unfortunately, if the weather is nasty, the roofer will not be able to tend to the leak until the storm has dissipated. The emergency tarp just might serve as a temporary solution that mitigates damage to your home as you wait for the roofer to address the underlying problem.
4. Check the Upstairs Sink, Toilet and Shower
The leak may stem from a faulty shower, sink or toilet. A worn or faulty wax ring permits water to move into the subfloor and the ceiling whenever the toilet is flushed. If you spot water along the floor near the toilet base or smell nasty sewer fumes, the wax ring needs to be replaced. Even if you do not spot water along the floor by the toilet, a leaky wax ring might allow water to move to the subfloor.
A leaky sink typically results from problems with the gasket or even the washer in the faucet/drain assembly. The gasket is a flat seal, typically comprised of plastic or rubber, positioned between the faucet assembly's base and the vanity. If a washer, O-ring or gasket is excessively worn, water will leak as the seal is no longer secure. If the leak occurs when the water from the shower runs, the problem might not be a damaged tile within the shower or a shower faucet. Leaks that continue beyond the point when the shower water is turned off typically stem from the water supply pipe in the wall/subfloor. When in doubt, reach out to the professionals for assistance. Our team is here to pinpoint the true cause of your ceiling leak and perform the necessary repairs to keep everything you value dry and safe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Residents of Florida usually have a lot of questions regarding water leaks. Due to the weather in the region, most homes are susceptible to water leaks through the ceiling. In this section, we have answered some of those questions that you may also have.,
How do I Prevent Water from Leaking Through My Ceiling?
Preventing water from leaking through your ceiling is a simpler task than trying to fix it after the problem has occurred. First, you must ensure that you imbibe regular checks of your home structure and appliances to ensure nothing is out of place. You should also schedule regular maintenance visits with your preferred plumber.
Another good habit is to check for cracks in the foundation and exterior of your home from time to time. Take the opportunity to trim overhanging trees and fix broken roofing caulk. Then, you should clean the gutters/downspouts. As a resident of Florida, you can also partake in the Fix a Leak Week events organized yearly by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Is a leaking ceiling an emergency?
A leaking ceiling is not necessarily an emergency but can prove a problem if left untended for a long time. There are cases of water leaks causing electrocutions and sparking electrical fires. It can also cause more significant damage to the building’s structure, such as the upper part caving into the lower parts of the building. Repairing that will surely be more expensive than fixing a simple ceiling leak.
A leaky roof can disrupt your day-to-day life and bring you a lot of discomfort and stress. In such a situation, it is necessary to identify the source of the problem and act swiftly. Professional plumbers will be able to help you get rid of water accumulated on your roof, which may be causing the leaks. Correct water leak detection goes a long way in helping you find a long-term solution to the problem.
Call Erica's Plumbing for a Job Done Right
If water is leaking through your ceiling, do not panic. Call our plumbing crew right away so we can address the problem on your behalf. You can reach our plumbers by dialing (561) 245-7435. We provide 24/7 service for plumbing emergencies. If you prefer to contact us online, fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.