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Home /  Home Maintenance / Reasons Why You Have a Leaky Ceiling
last_updated_date Last updated: January 18, 2021

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Reasons Why You Have a Leaky Ceiling

PUBLISHED: September 25, 2018 6 MINS READ

There it is, a giant wet blot on your ceiling, constantly dripping onto the heads of you and your family. While your ceiling might be warranted for, the wait for the contractor to begin fixing the problem might be just too long. So instead of waiting for the contractor to come and inspect, why not figure it out yourself? We list the top reasons for leaky ceiling.

Reasons Why You Have a Leaking Ceiling

There are a few steps that homeowners need to take care of when it comes to handling a leaky ceiling. A few crucial yet simple steps can make a huge difference and protect you from exorbitant repairs later on.

3 Steps Before You Inspect Your Leaky Ceiling

3 Steps Before You Inspect Your Leaky Ceiling

  • Make a small hole in your ceiling: The hole should be made in the area where the wet blot occurs. The blot or stain on your ceiling if unattended will lead to its expansion of size. Take a small screwdriver or drywall saw and poke a hole in the middle of the blot. This small hole will drain out all the water that has been built up and prevent further water damage. Poking a hole will also allow the drywall to finally breathe and dry itself out.
  • Collect the dripping water in a bucketCollect the dripping water in a bucketWhile this step is a no-brainer, it is highly recommended. Before you call in the professionals to fix the source of the problem, take care of your floor where the water might drip. More water on the floor will damage your floor as well as provide more moisture to the room, making it harder to dry out your ceiling. This can be done by simply placing a container or bucket under where the water is dripping. This also allows you to gauge the intensity of the leak. If the container or bucket fills up rather quickly that means you have a bad leakage problem. Remember to drain the water and place the bucket under the drip again to prevent an overflow.
  • Switch on the fans of your house: While it may seem like a basic move, switching on the fan can greatly help in drying up an area. The problem in leaks is not when the ceiling gets wet, but when the ceiling is let wet for a long time. The longer you keep your ceiling wet, the higher will your repair bills be.

Identifying the Type of Leak

By now you would know the basic steps to perform when you have a leaky ceiling. Here are few key pointers you need to look at to identify what’s causing your ceiling to leak:

Frequency of Leaks

Frequency of Leaks

You should know that the frequency of the dripping of water is a good indicator of where your leak is originating from. If the dripping only occurs during rains, entails that you have a leaking roof. If you have a continuous flow of dripping water, you most likely have a leak that is plumbing related.

Color of the Leak

Another determinant of what type of ceiling leak you have is via the color of the leak. Dirty or brown water leaks usually means that you have a leaky roof. The brown color is the product of rainwater entering your home and collecting dirt and debris on the way. If the drip in your home is clear water it’s a sign that you have an internal plumbing leak. Because it is indoors, water leaks from plumbing do not collect much dirt and grime.

Insulated Dryness in the Attic

Your attic is usually insulated and hence can help you identify what kind of leak is occurring in your home. Inspect your attic by feeling the top of the insulation cover on the leaking area of your ceiling. Proceed to remove the insulation look for signs of damage and moisture. If the top of the insulation cover is wet, then the leak probably originates from the roof or the attic wall. If not, then it most probably is a plumbing issue.

Types of Ceiling Leaks

Now that you’ve gone through the indicators, you need to know more about the types of ceiling leaks:

Roof Leaks

Roof Leaks

When inspecting for leaks, take a look at your roof for any signs of deterioration. You can use a wire to mark any holes or cracks that you spot while inspecting from the outside of the roof. Doing so will make it easier for you to identify what parts of your home are affected by a roof leak. If you aren’t able to spot any cracks or hole from the outside of your roof, go back inside your home and inspect your attic. If you find any water stains, blots or trails on your attic ceiling, you have a roof leak.  You need to then trace the area for any signs of running water back to its source and mark the area. If you aren’t able to find any damage visually, the main cause of your problem boils down to either the flashing, vent gaskets or shingles of your home.

If you have access to your roof, you can try to replace some of the damaged or deteriorated areas by replacing shingles etc. While this quick fix can be done by you, damage in unusual locations or areas with major structural damage must be left to the professionals. Trying to do major repairs on your own can lead to further leaks occurring as well as threatening the safety of you and your home.

Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing Leaks

Almost all homes are riddled with internal pipelines. This makes it a very strenuous task to figure out the source of where water is leaking from in your home. You can try and spot the leaks in the areas where the pipelines are easily accessible, but it is recommended that you do not affect the intricacies of your home by hunting for leaks hidden behind walls or ceilings. If you feel there is a plumbing leak originating from behind a wall or ceiling, call in a professional to inspect and repair it. Pursuing a hidden plumbing leak can affect the structure of your home not to mention proving dangerous to life or limb.

You also need to know the reasons for leaky ceiling connected to plumbing. Due to the many minerals and elements that pass through along with the water in your plumbing lines, it leads to corrosion. This corrosion eats through the pipes which then causes leaks in random areas of your home. Plumbing leaks can also be caused due to faulty installation, but you may never see the leak until there is drastic damage and your ceiling is wet.

Further reading: Lots more about home warranty coverage

Maintenance of Your Home

If you have a ceiling leak issue in your home, there might be a dearth of issues occurring in your home and its appliances. A task like repairing a ceiling leak can be quite expensive, and if you have problems with appliances and different parts of your home, you might be emptying your wallet on maintenance alone. If you want a ballpark image of how much you would be spending on maintenance of your home for one year, you can check out this home maintenance calculator.

Now, maintenance and repair of appliances for a year can be quite expensive,  so how can you keep your home running like a well-oiled machine without a pinch on the wallet? That’s easy! Invest in a home warranty. The way a home warranty works is, you the homeowner pays a relatively (compared to how much you’d pay for repairs on your own) a small sum of money to the home warranty company. The home warranty company will then confirm its services to your for a full year. After that, in the next 12 months, anytime a home appliance of yours breaks down or malfunctions, you can contact the home warranty company and they will send in a pre-screened contractor to come and inspect and repair your home appliance.

Keep in mind, every home warranty company is different and has its own policies, features, and deductibles you need to consider.

Now that you know home warranties can be of great help, how do you pick one? Combing through multiple home warranty company websites can be tiring and confusing, Right? So in order to make your research more streamlined, why not check out Here you can check out reviews on the top 80+ home warranty companies in America. Every home warranty company listed is reviewed from actual users of the home warranty, to ensure the utmost clarity.

Each home warranty company also is fitted with a rating timeline. This timeline depicts a rating from one to five (five being the best), representing the opinions of the company by the public in the course of the last five years.

You can gauge and compare prices, features, deductibles etc and once you’re satisfied with the home warranty company of your choice, you can go ahead and ask for a quote! You’ll soon be directed to negotiations with the home warranty company of your choice and one step closer to a safer home!

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