Have a water leak? Here’s who to call. (2024)


Whether you’re dealing with a leaky roof or a surprise plumbing issue, these factors will help you decide who to call for a water leak in the ceiling.

Have a water leak? Here’s who to call. (2)

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Q: I just noticed water stains on the ceiling of my home. Part of me just wants to paint over them, but then I realized there might be a leak, and I’m concerned. But who do I call for a water leak in the ceiling?

A: Dealing with water leaking from the ceiling is no small feat, and it’s crucial to call in an expert as soon as possible to mitigate the cause and repair the damage. If you’re looking for information on who to call for a leak in the ceiling, these factors will help you determine where the leak is coming from and who to contact next.

But before you call anyone, it’s best to try and contain the leak first. A plumber or roofing contractor should be able to be at your home promptly, but in the case of a storm or a pipe bursting in an apartment building, professionals in the area might be stretched thin and unable to show up right away. You can narrow down the cause of the leak by which floor it’s on and whether there’s any visible damage to your roof or plumbing. Regardless of what’s causing the issue, a roofing contractor or plumber can help remove the damage, handle ceiling repair, and restore your home’s comfort and safety.

Water leak in the ceiling?

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Ceiling leaks on the top floor are likely caused by a leak in the roof and require a roofing contractor.

Water damage in the ceiling on the top floor may be the first sign that you have a leaking roof. If this is the case, the first person you should call is a roofing contractor, who will be able to verify if the roof is leaking and, if so, how best to repair it. A professional’s first step will probably be tarping to keep water out, and they’ll also inspect the roof from inside and outside the home. If the roof is leaking from damage due to severe weather, the roof won’t be able to be repaired until the severe weather has passed.

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Signs of a leaking roof include missing or damaged shingles and flashing, water spots on the top floor ceiling, or dampness in the attic.

Even if there’s just one small water spot, there’s no such thing as minor ceiling water damage. If you notice water dripping from the ceiling, it could result from a leaky roof. A few key signs of a leaking roof can include missing or damaged shingles and water spots on the ceiling of the home’s upper level. A trip to the attic can also help identify a roof leak, as you may be able to see water spots or wet roof decking that wouldn’t be visible from the outside. If your home has been hit by a recent storm or another severe weather event, it’s even more likely the leak in the ceiling is due to a damaged roof.

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Leaks on lower levels usually mean there’s an issue with the plumbing, and you should contact a plumber.

If you notice wet or stained ceilings on a lower level of your home, you are probably dealing with a plumbing issue. But who should you call for a water leak in the ceiling above a bathroom, living room, kitchen, or dining room? Your best bet is to call a professional plumber to come out and inspect the area to determine the source of the leak and how best to repair it. The issue could be anything from a crack in a pipe to a small leak, but regardless, a plumber will have the necessary tools and equipment to make the repair as seamless as possible. Plus, their work is often warrantied, so if the leak shows up after repairs have been made, they can come back to correct the issue without charging additional fees.

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Look for other signs of leaking plumbing, like musty smells, signs of mold or mildew, or stained floors and ceilings.

Although stains and visible water dripping or puddles are clear signs of a leaking ceiling, other factors can help identify leaky plumbing. If you notice a musty smell inside the home or excess moisture, you could be dealing with a plumbing issue that is beyond your control. If not contained or stopped, a water damage leak can lead to more extensive problems beyond cosmetic ceiling stains, including compromising the home’s structure and causing mold to develop.

Don't leave a water leak unattended

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Controlling leaks and mitigating any damage should be the first step when there’s a ceiling leak.

When a ceiling leak is present, before you call anyone for ceiling leak repair, your first plan of action should be to stop or control the leak. You may need a bucket or other waterproof container to catch any dripping water to prevent floors or furniture from getting wet. You may also need to move or cover your furniture, soak up any water that has landed on the floor, and make a small hole in the ceiling to encourage drainage. This can help prevent the leak from spreading further into the ceiling and causing more widespread damage. If you can turn off your water, this can also help prevent extensive damage. Ceiling repair will have to wait until the source of the problem has been stopped and later identified.

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Once the leak has been controlled, you can hire a water damage restoration company.

It’s time to call in the professionals. One of the best water damage restoration companies will have the necessary tools and equipment to dry out wet or damp areas, such as carpeting, rugs, or flooring. They’ll likely use industrial fans and, in some cases, spray mold-prevention chemicals to ensure the damage doesn’t extend to other areas of the home. These companies mitigate the water damage and repair ceiling water damage by tearing out the old drywall and replacing it. They can also patch, paint, and install appliances or lighting to bring your space back to its former glory.

Some ceiling leaks may be covered by homeowners insurance.

Suppose the ceiling leak resulted from damage from a sudden and unexpected event, such as a storm or a pipe that burst due to freezing conditions. In that case, homeowners insurance will likely cover the cost to mitigate and repair the damage. However, if the leak results from poor maintenance over time, insurance is less likely to pay for repairs. It’s wise to look over your insurance policy to see what it covers and how to proceed once you’ve identified a leak; that way, you’ll know what to expect. Before any checks are cut, the insurance company will need to identify the cause of the leak to determine whether the damage is covered, as some events such as floods, earthquakes, and mold aren’t protected. If the leak was the result of a damaged roof, homeowners insurance may cover repairs to your roof as well.

Have a water leak? Here’s who to call. (2024)


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