Ceiling leaks can be frustrating, inconvenient and expensive. It is important for you to find the source of the leak to prevent it from reoccurring. But before that, minimize the immediate damage by doing the following things.

  1. Find the area of the ceiling that is leaking. Look for areas of the ceiling with coffee-colored stains. If you are not sure, look for drywall panels that are sagging or crumbling.
  2. Put drop cloths or a tarp under the leak. This will prevent your furniture and floors from getting wet, and will help collect debris.
  3. Put a bucket on the drop cloths or tarp under the leak to catch the water once you start draining the leak. It is a good idea to have two buckets on hand in case you need to empty one.
  4. Drain the leak by puncturing the ceiling with a screwdriver, drywall saw or any other sharp utensil. Push the utensil into the center of the location of the leak. This will prevent the water from accumulating and minimize the risk of having the ceiling collapse. It will also help the drywall air out. A larger hold may help you determine where the leak is coming from.
  5. Turn on a fan to dry the area. You don’t want the moisture to sit.
  6. Find the source of the leak. It could be a crack in the roof or a leaking pipe. If the leak occurred during a heavy rain, the odds are it might be the roof. If it did not occur during a heavy rain, that increased the likelihood it is caused by a leaking pipe.