Protect Your Belongings and Contain the Water
The first thing you’ll want to do is protect your belongings. Quickly clear the floor under the leak or bulging ceiling. Then, place a large container under the leak. For small amounts of water, an empty trash can or bucket will do the job. For faster flowing water, an outdoor trash container is ideal. Not only can it hold large volumes of water, but it also has wheels for easy removal. Place towels in the area to absorb water on the floor.
If you have a bulge in the ceiling but no water is flowing yet, take a screwdriver and puncture it in the middle. The hole will allow the water to drain and release the weight that could cause the ceiling to fall through.
Finding the Entry Point of the Water
Now that you’ve prevented your home from becoming a flood zone, you can search for source of the water. Finding the cause of the leak can be challenging because water can travel and is not always directly above the problem area. Along with roof leaks, plumbing, heating and cooling units and gutters are also common causes of leaks.
You’ll need to look around and investigate. Remove damaged or wet drywall or follow the water back to the source. If the source of the leak is the roof, grab a flashlight, some towels and a measuring tape and head up to the attic. Continue to follow the water where it leads. Use the towels to soak up any standing water as you go. Don’t limit your search. Water can travel along rafters and the underside of the roof decking, so the entry point into the attic could be on the opposite side of the house from the ceiling leak. Water spots, stains and mold growth can also be important clues to help lead you to the entry point.