What To Do If You Get A Ceiling Leak | Toolstation

These Steps Could Save You Over £5,000 If Ever Rainwater Starts Coming Through The Ceiling

Two men catching water leaking from a ceiling in buckets

During heavy rain, flaws in your roof can quickly become apparent. Being prepared and knowing what to do when water starts leaking through the ceiling could save you well over £5,000.

We’ll walk you through the steps you should take if ever rainwater starts coming through the ceiling.

Early Signs of a Leaking Roof

A dark, damp stain on the ceiling is an obvious indication that you have a leak in the roof but peeling paint and mould can also suggest a problem.

You may also notice a musty smell in the attic or signs of water damage on the insulation.

Roof Leaks in Heavy Rain

Unfortunately, if you don’t address the warning signs of a leaking roof, you may end up with rainwater dripping from the ceiling.

You may find the water comes through the light fittings or balloons across the ceiling.

What To Do If You Get a Ceiling Leak

1. Dont panic

It may be easier said than done, but it’s important to stay calm. Often, the damage won’t look half as bad once it has dried out a little bit.

2. Turn lights off at the mains

Whatever you do, don’t touch the light switch as this could give you an electric shock. Find the breaker box and completely shut off the power.

This will protect you, and hopefully your wiring and electrics

3. Move furniture and valuables into another room

Obviously, one of the first things you should do is move furniture and valuables out of harm’s way.

Move all that you can into a dry room and drape anything else with waterproof coverings.

4. Use an empty bucket to collect water

Place an empty bucket under the leak. You may want to put an old rag or tea towel in the bottom to avoid that annoying dripping sound.

Remember, depending on the severity of the leak, you may have to empty this bucket as it fills up.

5. Puncture a hole for water to escape

This seems counter intuitive, but you want to minimise the extent of the water damage.

Use a screwdriver to pierce a hole for the water to escape through.

This provides an exit point for the water, so it doesn’t disperse across the ceiling. If you don’t do this, the entire ceiling could collapse.

6. Cover the roof with tarpaulin

If you’re confident you know where the rainwater is getting in and can safely get onto the roof, you may want to consider covering the external surface with a tarpaulin.

Of course, in many cases this isn’t safe and you should call a professional.

Costs of Roof Leak Repairs

If a breach in the roof has caused the leaking roof, obviously you’ll have to get that repaired first. Common causes include missing or broken roof tiles, damaged roofing membranes and poorly installed skylights.

If the entire roof needs to be replaced, you could easily be looking at spending £20,000.

Once you’re sure your roof isn’t going to let water in next time there’s heavy rain, these are the costs you’ll have to factor in to restore your ceiling and any further damage to the room.

Electrical repairs – up to £1,500

As we all know, water and electricity aren’t exactly best mates. As soon as everything’s dried out, you’ll need a qualified electrician to check over and replace any broken wiring.

If your room needs rewiring, this could cost thousands.

Replacing plasterboard – £350

Plasterboard is the panelling on walls and ceilings. It offers fire protection, acoustic insulation and improves thermal efficiency so it is super important.

Due to its porous nature, after a ceiling leak, you’ll often need to replace at least part of the plasterboard.

If you have to replace the whole lot, it’s likely to set you back around £350.

Plastering – up £1,000

Plaster is the finish applied to a wall or ceiling before decoration. Often, after a leak, plaster will start to bubble, flake or even crumble as it dries out. It is a skilled job and therefore can be expensive.

The cost to plaster a ceiling could be anything up to £1,000.

Redecorating – up to £500

After the plastering, your ceiling will have to be redecorated. If the room was painted fairly regularly, you might be able to get away with just painting the ceiling but you may need to repaint the whole space.

An experienced decorator is likely to charge around £500 to redecorate a large room, even more if the job involves wallpapering.

Refurnishing – £2000+

Fingers crossed, you managed to save all your furniture and valuables. But if you didn’t, replacing all these items could be hugely expensive.

The cost to replace a couple of sofas, a television and soft furnishings could be well into the thousands.

Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

Whether your home insurance provider will pay for the cost of repairs depends on your insurance policy and what caused the leak.

Many home insurance providers will cover the cost of repairs if leaks are due to a sudden, unexpected event like a fall tree or damage caused by a storm.

But you’re likely to have to pay for damage caused by leaks that result from wear and tear or lack of maintenance.

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