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Common Questions about a Leaking Ceiling

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Will the leak in my ceiling cause mold?

It depends on a few things. Some leaks start dipping water into your attic long before you ever see it show up in your living space because it has to travel through layers of wood, insulation and drywall before it reaches your room. Some leaks will show up the moment the roof is damaged because the water has a straight and clear access to your dwelling. Honestly, the best way to know for sure is to look in the attic. But most leak do not result in mold when they are dealt with right away. Typically the first place mold will show up is on the plywood decking of the roof, where the water is getting in from the shingles. This would be the first place to check for it.

Do I have to replace all of my insulation if it’s wet?

It all depends on how wet the insulation is and if the attic is vented enough for the air to dry everything out. If you have a lot of water saturated insulation, it could be a good idea to replace that area. But often times the insulation will dry right away and everything will be fine.

Do I call my insurance company?

When the cause of the leak is related to a storm, that is when we recommend it. But insurance companies have different requirements for what will qualify a claim. We’ve seen insurance companies approve one type of damage and then deny the same type on another roof. Ideally you would have someone who is a roofer and who also understands how insurance companies view damage, to inspect the roof first and then offer more contextual advice. If you don’t have someone like this, I would suggest considering how long you want to wait to get it repaired. Between the initial call to your insurance and when the leak is actually fixed could be a long drawn out time.

How long can I wait to get my roof fixed?

Honestly, the longer you wait the greater the chances are of two things. One, roofing material prices go up every year. But most importantly, depending on the condition of your roof, the damage could get worse, causing the replacement to become even more expense. For example, if water is getting to the wood or if there is poor ventilation, the wood will deteriorate quickly. So the longer you wait the more wood you will have to replace when replacing the roof.

How soon after the repair should I fix my ceiling?

As long as the damage is not too extensive, I would recommend waiting for at least one large rain storm to come through. While you wait, you could draw a pencil line around the outside edge of the stain in your drywall. This will show you if it’s leaking still because the stained area will continue to grow past the pencil mark if its still leaking.

What if the leak is coming through a light or fan in my ceiling?

Turn the electricity off in that room if possible. It’s rare that anything would result from this type of leak but it never hurts to be extra safe. After doing so, inspect the attic to see if you can place a bucket under the leak to catch the water. Most times when the water is coming through the light, what is actually happening is the water running along the top of the drywall in your attic and trying to find a hole to drain out, which ends up being the drywall hole at the light. Be sure to mention to your roofer when scheduling the appointment, that the water is coming through a light, to raise the urgency and expedite the process of getting it repaired.

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