Locating the source will help you figure out what type of professional to call. If there is a floor above the leaking ceiling (i.e. a second story above a first story ceiling), then the leak may be coming from several sources.
Check out this list of possibilities about what to do when water leaks from the ceiling.
Toilet – If the wax ring between the floor and the toilet is worn out, every time the toilet is flushed it produces a leak flowing through the ceiling.
Shower – If the leak is happening while the shower is running, this may be due to a cracked tile or the shower faucet. If there is leakage while the shower is not running, there is a problem with the water pipe.
What to do when water leaks from the ceiling:
1. Place a bucket under where the ceiling is leaking to catch the water.
2. To avoid the ceiling collapsing in, poke a small hole in the ceiling to allow the water to drain into the bucket.
3. Determine if the leak is a result of plumbing in your home or if it is due to the ceiling. If the leak only occurs when it is raining, that is indicative of a roofing issue. On the other hand, if there is water leaking when there is not a storm, the problem is most likely due to a plumbing issue.
To check if it is a roofing issue:
1. Wait for the roof to dry and climb to that area of the roof.
2. Check the shingles around the leak source and remove any damaged shingles with a pry bar. This is an easy and common fix.
3. Replace the damaged shingles with the new shingles by working your way from the bottom of the leaky area to the top.
a) Slide a few inches of the last row of new shingles under the old shingles.
b) Add a bit of roofing tar along the top and bottom of the new shingles that you slid under the old shingles and press down for a few seconds to allow them to set.
c) To repair the appearance of the ceiling after the plumbing or roof is repaired, use some spackle and paint.
If a leak still persists or you cannot figure out the source of the leak, a professional may be the best option to avoid damaging your home further or hurting yourself in the repair process. To reach a high quality plumber or roofer in your neighborhood immediately, call TalkLocal. You will reach a professional who can fix your problems at a time that is most convenient for you.