Leaky ceiling pipes can cause a surprising amount of damage in a relatively short time. Major leaks can quickly ruin or even saturate wooden ceiling joists, but smaller leaks can also create problems. Since minor leaks may not be immediately noticeable, they can continue longer and cause more damage as water soaks into drywall or other porous surfaces.
Once you discover a ceiling leak, the first step is to contact a plumber to resolve the underlying issue. However, you can't stop there. Any substantial water damage will often require more intense restoration work, even for damage limited to one part of your ceiling. In most cases, working with a professional water damage restoration company will be necessary to avoid future issues.
Why Can't You Immediately Patch Up Your Ceiling?
Water leaking from a pipe or any other source can drip unexpectedly. A pipe that runs through your ceiling may drip onto ceiling joists, wires, or other areas where water can run into crevices or even behind walls. Relatively porous surfaces such as drywall or structural wood ceiling members can absorb large amounts of water and take a long time to dry.
In other words, the damage may be more extensive than one wet spot on your ceiling. If you patch up the hole your plumber used to repair the pipe, you may be trapped a significant amount of moisture in your ceiling. This moisture can lead to problems such as rot or mold growth, ultimately causing more damage to your home in the future.
How Can a Water Damage Restoration Company Help?
With any water damage restoration project, a professional company will start by evaluating the damage. This process will typically involve using moisture meters and other tools to look for signs of water beyond the initial location of the leak. For example, you may find moisture further along the drywall in your ceiling or within the ceiling cavity. Water may have even dripped behind walls.
Determining the extent of the damage is critical to performing a complete restoration and avoiding the possibility of mold growth behind your walls. In damp areas, mold may grow as soon as 24-48 hours after a leak. In other words, your ceiling may already have a substantial mold problem if the leak was ongoing for days, weeks, or longer.
What Should You Expect From the Restoration Process?
The good news is that quick action can usually minimize the potential damage and cost of any restoration project. Once they establish the extent of the damage, a water damage restoration company will remove the affected materials and begin drying the area. In addition to removing severely damaged drywall or structural components, they may also use a fungicidal primer to prevent further growth.
These steps can be more disruptive than simply patching up your ceiling and calling it a day, but they will ensure that a minor ceiling leak doesn't become a much more severe problem for your home.
For more information, contact a water damage restoration company near you.