There's no denying that pipe leaks can be nightmarish problems. A leaky pipe nearly anywhere in the house can potentially cause damage, even in unfinished areas such as basements or crawl spaces. Unfortunately, these leaks don't hold a candle to the damage that a pipe leak behind drywall can inflict on your home.
Leaks in ceilings can cause substantial damage to your drywall, furniture, or even to electrical wiring or fixtures. If you notice water dripping your ceiling, there's a good chance the problem has been going on for longer than you might suspect. However severe the leak is, once you see water coming from your ceiling, you should immediately take these three steps to address the issue.
1. Assess and Contain
It's typically easy to trace a leaky ceiling pipe back to a second-story bathroom, but some homes may have more complex plumbing setups. If you have a continuous leak without any drains running, it's likely a supply line that has an issue. Whatever the case, your first step is to contain the problem and minimize further damage.
In addition to getting something to catch the water, you should also shut off any nearby light fixtures and avoid using them until you can inspect the electrical wiring. Move or cover anything on the floor that may be susceptible to water as well. If you have hardware floors or carpeting, it's also a good idea to place some towels around your container to catch any splatter.
2. Try to Shut Off the Water
Shutting off the supply to the leaky pipe is an excellent option to help minimize damage. If your home has a PEX manifold, you may be able to cut the water supply to a specific room or fixture. If not, try shutting off any valves in the room where you suspect the leak may be occurring. For severe leaks, you may even want to shut off your main supply if you have no other way to stem the flow.
3. Make an Emergency Plumbing Call
Leaks behind walls or in ceilings can cause a shocking amount of damage in a relatively short amount of time. Even if you solve the leak, there may be moisture festering behind your drywall, leading to mold problems and rot. You should always address leaks of this nature as soon as possible to stop the ongoing damage and minimize the potential long-term effects.
Once you've done all you can to minimize the immediate damage, you should contact a plumber for an emergency visit as soon as you can. While emergency calls are rarely cheap, the cost will be far lower than allowing your pipe to continue to leak through your ceiling.
For more information, contact a local company, like J & S Plumbing Inc.