Storms are incredible forces of nature. It’s hard not to appreciate the thrill of thunder, lightning, and pouring rain. That is, if your roof doesn’t suddenly start leaking in the middle of one. Because then, you have a full blown homeowner emergency.

It’s Raining And My Ceiling Is Leaking, What Do I Do?

First things first, call a roofing company! They will get someone out there as soon as they can. But until they get there, here’s what you can do to keep your home from becoming a fishbowl.

Contain The Leak

To do damage control, you’ll need to grab a container first. It can be a bucket, a large cooking pot, or anything that can hold the water that’s coming in from outside.

Where is the water leaking from? Make sure it’s actually the roof that’s leaking and not a problem with your heating and cooling unit, clogged gutters, or the plumbing. Is it coming from a light fixture or outlet? Is it coming from a ceiling corner? Look close and see if you can pinpoint the exact source(s). Water can be a tricky trickle, and sometimes a single source (such as a puddle in the attic) can show up in multiple spots, making the leak look far worse than it is.

Have you found the source? Is there a bulge? Is it a discolored spot? That’s likely to be where the water is pooling. Grab a screwdriver or something sharp. Then get your container ready. Now, poke it. Use whatever container you chose to collect the water draining from the hole.

Draining the water from any bulges can help keep the damage to one spot, rather than allowing it to spread. It also relieves the pressure that can accumulate and even cause your ceiling to collapse.

Bonus tip: If the sound of dripping water drives you crazy, you may want to prop up a plank of wood or a board in the container to cut out the sound.

Tarp The Outside If You Can

If you know exactly where the water is coming in through the roof, the next question is: can you safely reach it? If you can get to the problem spot without risking life and limb, cover up the exterior surface with a tarp. This will minimize the damage until a professional roofer can repair it. Be sure you wear rubber soled shoes and secure your ladder before climbing up!

Don’t Wait To Repair Your Roof

When it comes to a leaky roof, don’t put off getting it repaired! It’s critical to act as quickly as you can because your roof won’t fix itself. It will get worse. And when roofs get worse, they fall down and wipe out your bank account.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

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