Have you just found a leak in your ceiling? You need to take action fast. You likely already know you need to move things out of the way of the dripping water, but that's not the only thing you need to do. If you don't take additional steps, you could end up merely shifting potential water damage to other areas of the room, and possibly harming your electrical gadgets and yourself. While you wait for a roofing company to come out, do these four things.
Move Things Away Even if They're Not Directly Under the Leak
Ceiling leaks are unpredictable and can become bigger quite quickly. If they spread they can form a line of leaks, or they can form a less well-defined clump of leaks. In addition to moving things out from under the leak (or covering them with plastic if they're too big to move, like huge sectional couches), move items that are within a few feet of the leak, too. That will keep more items safe in case the leak grows larger when you aren't looking.
You may also want to cover anything else in the room with plastic tarps in case more leaks show up. When water leaks in through a roof, it goes first into the attic/crawlspace then it takes a path of least resistance, pooling or running to low points on the floor of the attic or crawlspace, and if it hits a weak spot, it can leak into the room below. But it doesn't necessarily stop at that one weak spot. Not only can that spot expand, but the water can roll to other weak spots and create additional leaks. Covering other items in the room will help protect them if another leak begins when you're not home.
Change out Pots and Pans for Large Plastic Basins
Once a leak shows up, placing a cooking pot under the leak is often the most convenient way to protect the floor. But that can also become more than a little gross (that water is not the cleanest after it's dripped through layers of dust, insulation, roofing materials, and so on), not to mention it means you can't use the pots for cooking while this is happening. Once you've got the leaks dripping into containers, go out and get cheap plastic basins. Those will hold more water, making it easier to sleep or leave your home without worrying if the container will overflow from a bad leak.
Cover the Floor With Plastic
You've got your furniture covered and the basins out to catch the dripping water, but now you have to take splashing into account. The water can splash over walls and other parts of the floor once it hits the pool in the container. Laying out plastic on your floor will protect it from those splashes.
Unplug Items and Turn off Circuits
A potentially scary side effect of a ceiling leak is an electrical short. If the leak is near a wall, unplug items from the outlets in that wall, and if possible, turn off electricity to that room. Water could be dripping down the insides of the walls, too, and that carries with it a risk that the water will affect the wiring in the walls.
If you've been waiting to hear from your regular roofing company and haven't, start contacting others to find out who can come out and take care of the leak. You may have to wait until the current storm passes by, but you'll find out when you call what the wait times are like.
For more information, contact a local company like Bob Behrends Roofing & Gutters LLC.