Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice: these steps could save you thousands of pounds
As the clear-up continues from Storm Dudley parts of the UK are now bracing themselves for the onslaught of Storm Eunice.
The storm is expected to bring extremely strong winds and continued disruption for much of the UK on Friday.
In the midst of extreme weather, a leaking ceiling could become your worst nightmare.
During heavy rain, flaws in your roof can quickly become painfully clear, sparking panic.
Aside from the immediate inconvenience and damage, the financial cost can soon mount up.
But being prepared and knowing what to do when water starts leaking through the ceiling could save you more than £5,000, according to Toolstation, which has drawn up a list of steps you should follow.
In view of Storms Dudley and Eunice, people are urged to check their home insurance.
Early Signs of a Leaking Roof
A dark, damp stain on the ceiling is an obvious indication that you have a leak in the roof but peeling paint and mould can also suggest a problem.
You may also notice a musty smell in the attic or signs of water damage on the insulation.
Roof Leaks in Heavy Rain
Unfortunately, if you don’t address the warning signs of a leaking roof, you may end up with rainwater dripping from the ceiling.
You may find the water comes through the light fittings or balloons across the ceiling.
What to do if you get a ceiling leak
1 Don't panic
It may be easier said than done, but it’s important to stay calm. Often, the damage won’t look half as bad once it has dried out a little bit.
2 Turn lights off at the mains
Whatever you do, don’t touch the light switch as this could give you an electric shock. Find the breaker box and completely shut off the power.
This will protect you, and hopefully your wiring and electrics.
3 Move furniture and valuables into another room
Obviously, one of the first things you should do is move furniture and valuables out of harm’s way.
Move all that you can into a dry room and drape anything else with waterproof coverings.
4 Use an empty bucket to collect water
Place an empty bucket under the leak. You may want to put an old rag or tea towel in the bottom to avoid that annoying dripping sound.
Remember, depending on the severity of the leak, you may have to empty this bucket as it fills up.
5 Puncture a hole for water to escape
This seems counter intuitive, but you want to minimise the extent of the water damage.
Use a screwdriver to pierce a hole for the water to escape through.
This provides an exit point for the water, so it doesn’t disperse across the ceiling. If you don’t do this, the entire ceiling could collapse.
6 Cover the roof with tarpaulin
If you’re confident you know where the rainwater is getting in and can safely get onto the roof, you may want to consider covering the external surface with a tarpaulin.
Of course, in many cases this isn’t safe and you should call a professional.
For more information on roof leaks visit: https://www.toolstation.com/content/what-to-do-when-ceiling-leaks
For information on how to prepare for severe weather visit the Met Office's WeatherReady advice.