A flooded home is perhaps near the top of the list of things that no homeowner ever wants to have to deal with. This is the case whether or not the flood starts in the traditional way—from the ground up, or when it starts in another way. What about when the flooding seems to be starting in your ceiling? A wet, dripping patch on your ceiling is a major concern, and you will need to act quickly to stop the water, as well as in order to prevent any further damage.
If the incident has occurred after dark, you will presumably have already turned on the light switch in the room. Don't chance touching it again, in case the water has affected the electrical wiring in the room. Go to your home's circuit breaker and deactivate the electricity supply for the room or for that section of your home.
Furniture and Flooring
Move any furniture out of the way of the dripping water. If it's a sunny day, move it outside so that it can quickly dry out. Protect your carpets. Plastic drop sheets are best, but plastic rubbish bags will also work in a pinch. If your carpets are already sodden, steam cleaning might be required at a later stage. Hardwood or vinyl flooring can make do with old towels to soak up any dripping water, and can be mopped clean later.
Identifying the Source
Is there an access point that will allow you to look inside your ceiling cavity? If possible, try to look inside and identify the source of the leak. In a standard home, it might be a leak in your actual roof. In a flat or apartment where you have neighbours living on the floor directly above you, then they might be experiencing a plumbing drama. Head straight upstairs to tell your neighbours, and you might also wish to contact your body corporate organisation or building management.
Light damp patches can be often be replastered without the need for extensive ceiling repairs. This damage can usually only be contained if the source of the water is identified and shut off in time, so the services of a plumber or emergency roofer might be needed. If there is an extensive wet patch and the ceiling appears to be buckling, it can be necessary to relieve the pressure to prevent the ceiling from caving in. Using a wooden implement (such as the thin handle of a wooden spoon), puncture the ceiling to release the water. Ensure that you have a bucket standing by. Contact a ceiling repair company immediately as the room will essentially be unusable until such time as the damage has been fixed.
A ceiling-based flood is hopefully something that you will never have to experience. Although if it was to occur, it's important to know what you need to do to prevent further damage to your home and possessions.