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Warning signs of a collapsed roof or ceiling

A collapsing roof or ceiling is a nightmare for homeowners and a potential cause of serious injuries. Collapses can be particularly common in rental properties owned by negligent landlords who fail to maintain the structure properly.

If you are staying in a rental, either for a vacation or the long term, one of your first priorities should be to check for signs of a potential collapse in the ceiling. You can protect yourself and your family by watching for certain telltale warning signs.


Sagging in the ceiling can be due to accumulated strain over the years or weather damage. The weight of snow or water buildup can cause this portentous sagging, as well as bends or ripples in the roof supports, as a result of the stress.


Leaks can be another result of weather damage and likely indicate that the ceiling is no longer structurally sound. Experts recommend that the immediate steps to follow in the event of a leak are to relieve water pressure by puncturing the lowest point of the bulge and to photograph the incident to strengthen your insurance claim.


Cracks are perhaps the most iconic and worrisome signs of a possible roof collapse. Not only should cracks in the ceiling be a concern, but fractures in the walls or the external masonry can also indicate that a collapse is imminent.

If you sustain injury due to a collapsed roof or ceiling on a property owned by someone else, such as in a rental home or a hotel, you have the right to pursue compensation.