I’ve noticed some water stains on my ceiling. What is causing this and what can be done about it?


Water stains on your ceiling could mean a couple of different things, so it is best to locate the exact problem before proceeding. The good news is that by noticing the stain, you are on the way to resolving the issue. That bad news is that the stain might be just a small manifestation of a bigger problem. In addition to the damage caused in the stain itself, there is some reason why water is creating marks on your ceiling.

The water marks are on an interior ceiling. What could the cause be?

If the water marks are on an interior ceiling, meaning that above is another floor in your home, it is likely a plumping leak from a bathtub or a sink. The best thing to do in this case is to call a plumber, like the ones at Waterman Inc. to help you locate the exact source of the leak, and replace or fix whatever is  broken and causing the leak. You may be able to look around at some of the exposed piping, or at the tiling and grout around the tub or shower, to find where water is entering your floor, and therefore the ceiling underneath. The best course of action for fixing it, however, is calling a licenced plumber.

The water stains are on an exterior ceiling. What now?

If the water stains are on an exterior ceiling, you likely have a leak in your roof. It is possible the leak is from a crack in an exterior wall, but the roof is something you want to investigate. If possible, go into your attic and look for water damage. You may be able to locate where water is coming in. Another option is to get onto the roof of your house and look for broken shingles, or exterior damage. Storms and broken tree branches can cause damage to roofs without you knowing about it. If you suspect a leak in your roof, get a few quotes on what it will cost to repair the roof.

Could it be anything else?

The water marks you are seeing may be caused by condensation. This might be a result of improperly sealed windows, or insulation that needs your attention. Or, if the water mark is near a bathroom exhaust fan, it might be connected to a duct that isn’t insulated properly. Also, if you have a chimney, it might be the culprit as well.

What if the damage isn’t getting any worse?

The water marks you see might not be getting worse every day. That does not mean you should ignore them, however. If it hasn’t rained lately, the leak in your roof might not create more damage right away. The weather might be a factor in how rapidly your water marks grow. You will still want to address the problem as soon as possible, because they are just a symptom of what could be a much larger problem. Fixing any plumbing problems or a roof leak should be a top priority.

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