When Your Ceiling Shows Water SpotsEvery homeowner knows that seeing a brown water spot on a ceiling is never a good thing. When the unsightly stain “magically” appears, it can bring along with it a sense of dread. Seeing a stain on the ceiling means there’s water where it isn’t supposed to be.

Don’t Ignore It

Once a water spot appears on a ceiling, it’s time to act. Ignoring a stain will not make it disappear. It’s essential and in your best interest to find the source to stop further damage.

Allowing water or moisture to invade your ceiling will cause irreparable damage, forcing you to tear out the damaged section. The longer you ignore the water spot, the more costly it will become to fix it.

Causes of Unwanted Water

Water spots on ceilings can come from several sources.

Plumbing leaks are a significant cause. It could be a radiator, an upstairs bathroom, or any of the various pipes that can run through an attic. Sometimes plumbing leaks occur due to the rusting of pipes or fittings, sweating pipes, or caulk wear off.

Another source can be roofing problems. And there are many reasons why water is leaking in from a roof.

Damaged gutters, such as bent or cracked ones, can cause water to work its way into the home.

Ice dams can also cause water to leak through a roofline. An ice dam is a ridge of ice formed at the edge of a roof. This happens when the heat from a house causes snow under a snowpack to melt. An ice dam blocks melting snow from draining off the roof. The water has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, that means water will be leaking down from the roof and into the house.

Broken shingles and cracked flashing are other culprits of roofing problems that allow water in.

Appliances bring convenience to our lives. But faulty appliances can also bring water spots to our ceilings. Any household appliance with a water supply and drain lines attached can cause water stains. A refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine can be a culprit of a costly leak.

What To Do

If you see a water spot on your ceiling, the first step is finding the source. It might be obvious. But water leaks, especially slow ones, may be hard to pinpoint. If you can’t figure out where the water is coming from or if you’re uncomfortable looking up on the roof, it’s best to call a professional.

After you’ve identified the source, it’s time to repair the reason for the leak. This may require a professional roofer, plumber, or HVAC professional.

Once you’ve fixed the cause of the leak, cleaning can begin. Before painting over the water spot, take care to clean it thoroughly. Usually, you can find success with bleach diluted in water. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when handling a bleach solvent.

Next, prime the ceiling area to keep the stain bleeding through the paint. Use an oil-based, stain-blocking, mold-resistant primer.

It’s finally time to paint! Once the primer is dry, paint over the spot with a shade that closely matches the rest of the ceiling. If you can’t get a good color match, you may need to repaint the entire ceiling. It’s usually best to apply two coats.

Clues for the Cause

Honestly, the most challenging part of dealing with water spots on the ceiling is figuring out where the water is coming from. But sometimes, the look of the water, stain, or issue can tell the story.

If the dripping water is clean, it usually means it’s coming from a pipe leak.

Peeling paint can indicate a problem with moisture, which may be hard to find.

A dark stain indicates the source of the leak is coming from the roof.

If your ceiling shows water spots, the professionals at Allied Restoration in Gambrills, Maryland, can help. Contact us today at 410-BUILDER (410-284-5337) to see how we can take care of your problem before it gets worse.