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Ceiling Water Damage—What to Do When You Find It

You’ve noticed an ugly, circular discoloration on the ceiling.  As you move closer to examine the ceiling, you hope it is just your eyes, or shadows cast by the lamp. But it’s real; it’s a water stain.  Now what?  Does this mean new drywall and insulation, tape/bed/texture, paint . . . 

Slow down.  The first step to take is to identify the source of the moisture.  Fixing the cosmetic problem before finding its cause is like folding the clothes before you wash them.

Is there a water source in the room above the ceiling stain such as a bathroom, utility room, or hot water heater?  If so, check this source immediately.  The problem could be something as simple as a running faucet, a clogged toilet, broken supply or drain line to a fixture or appliance.

If you can’t find an obvious source of the water, you will have to dig deeper to find the cause.  If there are plumbing lines above the leak, this is likely the problem.  Older corroded pipes may have become cracked after years of contact with the minerals found in water.

Poorly insulated pipes may be sweating with temperature fluctuations.  When this happens, condensation can run down the outside of the pipe for quite a distance until it reaches the lowest point and begins to drip off onto the surface below.  This situation can make finding the “leak” tricky, as there isn’t an actual leak.

The water source could be a leaky roof.  When was the last time your roof was inspected for damage?  If there has been a recent wind or hailstorm in your area, or your roof meets any of these criteria, it is likely time to have it inspected by a professional roofer:

  • Roof has missing, broken, or curling shingles.
  • Roof has missing or damaged flashing—(metal material around the chimney or roof vents).
  • Overlay roof—(Current roof installed on top of the previous roof).
  • Shingle granules sloughing off into gutter—This happens as older shingles deteriorate, making them weaker.
  • Light coming through the roof into the attic.
  • Roof is over 20 years old.

If it’s time for a roof inspection, or if your roof needs repair, contact Rebuild Texas Roof Pros for a free, no obligation evaluation by a trained roofing professional.  Call us at 866-590-6618 to schedule an inspection today.