People often say that your home mirrors who you are as a person. You want it to be neat, tidy, and aesthetically pleasing to your eye and others’ as well. But when that aesthetic is crippled by a single striking water stain on your ceiling, you begin to wonder how to address the issue. Go beyond the urge to simply paint over the stain and try to determine where the source of the problem is. In most cases, something else is the causal factor (a leak in the roof, etc.). Ceiling water stains are a typical occurrence in many homes across the states, especially in Florida (due to its humid weather).
Finding out what’s causing the problem requires experience and knowledge. If you lack either of those, the right approach would be to hire a professional roofing company. They’ll immediately assess the situation, detect the problem, and treat it. Remember, you are not alone.
When it comes to what’s actually causing the stain to appear, several things come to mind.
Leaky Pipes — Pipe leak is usually the culprit in these situations (often directly above the stain). However, the seepage doesn’t necessarily have to be directly above the stain, it could happen elsewhere further away from it. Another indicator of leaky pipes can be the color and the smell of the stain. If the color is clear and the stain doesn’t have any distinctive scent to it, it means that the water came straight from the pipe.
Pipe leaks could be caused by an indentation somewhere on the pipe, or the pipes could be outdated and the material could be sweating the water out.
Roof Leaks — Pipes are not the only thing that can leak. Imperfections in the roof such as improperly insulated ducts, old waterproofing membranes, and gaps between the flashings could also be responsible. The main purpose of these materials is to protect what’s underneath from water. If the water somehow leaks through, it could actually accumulate anywhere. Therefore, it will eventually pass through the materials and reach the ceiling, thus creating the stain(s). As opposed to stains caused by leaky pipes, the color of the roof leak stains is often brownish or dark (the colorization happens when the water gets in contact with the roofing materials).
Clogged and Warped Gutters — There’s always a possibility that your stains are caused by an exterior leak. Structural anomalies such as damaged or clogged gutters can directly affect the water levels. If clogged, they can divert the water flow over the gutter and send it underneath the roofing material. That causes the external leak to become internal, which in turn, creates the stains on walls and ceilings.
The list of causes can be quite extensive. Other factors such as water quality, faulty ice dam structure, condensation, and more could be as equally responsible. But what can you actually do to prevent the damage? Well, there are two ways to approach this. When it comes to treating your ceiling stains you could either do it yourself or hire a professional roofing company to deal with the problem.
The DIY method is a bit tricky because you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing and that you have all the necessary equipment. Failing to do so might result in creating even more damage to your property. There’s always a deeper problem lying behind every stain. We strongly advise against just painting it over. Instead, try to figure out what really happened.
The first step would be to determine the intensity and the duration of the leak. That could tell you a lot about about it’s source and help you prepare. For example, if the stain is large, there was a burst of water somewhere. If it’s smaller, it’s probably a leak. Afterward, locate the source of the leak, gather the tools (provided that you have them), and make the necessary repairs (perhaps you need to replace the pipe, or reinsulate the roof, etc.).
Another (perhaps more effective) method to deal with the stains is to hire a roofing company. It’s a group of highly trained and experienced professionals. They will know immediately what to do the moment they see the stain. If you’re living in Florida and you need someone to take care of that nasty stain, give us a call and we’ll do our best to assist you!