If you've ever had ceiling stains in your home, you know that they are both unsightly and annoying. Not only that, but they also indicates that unwanted moisture is somehow entering your home.  This is not unusual for older homes here in the Minneapolis area, but it can occur with newer ones as well. Determining the cause of ceiling stains requires some investigation, but the culprit will nearly always be either the roof or the attic. The following tips should help you identify the location of the leak.

Areas Where Water Leaks May Occur

In the Roof

Almost all roof leaks can be traced back to some form of an opening in the roof. The opening could be a fireplace chimney, an appliance or heater flue, or an exhaust vent pipe. Damaged shingles due to a storm or fallen branches can also cause a roof to leak. Another possibility for moisture in the roof is through the gable end or box roof vent. Generally, these vents are designed to be storm resistant, but in the event of an exceptionally fierce wind, some rain could easily get driven inside the vents

In the Attic

Locating a leak in the attic can be a little more complex.

First of all, check the indoor air handler for your air conditioning unit. The refrigerant lines running through the attic often sweat a lot during the hot summer months, especially if insulation is missing. It is also not uncommon for cold air to leak through the duct seams and produce condensation. Either of these conditions could leave wet marks on your ceiling.

Plumbing leaks are also a common cause of staining. Usually, a leaking water supply line will make a mess and be easy to identify.  But occasionally, multiple small holes are just large enough to drip water will form in an old pipe and create a wet spot.

And of course, if you find a wet stain directly below a sink or a shower, have it checked out by a plumber.

Once the cause of the leak has been repaired, ceiling stains can easily be taken care of by painting over them. Most water-based paints will not keep the stain covered indefinitely, so first cover the stain with a coat of oil-based paint and save yourself the hassle of having to repeat it later.

As always, Quarve Contractors is here in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to assist you with all your home remodeling needs, no matter how large or small. So contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate on your next project!