Ceiling stains like this indicate water leakage

With all the icicles and ice dams we've seen on homes around the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area, we expect that some of those homes are going to have something like this appearing on their ceilings.  Brown stains (and often other things such as paint bubbling or ceiling texture crumbling) indicate there is or has been water leaking into the space above the ceiling.  And unless your ceiling is below an upstairs bathroom that had a tub overflow, the cause is almost always a roof lake.

But too often homeowners ignore signs like this. Because unless you know what they mean, since damage isn't obvious, it's easy to ignore.  However, SHOULD you be thinking about them and taking steps to ensure they don’t turn into something worse.

A brownish stain on a ceiling almost always means that moisture has gotten into the area. The first step is to determine the source.  That will tell you what needs to be done to correct the problem.  And it should be fixed as soon as possible, because those stains are the most minor of the issues you're facing.

The Cause of the Wet Spots

If you have noticed water on the ceiling, then most likely the water is coming directly from above where the water is coming through or showing. If there is a second floor, you will want to check this. If the water is on the ceiling of the second floor or if you don’t have a second floor, then the attic is usually the culprit. This means that the roof is leaking water into the attic, and that water is slowly making its way into the space above the ceiling.

What to Do About Those Wet Spots

Touch the stained area.  Occasionally you will find it is damp. If you notice wet spots, then it is increasingly important that you reach out to a roofing professional.  A damp stain most often means a recent leak. (But that is not always the case; if the leak was a very small amount, it might take awhile for it to cause a stain in the ceiling).

And the damage is probably not confined to the ceiling.  The leaking water can soak the insulation and may even cause rot to your wall structure.  When this is the case, this can cause even further issues such as mold development.   Wet insulation needs to be torn out and replaced.  And if the leaking water has made its way down the outside walls,  siding can also be damaged in the process.

Ceiling stains should never be ignored.  Speak with us today if you notice any sort of wet spots on the ceiling.  We can come out and inspect your attic space and pinpoint the leak as well as make suggestions for repairs. Quarve Contracting, Inc. is a licensed Minnesota home remodeling company.  Roof inspections and repairs are part of our exterior services.