Many homeowners turn a blind eye when they spot a yellow stain on their ceiling. I don’t know what we are thinking when we do this - clearly the spot was caused by a leak of some sort and isn’t going to disappear.
The old adage “bad news doesn’t get better with age” comes to mind here.
We can avoid the problem by averting our eyes away from the spots on the ceiling, however the problem will likely get worse the longer it is ignored.
Ceiling stains are typically caused by a few common scenarios.
- Leaks - Even a small leak can eventually cause water damage and mold. The leak usually occurs directly above the ceiling stain. An overflowing bathtub, leaky washing machine hose or broken toilet is often the culprit. Old caulking can allow water to leak onto the floor as well. Leaky pipes also create water spots. It’s common for water to run along rafters or damaged pipes and drop onto the ceiling. This causes the pooling of water in that spot.
- Ice Dam Leakage: When stains appear at ceiling corners or outside walls, the most probable cause is ice dam leakage We’ve also seen cases where the water from ice dams has made its way across the ceiling. A good way to see if your attic is not sufficiently insulated is to inspect the nail heads for condensation. If they are rusted or their sheathing is stained, condensation is the issue.
- Condensation: Sometimes, the connection between an exhaust pipe and roof cap is not airtight and moisture that should be released outside condenses wildly at the joint. The water slides down to the duct bottom and falls right back out of the exhaust pipe. Water damage from condensation can also occur when an air duct is not properly insulated.
We know that you want to ignore the problem but doing so won’t make it go away. And if you read our blogs regularly, you know that denial can lead to further water damage and mold growth.
So, take your head out of the sand and figure out what is causing that spot! In many cases, ceiling stains are caused by easily remedied problems and if addressed immediately, will cause little disruption to your life.