Grab a Bucket! The Facts About Ceiling Water Damage

You may be under the impression that ceiling water damage is immediately detectable. However, the signs are often very subtle and detecting water damage can be tricky, especially if leaks remain hidden for some time. In order to discover the problem, you must pay attention to all the warning signs. Water damage and ceiling water damage can generate costly repairs, and dependent upon your homeowner’s insurance, you might be fortunate to have it covered. We’re discussing everything you need to know to recover from ceiling water damage. 

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Early Signs of Ceiling Water Damage

  • Peeling or bubbling of wallpaper
  • Visible stains
  • Mold
  • Texture changes
  • Higher utility bills
  • Unusual odors

Effects of Ceiling Water Damage

  • Severe structural damage
  • Expensive removal of materials including insulation and drywall
  • Health complications
  • Decreased value of your home, especially when the appearance of the water damage is apparent and well documented.

Where Does Ceiling Water Damage Come From? 

Water usually flows to one spot as the result of a water leak towards a given point, at which you may notice sagging or other visible effects.  If you notice water dripping from your ceiling or other visible signs such as soggy insulation, it is very likely that there is more water than you can visibly see. Water runs down, landing on the upper materials of the ceiling, which often include drywall or plaster.

Roof Damage 

If there is ceiling water damage that is coming directly from below an attic space or the roof surface itself, there is most likely damage to the roof. Roof damage can be caused by tree limbs and debris, inclement weather, nesting birds and animals, as well as faulty or improperly-installed gutters. Each of these causes can result in water damage.  

If you see water stains on your ceiling near the fireplace, the culprit could be faulty chimney flashing which can cause damage to your roof, ceilings, or attic. The flashings are strips of metal that should fit tightly around your chimney. While meant to be waterproof, flashing should be checked by a professional ideally every six months, especially if the material has been subjected to storms and repeated weather damage. 

Insulation Issues 

If there are water stains coming from your roof, you will need to identify the origin. For example, if the damage occurs after inclement weather such as hail, flooding, or periods of snow you may need to upgrade your insulation and not the roofing. 

Worn Caulking & Plaster  

A less commonly recognized cause of ceiling water damage is old caulking and plaster, which lead to water seepage. Thanks to the normal wear and tear of living, plaster-and-lath ceilings often fall prey to gravity, and when combined with water, the structure may move away from the framing. Caulking and other adhesives can be injected between the plaster and lath to temporarily reinforce the ceiling.

Other Causes 

Old and poorly insulated piping, gutters, or a fault shower pan can also create ceiling water damage. In this instance, you would need a certified plumber to determine whether the pipes will need to be replaced.  

Mitigating Water Damage Until Help Arrives 

ServiceMaster Restore advises against DIY ceiling repairs. Even still, there are a few measures you can do take to prevent further damage until a trusted professional is able assess the damage thoroughly.   

Locate and stop the source of water. Find and fix roof leaks or replace dripping pipes. If you can easily access the attic above where the water is coming in, place a bucket beneath and mop up standing water. If you cannot access the attic and water is still pouring in, eliminate pooling by punching a small hole through the ceiling and allow the water to drain into a bucket.

ServiceMaster Restore Fixes Ceiling Water Damage With Ease

The leak will need to be sealed and fixed, as well as properly dried. We help return your space to pre-loss condition. ServiceMaster Restore is skilled in restoration and water repair services for homes damaged by water. We make it our job to help you recover quickly and restore order to your life!