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If you’ve recently noticed a stain on your ceiling or walls, you’re likely wondering what caused the stain and if the brown spot is a water stain. In most cases, a brown spot that appears on your ceiling is a water stain. More often than not, a water stain is caused by a leak from your roof, heating appliance, or plumbing. Water stains appear when liquid seeps into your ceiling and walls and then evaporates.

Many homeowners try to fix water stains with ceiling paint, wall paint, or some type of bleach mixture. If you simply want to cover water stains, this will work just fine. But it’s important to understand that simply covering up a water stain with pain or a bleach solution won’t fix the actual water leak. If the leak isn’t addressed, then eventually, you’ll see another stain on the ceiling. Leaks that are untreated can lead to structural damage or electrical damage. The moment you notice a ceiling stain that you think could be caused by roof damage, call the Bossier City roofers at Quality Exteriors Roofing to schedule a free roof inspection in Bossier or Shreveport.

We’re experts at getting to the root cause of the water stains on ceilings.

When Ceiling Water Stains Mean a Roof Leak

Water stains on ceilings are typically the result of a leak from your roof, heating appliance, or plumbing leak. Water stains appear when liquid seeps down into the ceiling and evaporates. Therefore, you’re left with dried and discolored deposits on your ceiling.

If the issue is caused by roof leaks that aren’t addressed, then over time, the stains on the ceiling will turn into extensive water damage. You need to find out why your roof is leaking before you do anything else.

If the stains on the ceiling are caused by a leaking roof, here are a few signs to look for:

  • clogged gutters
  • exposed nail heads
  • gutters that aren’t fastened properly
  • sagging roof
  • torn, broken, or missing shingles

Leaking Flashing

Roof flashing refers to the pieces of metal placed on a roof where two areas are joined together. It is meant to prevent water from leaking through your roof. If there is damage to the flashing or if you have weakened seals, water leaks will be more likely to occur and form water stains on your ceiling.

Leaking Skylights or Vents

Commercial building roofs usually have a vast system of air vents, plumbing vents, roof vents, and skylights. Because these pieces require roofing material to be cut around them, they are susceptible to leaks.

Damaged Waterproofing

Commercial roofs have a layer of the waterproofing membrane. Weather, mechanical damage, and foot traffic can damage this layer. Any kind of damage can cause leaks in the waterproofing layer. These waterproofing layers may begin to leak once they reach 15 to 20 years of age. The roof’s lifespan depends on the roofing material used. Leaks are more likely to occur as your roof gets older.

water stain on ceiling

When Does a Ceiling Stain NOT Mean a Roof Leak?

While a lot of times, ceiling stains may be the result of water damage from a roofing leak, that’s not always the case.

Water stains on the ceiling could be the result of leaking HVAC systems, leaking pipes, or leaking bathrooms. That’s why hiring a professional to inspect your roof is important in determining the problem.

Leaking HVAC System

Leaking HVAC systems can easily cause water stains on your ceiling. HVAC system leaks can happen for several reasons, including:

  • Installed incorrectly
  • Water leaking from the unit
  • Drip pan overflowing
  • Water leaking from the HVAC unit that is not properly draining on the roof-top

Leaking Pipes

A pipe leak could be a problem if you’re having trouble spotting where the leak is coming from. Some of the most common causes of pipe-related leaks are:

  • Improperly installed or bad piping that has busted
  • Aged pipes in need of replacement
  • Poor insulation
  • Pipe damage caused by hard water

Leaking Bathroom

A water stain on the ceiling located under a bathroom could indicate a leak in the bathroom. Bathroom leaks can be caused by the following:

  • Old caulking in need of replacement
  • Overflowing toilets that flood your bathroom
  • Clogged sinks or shower drains cause your bathroom to flood
  • Pipe jackboot for the upstairs bathroom

How to Fix Ceiling Stains

The sooner you find a hard water stain, the easier it will be to repair.

First, you will need to identify the cause of the leak. Taking care of just the stain on the ceiling won’t fix the problem, which can make the possibility of another water stain and more damage likely to happen. If the water stain on the ceiling was caused by a roof leak, then you’ll need to tarp your roof until you can have professional roof repair work done.

You can clean the water stain on your ceiling after the leak is repaired by some of the following methods:

  • Removing the affected part of the ceiling and replacing it with new ceiling tiles or drywall
  • Use a mixture of one cup of bleach and three cups of warm water in a clean spray bottle. Then use a wet rag to blot and wipe the stain away. You can also use eye protection and spray a light mist directly onto smooth ceilings.
  • When the water stain is completely dry, you can then paint over it with stain-blocking primer and ceiling paint.
  • If your ceiling is wood, you can sand down the stained area and seal the affected area on your ceiling.

Think You Have a Roof Leak in Bossier City? Call Quality Exteriors

ceiling water stain

One of the worst things to do is ignore a water stain on your ceiling. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage can become and the more expensive the repairs will be. Quality Exteriors strives to provide our customers with excellent customer service. You can count on us to keep your roof in great condition.

If you believe that any water stains on your ceiling are the result of a leak in your roof, don’t hesitate to call Quality Exteriors Roofing to schedule your free roof inspection. Our professionals can inspect your home based on the information you provide and work to identify if there is a leak and the underlying problem. Following your inspection, we will review your options and repair estimates with you and schedule your roof leakage solution via roofing repair.

Call us today at 318-747-1254.