If you notice a water stain on your ceiling, your first instinct may be simply one of annoyance. It’s ugly and seems to come out of nowhere. How are you going to cover that up? Maybe it will just go away when it dries.
We want to tell you how serious ceiling water stains can be. You should never ignore them. And you shouldn’t focus on what to do to cover it up, because the source of the stain may continue to be a problem, and the water damage might be enough to weaken the flooring—and that’s not something that a bit of plaster can fix. You don’t want to wipe the stain from your mind only to have part of the ceiling cave-in months later, possibly bringing down part of the room above it!
The Source of the Water Stain
The source of the stain may be immediately obvious to you, such as one near the roof of the house after a long period of rain. You’ll need to have repairs done to the roof to seal it and then the water damage remediated.
But these stains can occur in other parts of the house, and that means leaking plumbing. Most of the time when these stains appear on the ceiling of the first floor of the house, they occur beneath an upstairs bathroom. Bathrooms have a high concentration of plumbing pipes and appliances, more than any other room in the house, so leaks coming through the ceiling are likely from the bathroom plumbing.
Leaks from bathroom plumbing can come from a range of sources: it doesn’t necessarily have to be a leaking pipe that let massive amounts of water down onto the drywall. One of the sneakier and long-term leaks from a bathroom is from the caulking around the shower or tub. If the caulking starts to dry and crack (which can occur after ten years), water will begin to seep around the sides and down into the walls and floor. It can take months before you notice the effects, and at this point it may have created serious mold and mildew problems.
Another source of leaks is from the shower pan, which is the waterproof barrier made of lead or vinyl that’s underneath the floor of your shower or bathtub. It’s there to catch water that might escape through cracks or grouting and then routes it to the drain. A vinyl shower pan can decay early and allow water to seep through.
Finally, there are standard pipe leaks, which can come from deteriorating at the joins or because of corrosion. Even copper pipes can suffer from corrosion, and tiny pinhole leaks are enough to allow water to begin to build up until they create noticeable ceiling stains.
The short version: When you see a water stain on the ceiling, you don’t know how long the problem has been going on. But it means there is an immediate problem that must be addressed. Call us for plumbing in Peoria, AZ to locate the source of the leak onto your ceiling and have it fixed.
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