You know those ugly coffee colored stains on your ceiling? Those are the result of water damage. Those stains not only present a real eyesore, but unfortunately, the foul discoloring is evidence of either exterior or interior leaking. This won’t go away by itself and it tends to grow worse if unattended. Some other signs are peeling tape joints, musty odors, and an increase in mold.
Trace the Problem to its Source
Somehow water has gotten into your ceiling. This is most likely from a roof or pipe leak. If the damage is in your basement, it could be a faulty drain or pipe from the upstairs plumbing. Occasionally water damage is not connected to a leak (like condensation). Be careful to double check all alternatives before deciding there isn’t a leak. Inspect your attic for signs of mold or dampness. Water can be hard to trace because it can run quite a way from the original entry point before it begins to drip and show itself in the form of damage. However, it’s important to deal with the cause of the problem. If the actual leak is not addressed, repairing and repainting the stains will only suffice until the next downpour.
Likely External Leak Locations
If you can’t trace the leak to its origin, here are some likely locations to check:
- Boots (these are rubber pieces sealing electric service areas, plumbing vent pipes, air vents, and exhaust fan flashing)
- Ridge cap (the very top of your roof)
- Gaskets (around pipes)
- Flashing (around chimney)
- Gutters and downspouts
- Shingles (look for obvious tears, erosion or other signs of damage)
- Dormer valleys
These are places which often allow water to seep in. Once you find the source of the leak, repair or replace the area of trouble. Be careful to complete the process thoroughly as a poor job will just invite additional leaks (and headaches!)
Easy Ways to Repair Interior Damage
Depending on the severity of the damage, an experienced professional may be required. However, some repairs can be done by anyone. Here are some generic instructions to replace small interior stains and paint bubbling.
First, scrap off the bubbling paint then smooth the surface by using a piece of soft sandpaper. Paint on a coat of oil-based primer and let dry for a few hours. Next, apply a thin layer of Spackle with a metal knife, let it dry (make sure it dries completely). Sand the area thoroughly. Spackle again. Once it is smooth, apply primer, and then finally, repaint. If during this process you find there is a large mushy area or holes in the drywall, this may be out of your expertise.
If you are having trouble with a leaky roof or you can’t identify the source of the problem, please contact us at All Weather Tite. Our highly trained professionals will be happy to discuss any issues or set up a free consultation. We also provide handyman services for small home repairs.