What is Ceiling Water Damage?

Learn about common causes and areas of your home where this type of water damage occurs.

What is Ceiling Water Damage?

Ceiling water damage occurs when water or moisture accumulates or leaks into the ceiling of a room causing a damp or wet spot, discoloration or worse. While there are some preventative measures homeowners can take to protect against ceiling damage, in some cases – inclement weather, storm/roof damage and improperly installed roofing material – it can be unavoidable. Fortunately, there are restoration services that can help with water removal and repairs if necessary. 


Causes and Effects

Identifying the source is the key to finding the reason you’re experiencing ceiling damage. For example, if a leak occurs only during a bad rain storm and dries out after the storm has passed, then it’s most likely a roof leak which is causing the ceiling water damage. If the leak is continuous no matter the weather, then it’s probably from an internal plumbing problem.

There are many causes of water damage, and particularly for ceiling water damage some of the main causes are related to moisture and mold problems due to airborne/liquid moisture, excessive moisture, poorly insulated ceilings and plumbing or roof leaks. Some telltale signs of ceiling damage include damp, disintegrated and discolored areas – which can eventually lead to mold. These could be indicative of a roof leak, faulty pipes or a plumbing issue, or it could even be an HVAC issue. A continuously leaky faucet, a sink that drips, appliances that use water that are on a second floor (or even above a basement) – these could all result in ceiling water damage. Remember: if you can’t physically see the signs of water damage, you may be able to notice it by dripping water and/or a musty odor, which could indicate mold.


• Occurs when the room that has ceiling water damage is on the top floor of a home.
• The attic is poorly insulated.
• Mold growth will be more prevalent around the perimeter of the ceiling/room.
• Discoloration appears in a light gray color.


• Mold growth and discoloration is only in one area of the ceiling.
• Mold and staining will be in a circular pattern.
• Discoloration appears in brown and yellow stains.


If you are experiencing any of these signs of ceiling water damage, then it’s time to call in the experts. Professional water cleanup services can help locate the source of the water damage, determine the next steps for water removal/cleanup and even suggest what repairs you may need.


Prevention and What to Do if You Have Ceiling Damage

You'll need to call a water restoration company to help assess the damage and start the water cleanup and drying process. From there, they will recommend next steps and any necessary repairs. Before the water cleanup services arrive, you can place buckets under the leak and even prevent the water from pooling or spreading more by making a small hole in the ceiling with a nail or sharp object. Then allow the pooling water to drain into the bucket. Other preventative steps include stopping/fixing the leak (if you can) and tarping your roof (if you can access it safely). 


The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.







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