Learn the sources and solutions for the brown stains on your ceiling.
You may not realize you have an issue beyond your ceiling until you start to notice brown stains beginning to appear on your ceiling. The most common cause of these stains is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from your roof. If you spot any stains in your ceiling, it’s important to investigate the issue immediately as moisture can lead to the formation of mold growth, further causing safety and structural issues to your property.
A Different Kind of Roofing Issue: Ceiling or Attic Rain
One cause of stains we occasionally come across is an issue with high humidity levels inside the attic of a home. This can be due to disconnected dryer vents or exhaust fan vents, or even something as simple as not using exhaust fans properly when cooking in the kitchen or showering in the bathroom. Any of these issues can lead to the formation of stains on the ceiling near an attic or a bathroom fan.
Ceiling or attic rain happens when moisture gets inside the attic area. Next, if a gap or insufficient insulation in your attic allows cold air to come in contact with the warm, moist air not being properly ventilated in your home, then the moisture condenses into water droplets inside the attic. (Just like rain.) When the condensed water droplets occur, they collect as a puddle in your attic, causing brown stains to appear over time on your ceiling. In this case, it’s a relatively easy fix. You can double check to ensure your vents are airtight and properly connected to their hoses. You also need to ensure that you have proper insulation near any exhaust ducts.
What if it’s not from attic rain? Learn about Leaking Pipes
Sometimes water stains are not associated with a roofing or venting issue. If you suspect a hidden water leak, finding the source is the first step to putting a stop to stains on your ceiling. Often the source of the leak is not located directly above the leak. Assess the area where the leak is occurring. Is your roof located directly above the leak, or is there a bathroom or kitchen above the leak? Leaking pipes in ceilings and walls can slowly release water. Pipes can also be more prone to leaks when they are older or experience extreme changes in temperature, which often occurs in Calgary as we experience chinooks throughout our changing seasons.
Ceiling Stain PRO TIP
If your stain isn’t severe and you feel confident you’ve put a stop to the source of the leak or cause of the condensation, you can try this pro tip to help remove the visibility of the stain.
PRO TIP*: Clean the stained area with a bleach solvent (1 cup of bleach and 3 cups of warm water) to help fade the stain and remove any possible mildew. It may be best to spray the mixture onto the ceiling in a small test patch first. Do not spray too much liquid at one time.
When to call a professional
If you have any hesitations and want the comfort of a professional to help you investigate the source of the ceiling stain, you can contact Streamside Property Restoration to assist you. We have expertly trained technicians and inspectors to immediately respond to water damage.
*Results may vary due to the severity of the stain. We do not suggest or guarantee this Pro Tip without seeing and assessing the situation ourselves. This is intended as an option for your consideration.