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5 potential signs of a ceiling leak

Discovering a water stain on your ceiling can be cause for panic, especially during non-business hours.

It’s tempting to hope the problem will just go away. You might want to get your ladder and take care of the stain with a can of paint and a paintbrush. But you are just asking for trouble if you do that.

That stain in your ceiling could be a sign you have a water leak.

While you may know a stain in your ceiling probably means there’s a water leak, there are also less obvious signs of a possible leak. Below are 5 signs to look out for.

1. Water Stains on Ceilings and/or Walls

Unless you have a mischievous family member who thought it would be fun to decorate your ceiling, stains on the ceiling or wall definitely mean you have a leak somewhere.

The stains are usually a yellow or brown color. They are often ring-shaped, but could also be random splotches. Stains located where the ceiling meets the wall often spread as if they are traveling down or across the wall or ceiling.

2. Bubbling or Blisters in the Paint

When small bubbles or blisters form in ceiling paint, it can mean a few different things. If they show up soon after a new paint job, it could just mean the walls were not properly prepared before painting.

But those bubbles can also mean you have a water leak. The bubble can start out looking almost like an air pocket has formed under the paint. The bubble can continue to grow and swell, sometimes quickly.

Ceiling paint is often strong enough to hold in water. As the water collects underneath the paint, it pulls more and more paint from the ceiling. In some cases, the bulge in the ceiling can become very large, and hang down quite low. In such cases, you need to take action immediately.

3. Mold and Mildew on Ceilings and Walls

The only way mold and mildew can begin to form on your walls and ceilings is when moisture is present. If this occurs in rooms such as the bathroom or basement, it may be because of consistent high humidity.

Signs of mold on the ceiling can often be the result of a water leak. There may be a slow drip or leak from above that has been happening over time. The area remains damp, which is exactly what mold and mildew needs to grow.

4. What’s That Smell?

Unpleasant odors can of course mean a lot of different things. But in particular, musty smells coming from your ceiling could be evidence of a water leak. In cases where the smell lasts for more than a few days, you definitely need to investigate. The smell could be the result of mold and mildew growing. It could also be coming from wet insulation in your attic.

5. Increase in Your Water Bill

If your water bill takes a jump up and you have no idea why (such as filling up that huge kiddie pool in your yard every day), you just might have a water leak. This is one of those situations where the leak could be anywhere, and not just in your ceiling. But either way, you’ll want to stop the cause, and fast.

Don’t Delay

A leak in the ceiling is a serious issue. It can affect both the personal safety of you and your family as well as the integrity of your home. Early detection and repairs are vital when it comes to water damage.

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