Signs of a water leak line in a ceiling

Updated April 17, 2017

A leaking water pipe in your ceiling can cause damage and wreak havoc until it's fixed. Possible signs of a problem include a wet ceiling, water stains, mould growth or water dripping from the ceiling. The source of the leak may not always be directly above the visible damage, however. Water can run along piping or rafters until it drips onto the ceiling. Locate the leak, apply a temporary fix and contact a professional for repairs.

Wet Ceiling

Moisture or wetness on the ceiling surface can be a sign of a water line leak. The source of the problem could also be a roof leak or an upstairs bathroom leak. If possible, inspect the source of the wetness from the floor above. Look for multiple sources of wetness to determine if water is running along a pipe or rafter away from the leak. Look for any mould or staining near the wetness.

Water Stain

A water stain indicates extensive damage to the ceiling. Stains consist of rings increasing in size and becoming lighter in colour as they move outward. Dark stains in the middle are a sign a leak has been there for awhile. You can sometimes remove lighter stains with undiluted laundry bleach, rubber gloves and safety glasses. Dark stains must be sealed and painted. The source of the leak must be fixed before repairing the stain damage.

Mold Growth

Mold can grow almost anywhere in the presence of moisture. It is common to find mould where there is water damage, such as a water line leak. It is recommended to seek professional help for mould removal. Black mould can be toxic if you come into contact with it. Circulating air can help slow down mould growth. Drywall with mould on it needs to be cut out and replaced. Always wear gloves, a mask, goggles and protective clothing when dealing with mould. Mold can make everyone in your house ill. Painting over mould will not fix the problem, only disguise it.

Water Leak

Water leaking through the ceiling can cause damage to the carpet and surrounding walls. Tack a piece of string onto the ceiling where the water stream is and let it hang into a bucket. Search the attic or the floor above to help you locate the source of the leak. Contain the leak with a bucket at the source of the problem, if possible.

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About the Author

Sean Mann has been a freelance writer since 2010. With thorough knowledge and experience in technological fields such as computer software, hardware, the internet and programming, he creates online content for various websites. Mann has a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Ohio State University.