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Water damage can occur anywhere around your home. One of the more troublesome places where water could accumulate is your ceiling. Besides causing it to become unsightly, water damage can have other problematic effects.

What Causes Ceiling Water Damage?

There are several causes of water damage in ceilings, but the most common ones include:

● Damaged Roof

If your home has one floor, or the damage has occurred on the topmost floor of your home, this could be a sign of damage to your roof. Loose or missing tiles, cracks or rot in the material, or damage caused by debris can all lead to water build-up on your roof. If left untreated, this water can seep into your ceiling and cause foundational damage.

● Leaking Pipes

If your home has plumbing that passes between floors or above ceilings, a leak or burst can expose the ceilings to water damage. This generally occurs on the first floor of multi-story buildings or apartment blocks. Deteriorated caulking or holes in your pipelines may be the culprits.

● Faulty AC Units

Like leaking pipes, if you have a malfunctioning AC unit, it can lead to water leaks and damage. If the unit is not properly leading its gathered moisture away from the hope, the water can leak inside your ceiling. This often occurs with window-mounted units that allow the water to drip down the walls into the ceiling of the floor below.

● Excess Moisture

In improperly ventilated bathrooms or utility closets, excess moisture can build up. Moisture often clings to the ceiling, causing warping or mold growth. This will lead to the eventual weakening of your ceiling, the stripping of paint or paper, and further issues such as mold spores.

Signs of Ceiling Water Damage

Water damage in your ceiling might be obvious, but only because it was given enough time to settle in. The good news is you can catch water damage in your ceiling before it becomes too extreme. Keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Stains or colored spots
  • Sagging or bubbling in the paint or drywall
  • Bad odors or mold growth, particularly in corners or where the ceiling and wall meet
  • Peeling or cracking in the surface of the ceiling

Ways to Deal with Water Damage

It should be noted that damaged ceilings can be much worse than is immediately noticeable. If your home has more than one floor, damage to the ceilings in the lower floors can also mean damage to the floor above. If the damage is serious or extensive enough, clearing the issue on the surface will not fix the problem. Left unchecked, it can weaken the floor above and even cause mold growth.

There’s also a good chance that large portions of your ceiling will need to be removed and replaced in these cases. The damage may also have affected important plumbing or wiring around the house. For these reasons, it’s best to leave larger moist patches to a Utah clean up company.

For other, less serious cases, you can try the following:

1. Cut off the water source

As a first step, identify the source of water and come up with a fix to stop its flow. If the damage has been caused by leaking pipes, turning off the water supply to that area will prevent further leaking. If the damage is on your roof, covering the area with a tarp or plastic sheeting will do the same.

2. Drain any pooled water

If you have found any bubbling in your ceiling, this is evidence of water build-up. Before you begin repairing the area, drain any pooled water. Place large buckets or bowls beneath the bubbles and carefully pierce with a knife, screwdriver, or nail to allow the water to drain out. Also, set up a tarp to protect the flooring and move any furniture out from under the affected area.

3. Remove the affected area to assess the damage

If your ceiling has been painted or papered, use a sharp workman’s knife to cut out the affected area. This works for both pooled water and mold growth so that you can see what damage has occurred behind the ceiling. Remember to wear protective goggles and a face mask to protect yourself from mold spores or rotten wood.

In the case of large areas of mold growth, you may want to contact a Utah mold clean up specialist, as mold can root deep into the wood, causing structural weakness. This area will need to be completely removed and replaced, and this is often best done by a professional.

4. Dry the affected area

Using a combination of towels, wet-dry vacuums (that can be rented from your local hardware store), and a dehumidifier, dry the affected area. Once dried, you will have a better idea of the extent of the damage done to your ceiling. Clear out any surface mold or mildew growth or cut out damaged sections of wood or plaster.

5. Repair the cause of the water damage

Have a plumber repair any leaking pipes or replace and fix any damaged areas on your roof. This will be the best time to repair the cause of the water damage. Once you are sure that the cause is fixed, you can replace the damaged or warped portion of your ceiling. Repaint or plaster the damaged area and be proud of your work.

Water damage is problematic but not an unfixable issue. Just remember not to bite off more than you can chew, and call in a professional if the work is looking more extensive than you can handle. And if you find mold, contact a David County mold clean up specialist to assess the damage. The last thing you want is for mold to continue to grow and affect your home and your family’s health.


Are you dealing with ceiling water damage? How do you know your home is suffering from one? Many homeowners want to fix it due to its appearance, but there is more than that. It can cause serious problems that can put your family’s health at risk. We have information on how to deal with ceiling water damage. Read on.

5 Tips in Dealing with Ceiling Water Damage Infographic