Springtime showers bring flower and water stains on your ceiling.  

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the spring thaw, rain storms, and not being knee deep in snow.  However all that rain can bring visible signs of roof leaks or other unpleasant water damage. This time let’s talk about those pesky water stains on the ceilings.

Yeah, water stains, nothing sexy about those.

Water staining is the first obvious sign that there is a problem…. somewhere.  You will need to do a bit of detective work to find out what is going on and where this mysterious water is coming from.  You don’t need to do your best Sherlock impression in order to rule out the most common culperates.

If you have a floor above the stain, start there. This could be a leaky radiator or a bathroom issue.  If you don’t have a floor above, then we have to start looking at the roof and flashing as primary suspects.

Fixing the problem might not be too bad….

Now you need to recognize you MAY be able to fix this, or…. You may make it a LOT worse.  For example, if you realize your upstairs tub needs to be re-caulked, and you are handy with those contractor grade tubes of toothpaste, then you should be able to fix this yourself.  

If you see you have loose shingles and aren’t good on a ladder…. Please call the professionals, it’s what we do!

You gotta get the problem fixed, then you can get rid of the stain!

So let’s say you located and solved the mystery stain source…. Good on you!  Kudos! But now you have a stain on the ceiling and its gotta go. Well you can’t just paint over it.  

I know, I am making this difficult, sorry.  But you want to do this once, right? Not 15 times TRYING to get rid of the ceiling stigmata.

PRIMER- you need it.  

You will need to use primer, and not just any stuff, you need the good (expensive) stuff made to cover mold, mildew, and stains.  Don’t even think about going forward till you have primed the water stain. If you try and just paint over it the minerals from the water will just seep into plain paint, meaning you get that delightful “now you don’t see me…. Now you do” effect when dry.  

That stain is gonna stick unless you prime it!

Once Primed, then you can paint it.  Use ceiling paint, it really is different than wall paint.  It’s made to be thicker and dry flatter to help hide imperfections in ceilings.  I would recommend 2 coats to really cover the primer which will inevitably be a few shades lighter or darker than your existing ceiling.  If your OCD refuses to let it be, then you might have to paint the full room ceiling, but if you match your ceiling paint correctly then only an eagle-eyed detective might see the paint lines.

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to water stains!

A leak won’t magically go away no matter how hard you wish for it.  Its gonna come back and do more damage over time. It is better to find out what is going on now, then to end up with a major problem later.  I mean replacing a couple of shingles is much better then needing a whole new roof! So pay attention to those water stains, they are your home telling you something.  


About the Author:

This article was brought to you by Struck and Sons Inc, Property Damage Specialists.  Please always use caution when dealing with any hazardous situation.  Things can be replaced, people can’t. Always err on the side of caution and call 911.  

Visit us online at www.StruckandSons.com