Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Water Stains on Your Ceiling

By Robert Lear posted 03-28-2020 02:53 PM


Staring at the ceiling is a familiar pastime for anyone who struggles to get to sleep. In the time you spend staring at your ceiling while you wait for sleep to take you off to a more peaceful world, you may notice some stains on the ceiling.

Yellowish or brownish stains that are rounded and often accompanied by cracked or peeling paint should not be ignored. These stains are a sure sign of water damage and can indicate more serious problems. Ignoring water stains can lead to bigger issues, including damaging the house’s structure and affecting the air quality inside the house.

Water damage

Water leaks are dangerous. Not only does it lead to water damage on the surface, but it also opens up opportunity for mold and mildew to settle in. Mold and mildew are made of fibrous spores that can become airborne very easily. These airborne spores can be inhaled and settle in your lungs, resulting in a variety of illnesses that may be difficult to treat.

Further, water damage also weakens the underlying structure and can deteriorate protective finishes. When these finishes are destroyed, the products may become susceptible to insect activity or fire. It is essential to reduce and eradicate water damage as soon as possible.

Roof collapse

Austin roofing companies advise that you address these ceiling stains as soon as you notice them. While the stain you see on your ceiling may be small, it can spread very quickly. In addition, the stain appears after months of water leaking onto that spot. Since most house trusses are made of wood, the water may lead to a dangerous outcome.

Wet wood is often very soft. As a result, mold and mildew set in and the softwood attracts wood-eating insects like termites. When this happens, the structural integrity of the roof trusses is compromised and you run the risk of roof collapse.

Structural damage

Roof trusses may bear the brunt of the water damage, but the increased weight might compromise the entire housing structure. When the wood in roof trusses absorbs the water, the weight of the roof increases significantly. This additional weight places strain on the structural beams throughout the house, and may lead to them becoming weaker.

Besides, the extra strain on the structural beams also results in other, weaker beams taking on additional pressure. Non-structural house beams are not designed to carry excessive loads, and this may lead to entire house collapse or permanent structural damage.

Roof replacement

If you manage to avoid entire roof collapse or permanent structural damage, one of the most expensive outcomes of water stains is roof replacement. When you notice a water stain, you need to address the root cause. Simply painting over the stain does not fix the problem.

Call in a roof inspector who can check the integrity of your roof. While your roof may be new or made from highly durable materials, it is possible that it has been damaged by bad weather or other acts of nature. 

Replacing a few tiles or shingles may be a small price to pay. However, ignoring the water stains for an extended period of time may result in the entire roof needing replacement.

Incurring greater expense later on

The longer a water stain is ignored, the greater the damage. The water stain you see on your ceiling might not seem serious, but you need to consider how long it would take to create such a stain.

Leaving a stain until things look like they’re about to collapse could cost you thousands of dollars to repair. Alternatively, addressing the stain as soon as it becomes noticeable could require replacing one or two roof tiles and a new paint job – a few hundred dollars of repair.

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