How to Stop a Leak in the Ceiling:

1. Fix Leaking Gutters. Clean the gutters and downspouts.

2. Replace Missing or Damaged Shingles. Remove the damaged shingles, then replace with new, matching shingles.

3. Add Ice Dam Protection.

4. Replacing Leaking Flashing and Vents.

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Ceiling leaks can signal the presence of a larger problem lurking in the attic, roof, or upper floors. Identifying the ceiling leak, tracing it to its origin, and stopping it must all be done before repairing the ceiling.

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Signs of a Leaking Ceiling

A ceiling leak can be as obvious as water dripping from the ceiling onto the floor, or it can manifest itself in ways that are more difficult to detect: musty smells, ceiling fixtures full of water, or infestations of insects. Most ceiling leaks are persistent, not one-off or isolated problems. The leak does pass through the ceiling, but it can also continue and drip down walls.

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Bubbled Paint

Bubbled ceiling paint is often a sign of a ceiling leak. Interior latex paint is sturdy enough to hold in water, much like a balloon. So, the water passes through the ceiling drywall or plaster and is held back by the paint layer.

Dark or Rancid Water

The leaking water is often dark-colored and it will stain white or light ceilings or walls. It may smell mildewy or even rancid. Or, the water might be clear and odor-free.

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Events Causing Leaks

A leaking ceiling can often appear after it rains or snows or with activities in the home, such as flushing a toilet or taking a shower. Ceiling patches may even indicate previous ceiling leaks.

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