Your friends always compliment you on how clean and beautiful your Atlanta home is. Then, one day, a guest points out a few light brown water stains on your family room's ceiling.
Your embarrassment is soon overtaken by thoughts of concern. You wonder how you missed seeing them, how long the stains have been there, and what you can do about them.
But the question you should be asking is "Where did these spots come from?" Repairing and repainting your ceiling should be a second thought behind finding the source of the water. If you don't redirect or stop the water from flowing, you'll be seeing spots again in no time.
To help solve your ceiling stain mystery, take a quick look at the information below.
It Might Not Be A Roof Leak
Before you blame a leaky roof for your woes, you should eliminate the other common sources of water damage that reside under your Atlanta roof.
In multi-story homes, there are many items that can be linked to ceiling stains and water spots. Most of these are found in upstairs bathrooms and utility rooms. Old, cracked or simply poorly applied caulking around tubs or showers is a common source of leaking water. The plumbing attached to toilets, faucets, sinks and washing machines can also be a source of leaks.
Another item that most people don't associate with water damage is your air conditioner's air handler. If your air handler is located in your attic, it has drain plumbing to route condensed water from its evaporator (cooling) coils down and out of your home.
If this drain plumbing was installed improperly, is blocked or cracked, you can get water dripping onto your ceiling below, with ceiling spots soon to follow.
Last, but not least, don't rule out your kids. Everyone knows kids love to play with water. Sometimes their fun gets outside of the tub or sink, and sometimes, they just flat out forget to turn off the water.
Is Your Atlanta Roof Leaking?
If you're sure the kids, the machines and the plumbing are innocent, then the next suspect in your lineup should be your Atlanta roof. If your roof is old, or its builder was not conscientious, there are many places on your roof where water may be finding a way into your home.
Curled, cracked, damaged or poorly installed shingles can open the gates for water to get below your roof deck and into your attic. Once water is in the attic, those brown, tan and yellow ceiling stains are sure to follow.
Roof penetrations are also favored entry points for water. Vents and chimneys require roof openings or cut-outs. Although flashing should be installed around these roof penetrations to prevent water from seeping below the shingles, flashing can get damaged or break loose, especially if it was improperly installed. If this happens, water will eventually find its way down into your home.
It's a good idea to hire a professional roofing contractor to find and repair leaks in your roof. All or part of the cost may even be covered by your roof's warranty, depending on its specific terms.
Another benefit of using a professional roofer for leak detection is that they know what to look for and where to look. Some roof leaks can be hard to find for an experienced roofer, and even more difficult for an inexperienced homeowner.
Why Is The Roof Leak So Far Away From the Ceiling Stain?
Eureka! Your Atlanta roofer says he has found the problem! But why is the roof leak he found so far away from the ceiling stain your friend discovered?
Once water penetrates a roof deck, it may run down the slope of the deck and the rafters. The trail of water may run for several feet before it forms a drop that is heavy enough to fall onto your ceiling and start the dreaded water stain.