From mold to rot, the accumulation of water on the roof or ceiling can cause a lot of damage to the house. Therefore, it can be a great concern for homeowners if their ceiling shows signs of sustaining water damage, especially during winters.
Once it has been established that the ceiling has water damage, homeowners should start making temporary fixes and contact a local restoration management company to get their ceiling checked out. To check whether a ceiling was exposed to prolonged water accumulation, here are some signs homeowners should watch out for.
1. Rusty Stains and Watermarks
One of the most common signs of water damage on roofs and ceilings is visible browns and rusty stains on it and any other kind of watermarks. The watermarks usually appear as yellowish or brownish stains. These kinds of stains are usually seen on attics or near vents. It depicts that there is or has been some leak in the ceiling which has caused the water to accumulate for a considerable amount of time.
2. Swollen Ceilings and Walls
An obvious sign of water leaks in ceilings is swollen or sagging ceilings. Drywall ceilings get heavy from the additional weight of the water, which seeps into the ceiling material. Gradually, it sags down because of the weight, forming a deflated balloon-like structure.
In case of severe water damage, this type of swollen ceiling can become a safety hazard where it can collapse and fall at any moment. Therefore, it would be advisable to call a proficient restoration management company immediately. This type of ceiling can be dangerous to deal with independently without proper knowledge or expertise.
3. Water Droplets on Walls
This is one of the initial signs where the water is just starting to damage the ceiling. This happens before all the watermarks, lumpy swollen ceilings, and formation of mold. The leak will cause excess moisture in the ceiling, condense around it and form water droplets on the ceiling.
These water droplets often look like the ceiling is ‘sweating’. Homeowners often fail to notice this sweating on their ceilings and walls unless the droplets clump together and drip down on them. These droplets indicate that there has been some leak which has to be repaired in time before it aggravates even more.
4. Unpleasant Odour
If a house or a particular room smells earthy and musty, it is generally due to water damage. The water starts to sit in for a long period, leading to mould formation within the walls and ceilings, resulting in this kind of smell. When such a mouldy smell is found in a room, the homeowner should look for viable signs of water damage and get it checked out by a professional at the earliest.
5. Wallpapers or Baseboards Separating from the wall
A subtle sign of water damage that many homeowners overlook is the decorative coverings on the walls and ceilings separating. When excessive moisture accumulates in an area, the adhesive on the wallpapers or baseboards gets lost and starts coming off the walls and ceilings.
The wallpapers will either start peeling from the ends of the wall, or noticeable swelling will appear within them. At the same time, small swellings can be caused by trapped air in small pockets, which is a direct result of improper sticking of the wallp[apers, bigger swells are usually due to water leaks.
6. Visible Mold
One of the most common and dangerous signs and effects of water damage is the formation of mold on ceilings and walls. Mould cannot grow without adequate water, which suggests obvious water damage in a room where mould is seen. The spores of most kinds of moulds get dispersed by air and thus can reach every nook and cranny of a house once it starts growing.
Moreover, most fungi that grow due to water damage in ceilings are hazardous to health and must be removed immediately. If a room or house has sustained water damage, it takes as little as 48 hours for mould to start growing. Hence, it is best to get the next discoloured spot one finds in their house checked by a professional; who can suggest if it’s mould or not.
How To Restore Ceilings From Water Damage
Once a leak has been identified, the homeowner must act quickly to prevent any further damage to the ceiling. Here are some tips that can be followed:
- Minimize Further Damage:Furniture and valuables kept near the place of the leak must be removed, and plastic or tarp must be spread across the floor, directly underneath the leak. A bucket can be kept to collect the dripping water. If the homeowner suspects that water has pooled, a small hole can be drilled at the exact spot of the drip. If done right, a steady stream of the pooled water will flow, minimizing further roof damage.
- Fix the Leak:If the point of leak is obvious, like a loose bolt in pipes, the homeowner can quickly repair it to prevent future leaks. A plumber can be contacted if the cause of the leak cannot be identified.
- Let it Dry: The roof should be left to dry completely before repairing it. After drying, the damaged material must be scraped off to make the surface clean for new repairs.
- Repair the Roofing: If the damaged area were small, a little bit of cement on the roof shingle would probably do the trick. However, for severe damages, it is best to call a professional from a restoration management company who will identify the extent of damage and suggest a repair according to it.
Water damages in ceilings are silent and deadly. However, once the damage starts, it can quickly take over the entire ceiling and spread across multiple rooms. Therefore, it is best to keep an eye out for visible signs of damage to catch it in its early stages and prevent severe damages.