One of the most common home inspection concerns for home buyers is ceiling stains. Surprisingly, ceiling stains can go unnoticed for days, weeks and even years. If a stain is wet, most homeowners will be able to trace down the source of the moisture. When a stain is dry, the conditions that caused the staining to occur are no longer present, but might return next time it rains, etc.
While it’s not always possible to determine exactly what caused a ceiling stain, the location of the stain will often give away what caused the stain. When a homeowner finds a stain below a plumbing fixture, obviously the fixture above should be thoroughly tested, and then the stain should be checked again. If you have a vaulted ceiling with moisture staining, chances are pretty good it’s not a plumbing leak. Other types of ceiling stains that are quite easily identified:
Caused by condensation, this is quite common in humid Georgia. When a bathroom exhaust fan is connected to an uninsulated duct that runs through the attic space and doesn’t make an airtight connection to a proper roof cap, the moisture that’s supposed to exhaust to the exterior condenses inside the duct. Eventually it drains down to the bottom of the duct and then leaks on the ceiling next to the fan. Harper Special Service will fix the exhaust problem and then fix the ceiling.
To determine if an attic experiences condensation problems, the team will take a close look at the nail heads; if they’re rusty and there are stains on the roof sheathing around nail heads, it’s a condensation issue. Painting the ceiling will only hide the problem until next