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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Signs of Water Damage

Signs of Water Damage

It’s important for property owners to be able to identify water damage because the signs are sometimes unnoticed or neglected. Water can be underestimated in its ability to cause major damage even by the smallest of leaks. If you haven’t noticed any obvious water damage like leaky hoses or pipes, then it’s always a good idea to check areas with the most potential for water damage. When it comes to a water damaged ceiling, there are pretty clear signs that indicate water damage.

Water Stains: 

A water stain is one of the most obvious of indicators for a water damaged ceiling. Normally these stains look “rusty” or a “brownish” color. Water stains can either suggest an ongoing leak or a previous leak. Either way, it’s always best to take the safe route and find the source of the problem so you don’t end up in a bad financial situation from costly repair bills. There are many conditions that could create water stains. Roof leaking from heavy rains, toilet overflowing from upstairs bathroom, pipes leaking, and condensation line leaking are a few causes.


Another sign of a water damaged ceiling is “swelling” or “bubbling”. When the ceiling looks like it is bulging out, it means there is an accumulation of moisture into the wood and drywall. This can be dangerous at times because if the water continually collects, the ceiling can collapse in that specific area. Some situations are as easy as poking a hole in the bubbled area and releasing excess water into a bucket on the ground. In these situations, it’s a good idea to contact a professional because finding the source of the problem and fixing it correctly will save you time and money. Also, there may be more water than expected and it could be a dangerous situation.


A water damaged ceiling can sometimes look like it’s “sweating”. The discoloration usually looks a little darker than the paint and presents itself during the beginning of a water leak. The excess moisture or humidity will creep into the ceiling and walls and will then turn into water stains, bubbling, etc. When sweating occurs, it’s a clear sign that you need to take action immediately before the problem worsens. Usually this type of water damage is associated with the HVAC system.