Have you ever gone downstairs in the morning, ready to start your day, just to discover what appears to be Niagara Falls-esque leak coming from your ceiling? After further inspection, you realize that the origin of the leak is coming from your bathroom. Not sure what to do from here? Don’t worry, this problem can often times be fixed without the help of a professional.
What Do Ceiling Leaks Look Like?
Ceiling leaks from upstairs bathrooms may present themselves as slowly expanding damp spots making their way across your ceiling, or they may present as continuous and steady drips. Either one is serious and demands immediate attention. Before you move on to fixing the leak, the first thing you’ll have to figure out is what’s causing the leak. Persistent leaks that have been there a long time can turn into sagging ceilings, which in turn can turn into a ceiling collapse. You could also end up dealing with a pervasive mold issue if you don’t take care of the issue right away. Check out below for some of the most common reasons for bathroom ceiling leaks.
Causes for Ceiling Leaks
There are several reasons that your ceiling could be leaking. Some of those reasons include the following:
- Your leak could be caused by a leak in your upstairs toilet. A toilet leak is usually a result of some sort of a break or defect in the seal of the wax ring that adjoins the toilet to the floor. You may not have realized it, but every time you flushed that toilet, you’d have been causing water to penetrate through the bathroom floor and into your downstairs ceiling. A fix is usually as simple as removing the commode and replacing the wax ring. If you suspect that a defective ring is the issue, flush the toilet and check to see if water leaks out at the base of the commode.
- A ceiling leak can also be caused by leaks in the water supply lines that attach to the toilet or to the sink trap. The leak may come from water seeping out at the point where the water supply lines join together, or maybe the drainpipes’ connector joints aren’t joined tightly enough. You can try and figure out where the leak is along the supply lines by touching them to see which parts are damp. If it’s simply a matter of a loose connection, you can try tightening it. You may have to replace the whole fitting if that doesn’t work. Make sure you use the correct installation method for your type of fitting.
- There could be an issue with your drainpipes. Drain pipe leaks are those that appear and disappear across your ceiling. If the drainpipe is the culprit, you’ll have to replace the fittings. When you go to your hardware store, take the damaged fittings with you so that you can be sure that you’re getting the exact same ones. Most modern drainpipes are either made with black ABS or white PVC. You’ll need to make sure that you also get the right accompanying tools needed to replace the fittings, including the specific type of glue and primer needed to reattach PVC or ABS. If you’re unclear what to do or fear you may make a bigger mess of things, contact your plumber.
Ceiling leaks are issues that should not be taken lightly or dealt with “later.” Dealing with the early on can help you and your wallet breathe sighs of relief.