Leaking Ceiling Repair
“Hey, there’s a yellow stain on the ceiling of our building!”
Unless it’s a mustard stain from the last company food fight, then it’s never good to notice a yellow stain on your ceiling. Especially if the yellow stain has black mixed in with it. The stain may only be the size of a dime or it could be quite large. In either case, you should have commercial roofer take a closer look to determine the cause of the stain.
Most yellow stains will likely lead you to the fact that you have a water leak somewhere above the sheetrock or drop ceiling. It may be caused form a thunder storm that has damaged your flat roof, or it may be a plumbing leak. At any rate, the water has been able to penetrate through the ceiling and cause a water stain. If it has a black color mixed in with it, you may have mold growing in the area that has been wet, or may still be wet. That’s not good and should be addressed as soon as possible.
In order to find the reason for what caused the leak you will probably have to take a look around in air space between the drop ceiling and the bottom of the roof. Using a bright flashlight you can often spot where the water has entered from the roof by the water stain left on the framing, insulation, or rafters and where it may have dripped down onto the ceiling tiles or sheetrock. Sometimes, you may have to do a little detective work because water can run downward from its point of origin.
You can also take a water hose onto the roof above where you believe the leak to be and let the water from the hose run down the roof to re-create the effect of running water from a thunder storm. It will take two people to run this test, one on the roof with the water hose and the other inside the drop space looking for the place where the water is coming in. It may be one or more flashings that need to be replaced, or water is getting in through HVAC mountings, or you might have a section of the roof that needs to be replaced. Honestly, there are many places where water can get in on a flat roof.
Whatever the cause of the problem, it must be taken care of as quickly as possible, especially if you see black stains near the leak.
We have addressed the actual repair of the roof, its structure, and the materials used to construct a quality roof system, but we haven’t talked about interior repair. Even when you get the flat roof fixed, what about the stains on your sheetrock ceiling?
If the stains are very small and no signs of mold, a sealer such as KILZ, may be used to seal the area and then repaint. If there “are” signs of mold then the drop ceiling panels or sheetrock should be removed along with the insulation above it and new sheetrock and insulation replaced. Tape and bed the joints of the new sheetrock, match texture as needed, and paint. Though the scenarios of repair may vary, the basics are the same when repairing damaged sheetrock.