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Ceiling dark spots - possible leak?

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by amatos, 12 Jul 2016.

  1. amatos

    amatos

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    Hi everyone,

    The painting in one of my bathrooms started flaking and developing dark spots (I'm attaching a picture). It's on the corner just above the shower.

    I can see that the previous owner painted at least once on top before (I've only moved recently) so it must be a recurring problem. Could this be purely due to condensation and humidity or is it possible I have a leak somewhere? I have another bathroom on the next floor just above this and wondering if that's the cause.

    I don't really know much about this so I appreciate the advice. Thanks for the help.

    bathroomceiling.JPG
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    the yellow mark is a leak. Get up in the loft with a torch.
     
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  4. Nozzle

    Nozzle

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    My money is on sodden plasterboard from the use of the shower, rather than anything from above. Is there much splashback from the shower? Damp proof paints can only offer so much protection.

    Nozzle
     
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  5. amatos

    amatos

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    I've got another floor with an on-suite bathroom above. Is there any easy way to confirm it's a leak?
     
  6. amatos

    amatos

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    There's a bit of splash back from the shower on the walls around but not on that corner as the ceiling is fairly high. But I'll confirm tomorrow.
     
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  8. misterhelpful

    misterhelpful

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    Is it a shower in the en-suite or a bath?
    If it's a bath, you could remove the bath panel and check all the pipework underneath for leaks, which is what my money would be on because the brown marks look like water has followed a path, rather than being absorbed into the plaster/boards. If you have a shower above, it will be more difficult to check for leaks under the tray, meaning a nearby floorboard may need to be lifted to check for evidence of water
    Obviously, there could be a leak from associated WC or basin in the upper bathroom as well, or even central heating pipework, so all possibilities should be checked - even just loose/poor silicone around the edge of a bath or shower can allow water to get under it and work it's way down to the floor/ceiling.
     
  9. amatos

    amatos

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    I've got a shower on the en-suite above. This sounds like it's way above my limited DIY skills and I'll need to hire someone. Any ideas on how long it will take to find and fix something like this? Appreciate all the help so far, many thanks to everyone.
     
  10. misterhelpful

    misterhelpful

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    I'm afraid that begs the question: How long is a piece of string?

    It shouldn't really take too long for someone who knows what they are doing, but it will all depend on how easy access is to all of the possible sources of the cause. If you could work out roughly where the leak could be from, i.e., what is directly above the stain, you may be able to narrow down the sources a great deal. It is usually a waste pipe compression joint that is the first suspect, followed by a tap connector. Copper joints are usually pretty solid, unless there is excess movement in the pipes, but there is also the possibility of a copper pipe (or plastic these days) being pierced by something during other work or, over time, from something constantly rubbing/pressing against it.

    That said, it is still possible that excessive condensation or water splash-back is the cause, although the image suggests to me that the water is stopping at a joint in the ceiling boards and working it's way through from above.
     
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  11. amatos

    amatos

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    Yes, of course. Many thanks for everyone's help. I'll grab someone to check.
     
  12. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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