On what you thought was another ordinary Monday morning, you walked into your commercial building and noticed a puddle on the floor. Looking up, you found water dripping from the ceiling tiles and noticed that water spots have turned the area brown. Your mind started racing through the ramifications of these ceiling stains and the potential source of the leak…
Do you need to invest in a new roof? Where can you find an emergency plumber to address a possible burst pipe? What a way to start the week!
It’s natural to worry about worst-case scenarios, but try not to panic. While you don’t want to ignore the problem, water damage is actually quite typical among commercial properties.
Common causes can involve issues with the roof, the HVAC system, or the building’s plumbing. Any of those issues can be the culprit responsible for those dreadful brown spots, and the sooner you identify the source of the ceiling water, the sooner you can address it and get on with your business. The worst thing you can do is set a bucket under the leak and put it off, because it will lead to much more extensive damage!
What Are These Dreaded Brown Spots?
Brown spots on ceiling tiles are visible water damage, resulting from a water leak somewhere above the ceiling. The dark water stains are formed by dirt and mineral deposits left behind by the water. Other telltale signs of water damage include:
- peeling paint or caulking
- bubbling wallpaper
- spongy feeling
- bulging drywall
- sagging ceiling
- odors indicating mold or mildew
There is much more to the story than the unsightly brown spots on the surface of the ceiling. Addressing the root cause of the problem is imperative when it comes to solving the issue.
What Causes Water Stains on Ceilings?
Several factors come into play when you notice the brown spots forming on the ceiling of your commercial building. And, the source of your problem needs to be addressed before you can move forward with repairing the damage. Cosmetic cover-ups may just lead to more costly problems than the initial damage itself.
You’ll need someone to do some investigating to figure out what is actually happening on the other side!
Storm damage can be an obvious cause of roof leaks and the water spots that have presented themselves on your ceiling. (This can include severe rainstorms, heavy snowfall, strong winds and tropical storms.) Missing or damaged shingles are frequently cited as the cause of a leaky roof, as are tears in roofing membranes.
Imperfections in the roofing system or roofing materials can be prone to leak from the onset of heavy rain. And, while you may have to wait until the storm has passed to access the roof, it’s crucial to check it out as soon as possible. Keep in mind that vents and skylights in the roof can also be susceptible to allowing moisture to penetrate the roof’s surface.
A lack of drainage options can also cause water to pool on the roof, and standing water is known for its ability to seep through the roof and make its way to the ceiling below.
Leaking Pipes or HVAC Malfunction
There is a chance that a burst or leaking pipe is causing these spots to appear on the ceiling of your commercial building, as well. Especially during the winter, when pipes can be prone to freezing, it’s important to consider this as the potential source of the water.
HVAC units and systems that are not installed properly (or begin to malfunction) can cause moisture to get into the ceiling, leading to the possibility of a water-damaged ceiling.
What Can You Do About The Spots?
Routine maintenance and regular roof inspections, as well as assessments of the accompanying plumbing and HVAC systems, can help to prevent some of these issues. While this isn’t always the case (as some problems may be undetectable), proper preventive care should catch the majority of issues early.
When you discover those distressing brown spots on the ceiling, you need to take action immediately. If the cause of the water damage is related to the plumbing, you need to turn off the water as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
The sooner you take care of the underlying issue, the sooner you’ll be able to restore the ceiling and get back to business.
Be Wary of Mold Growth
Depending on the color of the spots (black, green, etc.), you may have cause for concern regarding mold growth. Mold’s distinct musty smell may also help to signify its presence, and if you notice it, you will need to check any insulation between the roof and the ceiling.
Mold is dangerous to those who are exposed to it, and the last thing you need is for someone to get sick because of it. It is important to have mold remedied by a professional as soon as possible.
Have Necessary Repairs Performed
You may need to have your commercial roof replaced if the damage is too extensive. You can get these repairs or complete roof replacement from our very own professionals at TEMA Roofing, your trusted northeast Ohio commercial roofing contractor.
Clean the Water Damaged Surface
Once the leaking area in the roof is repaired and dry, you can clean the ceiling surface that has been damaged. With a water and bleach solution, scrub the ceiling in the damaged area (if it’s plaster or drywall). Cleaning the area with bleach will help to kill any mold that may be lingering due to the water damage.
Apply Appropriate Waterproofer/Sealant
Once cleaning has been completed, you’ll want to ensure your ceiling is properly sealed or waterproofed to help prevent future damage. Prime with an oil-based paint to prevent old water marks from showing through. Once this is completed, you can repaint the area, if necessary.
Who Should You Call? TEMA Roofing Services!
At the first signs of water damage, you need to call in a professional. Commercial roof leaks can usually be easily rectified when diagnosed early. Then, the next thing to consider is a long term maintenance plan.
TEMA Roofing delivers professional, reliable commercial roof repair and replacement service throughout Akron, Youngstown and all of northeast Ohio. We are proud to be the commercial roofing company that is fully prepared to handle all of your roofing system needs!
Contact TEMA Roofing Services today to schedule a consultation for your commercial roof repair. You can also request services or a job estimate, and we offer 24-hour emergency repairs for roofing crises.