Your HVAC Could Be To Blame for the Leak in Your Ceiling – Cary HVAC

Even though the Coronavirus has forced many of us to stay at home these past few months, it's completely possible that something as obvious as a leak in your ceiling could go unnoticed for days or weeks until it becomes a serious problem that you can't ignore. While there are a number of explanations as to why your ceiling might be leaking, it could very well be your HVAC system. Today we'll discuss that leak in your ceiling, how to determine the cause, and when to call your Cary HVAC technician.

leak in ceiling Cary HVAC

We recently heard from a customer who returned from Universal and found a tremendous leak in her ceiling. Before coming out to investigate, we asked a few simple questions. You should ask these same questions.

  1. Where is the leak? Is it below a bathroom or water source?
  2. Is the spot actively leaking?
  3. How long has the leak in your ceiling (or spot) been there?
  4. Is the leak in your ceiling growing in size?
  5. If the leak in your ceiling has been there for some time, has the color changed at all over time?
  6. Do you have any speculations about what the leak in your ceiling could be?

Water stains on your ceiling are often the source of a problem with your roof (such as rotting, blistering, flashing, curling, buckling and missing shingles). If you've been living in your home for a long period of time (10+ years), it's completely possible that your roof is the culprit. As such, you may want to address your roof problem before you start patching drywall.

However, the leak in your ceiling could just as easily be your Cary HVAC, so let's take a step back.

How do you determine where the leak in your ceiling is coming from? 

If you're not sure where to start, we find that the best way to diagnose the problem is to find the source of the water first. Easier said than done, right?

Signs that the leak in your ceiling could be a roofing problem:

If you actively have water dripping from the ceiling in an area directly below an attic space or directly below the roof surface itself, and the leak occurs during or shortly following a rainstorm, then your roof could be to blame.

Another sign that your roof is the problem is if the water dripping from your ceiling is brown or dirty since any water that would be hitting your roof is also picking up dirt and debris along the way.

While we don't typically deal with particularly cold winters, it's worth mentioning that the leak in your ceiling could also be a result of a leaky roof if you've just experienced a snow/ice storm and ice has built up along the eaves of your home. That water can get backed up and then start leaking along the edge of your roof which can then carry over to your ceiling.

Before calling a roofing contractor, you may want to check your attic for damp or soggy insulation. Look for any areas of your insulation that may show signs of wetness. Look over the entire space (not just the area directly above the leak) because water travels. If you see an area that is damp, pull it back and examine the drywall or plaster underneath.

Signs that the leak in your ceiling could be a plumbing problem:

While many a leak in the ceiling is the result of roofing problems, it's also possible that you have a plumbing problem, especially if the leak occurs just below a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.

Unlike water that may be coming from your roof, water leaking from a plumbing feature is often clear and steady. Consider how a sink, bathtub, shower, washing machine, dishwasher, or a toilet works. If it's running, that water will steadily drip until the problem is addressed (incentive to fix that toilet that always seems to run, right?).

Signs that the leak in your ceiling could be an HVAC problem:

If you've ruled out your roof or plumbing fixtures as the source of the leak in your ceiling, then it very well could be your HVAC equipment. A clogged condensation drain line in your air conditioner is a very common leaking point and can cause quite a stain. If the condensation drain line is filled with dust, dirt, sludge, or even mold, the water can back up. Depending on where your HVAC equipment is, that build up can begin to leak.

If your Cary HVAC is to blame, turn off your system and call Choice HVAC in Cary to schedule an appointment immediately. A leak in your ceiling can lead to mold, which can cause serious health problems, so don't leave this problem alone. Let us help you get to the source of the problem.

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