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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What is that Stain on the ceiling?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is that Stain on the ceiling? Big or small, water stains can lead to mold if not properly inspected.

You’ve likely seen a brown sport or a yellow stain on ceiling drywall somewhere, like a living room ceiling. These yellow stains with light brownish borders are water spots, which are often caused by a roof or pipe leak above the ceiling where the spot is located.

Many DIY websites advice you to find and fix the cause of the leak and then apply latex paint on the spot on the ceiling to cover up the stain.  

But you also need to check for moisture! If you have a water damage and don’t properly dry the area it affected, you are setting up an environment ready for mold growth.

Moisture Leads to Mold in Attic

Since we tend to see these water stains on a ceiling, we tend to spot the area of trouble coming from the attic. Some homeowners and commercial property managers that have called us have followed DIY advice websites but forgot to check for moisture. What this means is simply that they didn’t properly dry their attic after finding a water damage, which many times is caused by a roof leak. The result was an attic space that remained dark, warm, and humid. In other words, the attic became a prime spot for different types of mold growth.

The problem of indoor humidity is also common in places where hot water is used. For example, bathrooms where a hot shower is run at least once a day are prime spots for moisture problems. A simple solution is to turn on the exhaust fan after running hot water. This lets the humidity leave the room which will help with possible mold growth.

Underestimating the Water Damage Restoration Process

Many people underestimate the water damage restoration process, and we can understand why.  On the surface, it all looks simple enough. Extract the water, set down drying equipment, and you’re done. However, there is science behind the decisions made by professional water damage restoration companies.

For us at SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield, every decision is data driven. Our technicians use a sophisticated program that uses psychometric measurements and principles to set just the right amount of drying equipment. We’re also trained to place that equipment in the correct places to maximize the efficiency of our professional machines. Finally, we visit every water damaged property every day to monitor atmospheric readings that tell us how well the drying process is going and if we need to make any changes.

What If I See a Water Spot on My Ceiling?

Don’t wait to get it taken care. Since the spot is a symptom of a problem in the space above it, delaying getting it fixed may result in further damage to your property.  

SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield is a full service provider. If you find a water spot, we’ll do the following:

  1. Find the source of the leak and get it fixed.  

The leak will likely be from a slowly leaking pipe or small roof damage. In the case of roof damage, we will install an emergency roof tarp to prevent other types of weather from entering your home. Our reconstruction team can give you a bid to permanently fix your roof, or we can work directly with your insurance company to process your roof damage claim.

  1. Check for wet structure and materials in your attic.  

We will inspect your attic and find all the wet spots. Our team of technicians will set up the right professional equipment to start the drying process. We will monitor the equipment and atmospheric readings of your attic every day until we know its been dried to goal.

Any insulation that is wet will have to be removed. We will bag it and vacuum the area to get the space ready for new, dry insulation.

If we find that any material has been permanently damaged due to the water damage, it will be removed and replaced. It’s especially important to replace structural elements a home needs to stay stable like cross beams. Our reconstruction team will get involved if any rebuild needs to happen.

  1. Perform a mold inspection and, if needed, mold remediation.

If we find a mold problem in your attic,  we will begin mold remediation steps. Small or large, we have handled both situations hundreds of times for all kinds of mold, and we will walk you through it every step of the way.

  1. Inspect your ceiling.

If your ceiling is intact, dry, and safe, it’s okay to leave it as is. If you’d like it repainted to match the rest of your ceiling, this can easily be scheduled.  

If your ceiling has suffered permanent damage, we will cut out the damaged portion and dispose of it. A temporary ceiling cover will be placed to protect the room from the work happening in the attic. The damaged portion can be rebuilt by our reconstruction team and painted to look at like the rest of the ceiling.  

Filing an Insurance Claim

If you choose to file an insurance claim, we’ll be there to help. We routinely work with every insurance company to process our customer’s claims.  

Once you receive a claim number, the administrator assigned to your file will make contact with your insurance adjuster and begin the paperwork. We will send your adjuster daily updates and documentation of the work being performed. If you ever have any questions about your claim, your administrator will be ready to help.

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