It’s one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares – a water spot on the ceiling. Or, worse, water leaking from the ceiling. Either issue can cause drywall and structural damage, mold growth, and damage to your possessions if the leak becomes major.

While your immediate inclination may be to call your friendly neighborhood plumber, there may be other factors at work. In our most recent blog, the plumbers at Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric offer up some reasons why water can come through the ceiling that are both related to plumbing and NOT related to plumbing issues. For all of your plumbing needs in your Chicago North Shore or Chicago Northwest suburbs house, contact Ravinia Plumbing today.

Common Reasons Your Ceiling Is Leaking Due to Rain or Snow

  1. If a water leak is coming through your ceiling during heavy rain, the problem may be with your roof, or blocked gutters.
  2. Similarly, water can freeze and get under the roof during the winter and can cause moisture, spotting, and ceiling leaks when the ice melts.
  3. Snow can also blow through a ridge vent (a vent installed at the peak of a sloped roof that allows warm, humid air to escape a building’s attic) during a heavy snowstorm and, once it melts, can cause spots and water leaks.
  4. While water that comes through a ceiling after a rain shower can be the result of a plumbing leak, it can also be the result of missing grout or caulk, or a poor seal on a shower door.

How to Determine the Cause of Your Ceiling Leak

Of course, there is the real possibility that the leak is due to a plumbing problem, such as a leaky toilet, sink or shower, or a bad water or drain pipe. Here are some things you can do to determine the cause of the leak:

  1. If the ceiling leak only occurs during bad weather, or the winter, the problem could be with the roof or gutters. You can check the gutters yourself and have a roofing professional inspect the roof. Leaks that occur in all types of weather may not be related to the roof.
  2. Check the water. If it is dirty or stains the ceiling, that is another indication there might be a roof leak. Clean or fresh water suggests a leaking plumbing line or fixture.

Leaks Coming from the Bathroom

What if the leak is coming from your bathroom? The only absolute way to determine the source of the leak is to open the ceiling and run each fixture individually until you determine the leak source. If you don’t want to open the ceiling, you can try the following:

  1. Check the exposed supply piping to the lavatory faucet and the toilet.
  2. Two-piece toilets will have a gasket between the tank and bowl. Check the tank to bowl seal for water leaks.
  3. The connection between the toilet and floor is sealed by a wax ring. If the wax ring wears out, or if the toilet rocks on the floor, it can cause water to leak onto the bathroom floor or straight through to the ceiling below when the toilet is flushed.
  4. If the leak occurs only when you are using one particular fixture, the drain line serving that fixture may be compromised. You can test this by only using the toilet in that bathroom for a few days, followed by only using the faucet for a few days, etc. to help determine which fixture is the culprit.
  5. The easiest way to check for a leak from grout, caulk or seal around the shower door is to use a hand spray to spray water all over the interior surfaces of the shower and the shower door. If you lack the expertise, call a tile company or a shower door company for these repairs.
  6. If the leak continues long after you have run any water, it may be from a water pipe that is leaking.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric to Repair Plumbing Leaks

If you notice a leak coming from your ceiling or a water spot, contact the professional plumbers at Ravinia Plumbing. We can diagnose the leak and make the appropriate repair to limit the damage. Call Ravinia Plumbing today to request plumbing service in Chicago’s North Shore or Chicago’s Northwest suburbs.