Ceiling leak- help!!

What's the best way of locating the source of a small leak in the ceiling of an interior wall. There is a floor above that has a radiator but there doesn't seem to be any water coming from the radiator. The heating system is off.
q ceiling leak
  7 answers
  • Karen V Karen V on Jul 27, 2017
    Water is tricky to locate at times because it can start at one location and head to another. If you are sure it is not the radiator, it might be from a bathroom, or may even be from the roof. At times a bad window seal will allow water to run in as well... Good luck!

  • William William on Jul 27, 2017
    Could be the pipes from the radiator where they go in the floor or wall. I would cut some small inspection holes in the ceiling and look inside with a flashlight and small mirror. Good luck.

    • Peter Clark Peter Clark on Jul 28, 2017
      Easier than that, take up one or two floorboards where the radiator pipes are, you get a much better view of what's going on. Also, check internal wall surfaces for damp, cavity wall bridging often contributes to this kind of problem.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 27, 2017
    I'm not sure its a water leak cause it doesn't have the tell tale brown stain around those marks. It could be condensation. Was this room heated or did the heat get turned off in this room? If the heat had been off in this room, and the floor above was warm the excess moisture could have come from condensation. I would skim coat with joint compound, sand, prime and paint. See if it comes back, but this winter consider a dehumidifier and keep heat on real low but not off.
    If you do that and it comes back, I would suspect you have a very slow radiator line leak, I would open up an exploratory hole to shine a light and figure out where its leaking. You can do the ceiling or if you have wood floor above, pull up some of the boards and inspect the joists around windows and the radiator.

  • Iris Byrne Iris Byrne on Jul 28, 2017
    Some plumbers have like an xray machine that will tell you exactly where the leak is.

  • MadameRã MadameRã on Jul 28, 2017
    I have dealt with all types of properties with leaky roof syndrome"; i call it this as the reality is that water moves & sits in strange places,& the fact there only needs to be a slight angle variation & water will crawl to the one spot.
    *Unless you own a Herritage listed property; which means you CAN NOT investigate yourself, by laws you must have a certified inspector... I would start by actually aiming to track where the water is coming from,& dont rule out the radiator just because it appears dry where its sitting.. Refer to what was said about a slight angle which will create shifts, sometimes with a seemingly obvious area however,if the radiator is on any slight angle, it is possible that drips are falling on the angle too thus a build up forms away from it.
    To do some simple checks, use Red thick face towel papers, & with sticky tape place a few in all the entire corner area/s; though first dryout as much with a good hair dryer, thus be careful if using a ladder/or chair, as you will have to get close to dry as much of the sealing.
    Keep a good eye on the area over a few days// any small drops that usually cant be seen will show up on the colour red in no time. Look around closely the areas where the small drops are coming from & be aware that the problem is likely to be around that area,& Not where it looks like the most water sits.
    I feel its extremely important to check radiators with a fine tooth comb' as much cannot always be seen from these appliances.. If you do find something is suspected from there then use a correct putty to seal all possible areas... If its a roof matter, no matter how good you believe you can fix the job, in my experience its best to call the right people, as again it becomes harder to determine exactly where, all due to angles.... Water is dangerous for a plethera of reasons, thus with the correct persons then you will get gaurantees with the job & in the long run costing you far less than aiming to do ones own tecniques that are more than likely going to create further damage.
    *If windows are near by then they ought to be checked also.

  • William William on Jul 28, 2017
    Peter Clark, Good tip BUT..... "doesn't seem to be any water coming from the radiator". Leak may not be anywhere near the radiator. Accidental damage to floorboards may occur when trying to remove them. Patching a ceiling is easier. Also repair may require removal of the ceiling area anyway.

  • Bns25562871 Bns25562871 on Jul 28, 2017
    The last time I had that problem the repairman told me that water will follow an electrical wire or a pipe so you might want to check on that.