Common Causes of Ceiling Damage

As a homeowner, keeping up with your home maintenance can be tricky. This is especially true if you are unsure where damage in your home has come from, or how to look for the warning signs of this damage in the first place.

Cracks, stains, or dropping in your ceiling can be particularly frustrating. This is because we are often unaware of what is causing these problems.

Our quick guide on the common causes of ceiling damage will help you to get the upper hand on understanding just where these problems originate, and what signs to look out for when assessing your home for ceiling damage.

5 Common Causes Of Ceiling Damage

Water Leaks

Water leaks are one of the most common causes of ceiling damage and can have a number of different causes. For example, they can be caused by anything from cracked or burst pipes to damaged roofs with leaks, clogged gutters, or even worn or missing shingles.

If your ceiling has fallen victim to water damage caused by leaks, you will typically notice peeling paint, sagging, and water stains. These tell-tale signs usually mean it’s time to call in a professional to clean and repair your ceilings.


Similar to water damage caused by leaking, moisture is another one of the biggest and most common causes of ceiling damage in homes.

Having too much moisture in your home is a direct result of high humidity levels in a particular room. This is especially true for rooms that are prone to holding onto high humidity levels like your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.

Excess moisture in your home can also lead to mould stains on your ceiling, which you can easily avoid through the use of exhaust fans or dehumidifiers. In fact, all rooms that are prone to humidity in your home should have an exhaust or extractor fan installed to mitigate the negative effects of any excess moisture.


As your home ages, you may notice that its walls and ceilings will begin to crack. These cracks are usually not severe and will present themselves as small hairline cracks.

Hairline cracks are hardly ever a cause for concern, and you can easily plaster over the cracks to maintain your home’s aesthetics. But, if you notice that the cracks start to spread or become larger, this may present a bigger problem to your home.

If the cracks in your ceiling are growing, call a professional as soon as you can to arrange repairs and avoid any further damage the cracks may potentially cause in the future.

Structural Damage

While settling cracks are commonplace for an older home, full-length cracks in your ceiling may indicate that your home is shifting or is settling incorrectly.

If you discover that your ceiling is sagging or drooping, the joists may no longer be sturdy enough to support the weight of your ceiling and should prompt a thorough inspection by a professional restoration contractor.

Faulty Air Conditioning Units

When the temperature starts to rise, it’s only natural to want to start switching on your air conditioning units as often as possible. However, overuse of these units can cause faults and potential damage to your home.

This damage is caused by the condensation that builds up when you use your air conditioning and, just like the moisture caused by high levels of humidity, this condensation can cause staining and other potential problems.

Air conditioning units are also susceptible to clogged drain pipes, which can wreak havoc on your ceiling. So, if you notice ceiling damage around your air conditioning unit, you should call a professional as quickly as possible to unclog the unit and repair any blemishes in your ceiling.

Signs Of Ceiling Damage

Knowing the most common causes of ceiling damage in your home isn’t enough to keep your home in tip-top shape. You need to be able to spot and recognise the signs of ceiling damage. This will help you pick up on these problems earlier on and save you from potential time-consuming and expensive repairs to your home.


Mould is a tell-tale sign that your home has a moisture problem. If you have discovered green or black spots on your ceiling, it is highly likely that you have a mould infestation.

Because mould can create health complications for those living in the home, you should contact a mould removal specialist as soon as possible. You can also consider installing exhaust or extractor fans or even dehumidifiers in the affected rooms.

Brown Spots

Brown spots or patches on your ceiling is a clear indicator of water damage. You may notice that these spots will spread or become darker over time.


If you notice small hairline or spiderweb-like cracks in your ceiling, there is no immediate cause for concern. But, if the cracks begin to grow or spread, you should contact a professional restoration contractor as soon as possible.

Sagging Ceilings

Ceilings are meant to be straight and level. If you have noticed that your ceilings have begun to sag, droop, or dip in any areas of your home, you will need to rectify the problem as quickly as you can. The sagging is often caused by excess water in your home that is putting pressure on your ceiling.

Cracked Or Peeling Paint

Water damage can be recognized by splitting, chipping, or crumbling paint. Similarly, if there is too much moisture in the air, you may notice that the paint will flake or create bubbles in the affected room.


If you have identified the signs or any of the common causes of ceiling damage in your home, there is unfortunately almost no way to undo the damage on your own. Damage to your ceiling has the potential to extend to other areas of your home and cause considerable damage.

So, the best way to determine the extent of your damage is to hire a damage restoration professional. The specialist will then examine your ceiling and roof to see if the damage is minor or extensive and they will determine the best way to fix the problem.

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