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What might have caused this ceiling stain?

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What might have caused this ceiling stain?

A few days ago a stain has appeaed in our dinning room

It has an unusual shape and colour.

White ceiling, stain is darker than photos show.

It has not rain for over a week , there are no pipes running in the

roof cavity, The stain is not wet. There are no cracked roof tiles.

Age issues don't allow me to crawl in the roof area.

It does not appear that an animal has died  there .. no smell,

What could have caused it.

Ceiling =white stain is darker than photoCeiling =white stain is darker than photoIMG_4374.JPG

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Ceiling stain, can you ID

Hello @Gofinn 


I suspect that this is water damage that has happened in the past. It's possible that a slow leak occurred in your roof and landed on the ceiling's plasterboard. It went through the plasterboard, but the paint prevented it from passing through. 


As the weather heated up the plasterboard dried up and the water damaged paint finally deteriorated causing this water patch to appear. I suggest engaging the services of a roofing specialist to check for possible leaks.


Let me call on our experienced members @Nailbag and @Dave-1 for their recommendations.


If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know.




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Re: Ceiling stain, can you ID

Hi @Gofinn I agree with @EricL regarding water damage. It can take some time to appear as plasterboard can retain moisture for some time if not dried out. The origin of the leak may not be directly from above either as water can travel some distance along the internal timber frame. If your roof is metal corrugated I would recommend a roof plumber to inspect it. If tiled then most roof restorers are experienced in locating potential leaks from cracked and broken tiles.


Wait until the issue is resolved before employing a plasterer to replace that section of the ceiling. Typically painting just the repaired area will be noticeable and would usually require painting the entire ceiling for that room.


Regards, Nailbag.

Home Improvement Guru

Re: Ceiling stain, can you ID

Morning @Gofinn 

@EricL and @Nailbag have hit the drip on the head :smile: 

Id say a leak for sure (I have two spots in the house with this discoloration, one of which I fixed and it came back in the same spot even tho I made sure it was all ok.


If you look at the larger discoloured area you can see a darker edge on the arc, That is what tells me its a puddle or a spread from a water point. 


When I fixed the ceiling I had made sure no drips existed, it was dry and couldnt find any wet stains above. It came back after 3-4 years. I dont have sarking and have dodgy insulation so its very hard to determin where the drip is coming from. (I suspect it is in the vincinity of the stay wiores for the tv aerial as my bathroom also has this issue)



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