Causes of Brown Stain on Ceiling and How to Fix It

Even the most beautiful kitchen, dining room or living room can be ruined with a brown stain on the ceiling. A ceiling stain is hard to miss – especially if the colored patch is formed on a white area, like a blotch of paint on top of a white canvas.

To get rid of these stains, you must identify the cause first and then build ways to eliminate them.

Cause of Brown Stain on Ceiling

Here are three of the most common possible Causes:

Water stains

Amongst the listed causes, water is probably the possible reason your ceiling is ugly and stained. You can identify it easily by its specific characteristic: the dark yellowish or almost brown stain on the ceiling, in a shape similar to an imperfect halo.

The primary cause of water stains on the ceiling is roof leaks. However, leaking pipes within walls or above ceilings can also lead to these unsightly stains, particularly in older homes or commercial buildings with outdated plumbing systems.

Mold stains

Speaking technically, mold is more like growth rather than calling it a stain. The black, dark brown, or green colors with various patterns and forms are quite easy to spot. Several reasons might encourage mold growth on your ceilings, such as high humidity and moisture levels, low ventilation, or roof leaks.

Poor HVAC system maintenance can exacerbate this issue by preventing water vapor from condensing in cool spots, encouraging mold growth.

Smoke stains

Smoke-induced stains are mostly present in dry brown stains on the ceiling. They tend to be more uniform and consistent in shape, resembling heavy brownish dust that distributes equally on the ceiling surface.

HVAC units, especially those improperly maintained, can spread smoke and soot particles through air vents and plumbing vents, leading to these stains.

How to Get Rid of Brown Water Stains on Ceiling

The only to tackle the issue of spotting brown stains on the ceiling is with rationality. Now that you can determine the cause already, it is time to resolve the issue according to what causes it.

Read also: How to Hang a Ceiling Fan without a Stud

Use the guide below to help you perform the task:

Removing stains caused by water

Many people think they can make water stains disappear simply by wiping the stain or painting the affected areas. However, the only way to cover up these blotches is by using a high-performance primer first before the paint.

The primer helps to prevent water stains from bleeding over the new layer of paint. For wood ceiling structures, inspecting for mechanical damage or pieces of metal fasteners that may rust and contribute to staining is essential.

Removing stains caused by mold

To eliminate the stains, you need to destroy the mold first. Use a mixed solution of water and laundry bleach, which is effective for most mold types. Apply the solution to the stained area on your ceiling, wait for a bit, then wipe away the remaining stain. Now, you have a clean area free from the brown stain on the ceiling.

Removing stains caused by smoke

The most effective technique to remove smoke stains is by scrubbing cleaning liquid and sponges. Apply the cleaning liquid over the stains and scrub them with the sponge until they are all visibly gone.

You should choose a cleaning product in a spray bottle, but if you make a DIY solution, put it inside any clean, empty spray bottle.

Brown Stain on Ceiling Below Bathroom

If there is a bathroom above the floor, you’re living in. You may notice leakage on the ceiling. Examine for the probability of water damage and any ceiling stain.

Note that due to water’s travel ability, even to a further distance, you might find the stains exist farther away rather than being directly under the bathroom.

A few-and-far-between wet floor conditions won’t generate enough leaks to damage the ceiling underneath. That’s why if the stain is dark brown or copper, it is most likely that there’s a severe water leak in the bathroom above. Ceiling tiles and the waterproofing membrane in the bathroom should be inspected for integrity to prevent future occurrences.

If the ceiling is already sagging, the leak has affected the area.

A severe enough leak can create a brown stain on the ceiling underneath it. In case of this, it’d be wise to reach the company that provides water damage restoration service. They can help you locate the leakage source, assess the damage, and bring a plan to repair the situation.

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HomeTips is an experienced author and expert technician. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects related to home improvement, including installation, maintenance, and repair.