Determining the Cause of a Leaky Ceiling

Leaking ceilingIt’s never good to see water dripping from your roof. Hidden leaks in your ceiling can lead to peeling paint, a musty smell indoors, and water damage. However, the exact source of the dripping water can be challenging to pinpoint.

Roto-Rooter has a team of experienced plumbers who can locate and fix ceiling leaks. Here, we share several tips on finding the source of the leak in your ceiling.

Potential Causes of Ceiling Leaks

When water leaks from your ceiling, the problem could be plumbing or structural. A plumbing leak is often the reason behind a ceiling leak within a house’s upper level. For instance, damaged water supply lines or drain lines in an upper room could lead to water leaking onto the bottom floor’s ceiling.

Roof and gutter issues also contribute to ceiling leaks. You’ll likely notice roof leaks from the damage they cause to attics. A professional plumber can fix a damaged supply line or burst pipes, but you’ll need a roofing contractor to address a damaged roof.

How to Check for Plumbing Leaks from an Upstairs Bathroom


Examine the wax ring or seal between your toilet and the floor, checking for lifting, tears, or deterioration. A damaged seal can cause water to leak into the subfloor with every flush. A bad seal may also emit a foul odor of sewer gas, further indicating the presence of a leak.

Bathtub or Shower

If water leaks from the ceiling when someone showers, the issue is likely loosened or damaged tiles in the shower or leaks from the faucet behind the wall. Leaks that continue after the bath ends and the water stops running might indicate water line damage in the subfloor or behind the wall.


A leaky sink usually has worn gaskets or washers around the drain assembly or tap. The sink could also have a frequently clogged water supply line or faulty p-trap under the drain.

How to Check for a Ceiling Leak in the Attic

Identify the Ceiling Leak Type

If water leaks occur when it rains, the gutters could have a clog, forcing rainwater to pool around the roof’s edge. Over time, moisture will seep under the flashing or damaged shingles into the attic.

Inspect the Attic

Take a flashlight to the attic and look at the roof deck. Check for water stains to find the leak’s location. Inspecting the deck on a sunny day could also reveal gaps or holes in the roof where water can enter the house.

Check the Roof

After inspecting the attic, go outside to check the roof. Water is likely seeping in from the roof if you see missing or damaged shingles or lifted joints.

Get Help from a Skilled Plumber in Athens

If you have a water leak in a ceiling, wall, or appliance, turn to an emergency plumber from Roto-Rooter for the best solution. We have the skills and tools for water leak detection service and fix everything from leaking pipes to faulty appliances. Request a visit for leaking water or another plumbing issue by calling (762) 728-7575 or by scheduling your emergency appointment online.


1. Roto-Rooter is recognized as one of America’s very top plumbing brands.

2. We are an Emergency Plumber – Available 24/7 to respond to your plumbing emergencies.

3. 80 years of industry-specific experience

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6. We treat your home like it is our own.

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10. If you choose us, you can expect the very best!