What is that dark patch in my ceiling?


Over time, the conditions of our house will change and we may begin to observe the noticeable differences in the walls and ceilings of our home. One of the most common ones are the dark patches in the ceiling which appear like rings of brown stain.

Quite unpleasant to look at, these brown stains can signify plenty of issues that you need to take care of urgently. The most common issue is a possible leak above the ceiling of your house.

Hole in the roof
If the stain is brown, the water appears to be dirty and water drips only during and after a rainfall, then this may indicate a potential hole in your roof. You will have to have your roof inspected to repair or patch over the roof. It is important to note that damage caused as a result of wear and tear may not be covered by your insurance policy hence why it is important to identify and rectify the issue as quickly as possible. If damage was caused as a result of a storm, for example a fallen tree or debris fell over your roof during a storm, then your insurance policy may cover the cost of the damage.

Burst water pipe above the ceiling
If the water appears fresh, the stain continues to widen and the drip is fairly consistent regardless of the weather, there may be a leakage in the water pipe above your ceiling. Depending on the type of insurance coverage, damage caused as a result of burst water pipes may be covered under your policy. Nonetheless, it is important that you act swiftly to identify the issue as a weak roof can collapse under pressure and may cause severe injury to occupants as well as further damage to household contents.

Mould or mildew in the bathroom
Given the prevalent use of water heater, the bathroom is one of the most common areas for dark stains. Poor ventilation can cause water to condense above the ceilling and form a wet patch. With a combination of dust which accumulates in the house, the wet patch becomes darker when it dries. Ensuring that your bathroom is properly ventilated during and after a shower will allow the hot air to escape rather than condense on the cold surface of the ceiling. Vacuuming or dusting the bathroom, including the ceiling, may also minimise dust pile up in the bathroom. Unfortunately, damage from poor ventilation will likely not be covered in your insurance policy which is why it is important to ensure that your house has appropriate ventilation.

Your neighbour above you may have a leak
If you live in an apartment complex, the dark stain in your ceiling may result from your unaware neighbour above. Apartment complex normally have connected plumbing systems. This means that any minor problems that your neighbour has may also be felt by you. Unknowingly, your neighbour may be experiencing some plumbing issues when water evacuates down the drain, either in the kitchen or bathroom. A leak in the drain may cause water to escape down into your apartment and may cause damage to your lighting fixtures, ceiling and contents of your house.

An accidental leak may be covered by your insurance policy depending on the plan you have, however you may want to check with your insurance provider if it covers a leak resulting from your neighbour’s appartment. The owner of the building complex may likely have an insurance for the building and its fixtures, but it is unlikely that this will cover your personal contents. This is why it is important for tenants or apartment owners to take out a Contents policy.

For information on Householder’s Insurance, contact us on 429 5000 or info@sacos.sc.


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