Wet Spots on The Wall or Ceiling: First Steps to Take

Mar 6, 2024


Wet spots on the wall are not only an aesthetic issue, they could be an indicator of structural damage to your property and could pose some serious health risks. Many property owners or occupants make the mistake of thinking that the wet spots will dry on their own, and nothing needs to be done. In most cases, the walls won’t dry themselves as there is often an underlying cause for the damp patches. Continue reading to learn how to identify and fix damp patches on the internal walls. 

Common Causes of Damp Patches on Walls

A damp patch on the wall is characterized by a discolored area that appears due to moisture infiltration. In some cases, there is no discoloration, but there is staining or a watermark. If you have paint or wallpaper on the walls, then the moisture can cause them to peel or bubble. 

There could be many reasons for damp patches to appear on walls. An understanding of what can cause this issue can help you identify the problem and make informed decisions about what professional services are needed to fix the issue. 

Leaky Pipes

The most common cause of damp patches on the wall is a leak in the pipes, which are often located inside walls. If a pipe is leaking inside the wall, the moisture will eventually make its way to the wall surface. The reason for leakage could be issues with water pressure, corrosion, or natural wear and tear over time. 

 If you have leakage in areas where you recently got plumbing service, then poor installation or use of poor-quality materials could be the reason for plumbing leaks. Plumbers who are not trained or hurry through the process can miss important steps, such as proper sealing of joints in the plumbing system. That is why you should always get plumbing service from a reputed and reliable service provider such as Coastal Commercial Services. Poorly installed washing machines can also lead to leakage issues. 

Cracks in External Walls

The walls are supposed to protect the indoors from the elements, such as rain. However, if there are cracks in the exterior walls, they can cause water to seep through and reach the interior walls. Water can find its way through even the tiniest of cracks. Commercial property owners often neglect to get inspection service for exterior walls, and if any cracks are allowed to propagate, it could cause damp patches to appear on the inside. 

Roof Damage 

In some cases, leaks or damage to the roof can manifest in the walls. The water can make its way inside the interior through the roof. If there are missing shingles, cracked roof tiles, or the roof is extremely worn out, then water leaks can happen. You could also have an issue of rising damp spots when the moisture travels upwards through capillary action. Roof damage can also be caused by inadequate drainage, structural defects, and other types of plumbing problems.  You need additional insulation to minimize the risk of leakage through the roof. 

Poor Ventilation 

While most causes of damp walls happen due to internal issues, sometimes there is excessively high humidity in a room due to poor ventilation, which then causes water droplets to form on the walls as the moist air comes in contact with the cooler surface.

This can eventually lead to damp spots on the wall. This problem is most common in rooms that have running water, such as bathrooms and kitchens. You can install a high-quality exhaust fan to help with damp issues such as mold growth and humid air. 

Flash Flooding 

If the adjacent room or the floor above you has had flash flooding, it can cause the walls or the ceiling to absorb water and eventually cause damp patches to appear on the surface of the interior walls on your property. In some cases, a heavy downpour can cause the plumbing system to get overpowered and result in flash flooding. 

Risks of Neglecting Wet Spots on Wall

While damp patches or wet walls might not seem like a big issue, there are some serious risks to ignoring them. The biggest risk is to the health of the occupants of the property. Damp walls contribute to poor indoor air quality, which can potentially cause respiratory system issues and allergies. 

Moisture in the walls can also cause structural damage as it weakens the building materials, such as wood and drywall. It can also cause the materials to warp or rot over time. In addition, damp and moist conditions also promote mold and mildew growth, which can cause health issues. 

Your personal belongings or business assets are also at an increased risk of damage if there is excessive moisture in the walls. Warm air and excess moisture can also lead to unpleasant odors, such as a musty smell. If you don’t fix the issues and try to sell your property, you could face reduced property value or simply find it challenging to even sell it. 

DIY Checks and Precautions for Wet Walls 

If you are concerned about wet walls, you can try a few DIY checks and precautions to address the issue. Your first step should be to inspect the damp patches to ensure the problem is related to excessive moisture. After you have identified the problem, look for the source of the moisture. Try to trace the moisture on the wall to see where it leads you. Assess the plumbing system, roofs, gutters, and downspouts, for any signs of malfunction or blockage. 

If you can reach the root cause of the problem, then you can look for ways to fix it. The most common DIY method to fix leakages is to apply waterproof sealants. You can also install a wet proof barrier such as DPC (Damp Proof Course). 

Get Professional Service to Fix Damp Spots on Internal Walls

Not all wet wall issues can be addressed through DIY checks and precautions. In most cases, you will need professional service to treat penetrating damp spots and minimize further damage. Getting a permanent and reliable solution to the problem is the best option in the long run. 

If you notice worsening dampness, excessive water damage, or visible mold growth, you will most likely need professional service from an experienced plumber to fix the issue. At Coastal Commercial Services, we can handle all your plumbing needs, including repairing leaks, cleaning drains, and repiping
Our team is equipped with the specialized tools and skills to fix such issues and make your internal wall damp-proof. We have already fixed this issue for many of our customers, so we know what to look for. If you notice damp patches, you need to take prompt action to limit damage. Call us if you need additional information about our top-rated services or to schedule service with us.