How to ad­dress ceil­ing stains

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

Many stains are in­stantly no­tice­able. But while a wine stain on a light-colored car­pet or a gravy stain on a white shirt tend to jump out right away, other stains sneak past our radars ev­ery day. Ceil­ing stains are one type of stain that tend to go un­no­ticed for long pe­ri­ods of time. But ceil­ing stains can be un­sightly, and some are even in­dica­tive of a larger prob­lem, so it pays for home­own­ers to ad­dress stains on their ceil­ings as soon as pos­si­ble.

Start with the source. Low kitchen ceil­ings tend to fall vic­tim to oil stains, which are an un­for­tu­nate side ef­fect of cooking. But not all stains can be so eas­ily traced to their ori­gins. Some ceil­ing stains, such as those in bath­rooms, may be a byprod­uct of mold, while oth­ers may be in­dica­tive of plumb­ing prob­lems. Iden­ti­fy­ing the source of a stain is of­ten the first step to­ward erad­i­cat­ing it.

Fix the prob­lem. Once you have iden­ti­fied what's caus­ing the stain, fix the prob­lem as soon as pos­si­ble. Ceil­ing stains are of­ten in­dica­tive of much larger prob­lems, and the longer those prob­lems are al­lowed to fes­ter, the big­ger they be­come. Some wa­ter stains on ceil­ings re­sult from cracks or joints that have not been ad­e­quately sealed or caulked. Re­seal or re­caulk any cracks you sus­pect are lead­ing to ceil­ing stains. If you have determined a leaky roof is be­hind your stained ceil­ings, then have the roof in­spected for dam­age, and pre­pare your­self to fi­nance a new roof if the in­spec­tor de­ter­mines that's the best so­lu­tion.

Cover nearby fur­ni­ture. If you find ceil­ing stains above living ar­eas, then be sure to cover the fur­ni­ture be­low such ceil­ings with a tarp. Even if your stain so­lu­tion will be made pri­mar­ily of wa­ter, you don't want to risk com­pound­ing your ceil­ing stain prob­lem by stain­ing your fur­ni­ture as well.

Re­move the stains. Dif­fer­ent stains re­quire dif­fer­ent treat­ments. A so­lu­tion made of wa­ter and bleach may be ef­fec­tive at re­mov­ing ceil­ing stains, but only ap­ply such so­lu­tions on days when you can open the win­dows and air out your home. Larger stains may re­quire the ap­pli­ca­tion of a stain blocker, which may need to be ap­plied with a roller and brush. No mat­ter the stain, you need to leave time for the ceil­ing to dry be­fore you can move on. Open­ing the win­dows can pre­vent your home from be­ing over­come by the smell of bleach and also speed up the time it takes the ceil­ing to dry.

Cover the ceil­ing with primer. Once the ceil­ing has com­pletely dried, you can ap­ply a stain-block­ing primer to pre­vent fu­ture stains. Al­low the primer am­ple time to dry.

Ap­ply a fresh coat of paint. Af­ter the primer has dried com­pletely, you can then re­paint the ceil­ing. Some paints may blend in even if you only paint the af­fected ar­eas of the ceil­ing, but oth­ers will re­quire a com­plete re­paint­ing of the ceil­ing. The eye test will help you de­ter­mine how much work you have to do in that re­gard.

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