How to remove and prevent ceiling stains from leaks

Image of shingle roof with skylights.

The ceiling is one of the most overlooked parts of a house. It is visible if you’re in the attic, and if it’s leaking or stained, it gets little attention. But if your ceiling has been stained by water leaks, don’t panic! We’ve got some tips for how to remove and prevent stains from occurring again.

If you can, identify where the leak came from

The source of your ceiling stain can be as simple as a toilet or sink overflow. But it could also be coming from something more serious like a roof leak or water pipe burst. If your ceiling was damaged by an exterior source (such as rain), call in a professional before attempting any DIY repairs yourself.

Clean the ceiling stain with bleach

Use a dilute solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water. Spray or brush it on the stain, allow it to sit for 5 minutes and then wipe it away with a clean cloth or sponge. Don’t scrub too hard; this could cause more damage than good! If there are still stubborn marks after you’ve finished cleaning them off use a toothbrush dipped in vinegar and scrub gently over those areas again before rinsing with clean water.

Apply an oil-based coat to the affected ceiling area to prevent further staining

To prevent further staining, apply an oil-based coat to the affected ceiling area. This will help seal in any existing stains and prevent new ones from forming.

Use a paint roller to apply two coats of oil-based paint over the stained area. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one; this could take up to 24 hours depending on how thick your layers are and how much time has passed since you first noticed leaking in your home or office building (if it was there).

If you find certain areas hard to reach with a brush or roller, use an old rag dipped in linseed oil as an applicator instead! It’ll work just as well!

Repaint the entire ceiling

If you want to be sure that your ceiling will stay stain-free, repainting is the best way to go. But this isn’t your average paint job–it’s a full-on re-painting project that could take several days and cost a lot of money.

If you’re going to do it right, here are some tips:

  • Paint the entire ceiling with high-quality paint before any leaks occur.
  • Use primer on any existing stains or discoloration so they don’t bleed through when you apply new coats of paint over them later on down the road!

If you take care of what’s above your head, you’ll avoid ceiling stains from leaks

Remove the stain as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits on a surface, the harder it is to remove. If possible, clean up any liquid right away with paper towels or rags and then dry off the area with another towel or cloth (be sure not to rub too hard). Use a bleach solution to clean up any remaining stains left behind by water damage, this solution will help lift dirt particles while also killing bacteria that can cause mold growth in your home’s walls or ceilings–and thus prevent future stains from developing! Apply an oil-based coat on top of the cleaned area so no further staining occurs over time; paint over entire ceiling if necessary for extra protection against future leaks


We hope that this article has given you some insight into how to remove and prevent ceiling stains from leaks. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below! Our roofers in Burnaby are here to help.