I have this ugly hole in the hallway ceiling: ceiling hole

It's a top floor flat, in a a very old building in the UK (5 floors in total).

If you look closely, you can see that there is some metal tube in the middle, with cracks at several layers.

Is it from a leak? If I just paint over it, will it just show up again in a few months?


  • Could you please take a better picture of the hole specifically? Thanks
    – J Crosby
    Jun 28 '19 at 22:51
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. A better picture would help (e.g. what's the fluffy-looking material behind the white coating?). And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Jun 28 '19 at 23:26

Water has come down through that tube. It has rotted the fiberboard and caused the paint to flake off.

The tube must get water very intermittently or you would see it. Probably it was cut off during a renovation and the new ceiling put up.

I am curious where that tube goes, of course. If you can go up above your flat maybe you can find out. Maybe it goes up through the roof and gets a little water when it rains. You could try running a long plastic stick or tape measure through; leave it run up through and then when you go up there it will be easier to find the tube.

Ideally you find the top side and cap it. If you just plug your bottom side it will sit filled with water and might eventually corrode its way out.


I would not paint over it.

You need to figure out where that tube goes and why there is moisture there. That piece of drywall is probably not salvageable at this point, so you will need to remove it and put in new drywall--once you figure out the problem.

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