Appreciate some help here before i spend money in calling an expensive plumber because i think the problem can just be poor caulking in my shower. I noticed a small soft spot on my ceiling today. I pressed it and could sense the softness, except for that small spot all areas around it was solid. I dont see any staining in the area. Hence i think there maybe a small drip from my shower above (because of poor caulking) in that area. How can I confirm this. One way is to caulk and just see if the spot becomes worse but that may take a long time. Is there anything else I can try? Any suggestions

Please see pic below. The bulb and trim is in the picture to give an idea on the size of the soft spot

See pic below

  • how big is the bulb and trim? ... that is not a way to convey dimensions of an area of interest
    – jsotola
    Mar 9, 2020 at 6:36
  • pull down the lamp holder ... you may be able to look above the ceiling through the light fixture
    – jsotola
    Mar 9, 2020 at 6:38
  • Thank you. I will remove the light fixture today and check
    – user70309
    Mar 9, 2020 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


That's an odd place for caulking to be applied.

Chances are very good that you have a leak above this that is dripping water down onto the drywall and softening it.

  • 1
    Caulking around the shower above the leak is an odd place for caulking????? Why??? Your answer is exactly what he's saying.
    – JACK
    Mar 9, 2020 at 13:28
  • odd place? i meant caulking in the shower above the ceiling and not around the ceiling
    – user70309
    Mar 9, 2020 at 19:16
  • I assumed you meant that the soft spots were caulked. If so, it's not clear why they would be soft like you are showing. I see no photos of caulking in the shower pan, which is unlikely to be the issue.
    – jwh20
    Mar 9, 2020 at 19:31

If the water damage on your ceiling were extensive I would suggest cutting the ceiling open because you'd probably have to replace some of it anyway - but it looks minor. With the shower directly above this spot that's the likely culprit. However, water does strange things and can travel some distance before the leak seeps through the drywall. You may or may not be able to determine much by looking through the light fixture hole or even if you cut out a small section. If the drywall is soft and damp - there's a leak.
Cutting an exploratory hole in the ceiling may be required but before you do that I would try the following:

  • You mentioned caulking around the shower. If you suspect the shower caulking - recaulk it.
  • Look for obvious leak sources throughout the bathroom such as cracked grout around tile, poor caulking around faucet handles.
  • Check under the sink for drain or supply line leaks.
  • If your shower enclosure is fiberglass check for cracks in the shower surround, especially the base. I've found cracks in fiberglass showers that were almost invisible.

I know you're looking for a quick fix but you need some patience on this type of problem. I had one situation like this where the bathtub drain wasn't properly attached and the water traveled 10 feet across a ceiling joist before soaking through. So, it could be any number of things but usually it's the most obvious.
After caulking any suspicious areas I would then wait to see if that solves the problem as I believe it will. If it doesn't you may need to cut into the ceiling below but I would only do it as a last resort and then start small.

  • Thank you. Will do that
    – user70309
    Mar 11, 2020 at 2:12
  • @user70309 You are welcome. At Stack Exchange thanks is shown through upvotes and check marks. If you haven't you should take our tour to learn more about how the site operates. Good luck with your project.
    – HoneyDo
    Mar 11, 2020 at 3:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.