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Home was built in New England in the early 1960's. Since we've purchased the house (6 or 7 years now) there was spots chipped off the ceiling in main bedroom above the bed. I didn't think much of it initially. We also have some amber/brown colored drips on the walls in the bathroom and just outside of it, which I remember reading was due to humidity and something leaching out of the paint. Over the years however a few more spots have shown up, usually with this amber or golden brown colored

Well just this year one of our spare bedrooms down the hall seems to have a small paint chip, but half (literally) of the ceiling covered in thee brown colored dots and I'm worried about what they are. The color wipes off if I rub them with my finger tip, sometimes the paint beneath looks like there is a small crack but not always. We've had a small amount of mold on the bathroom ceiling a year or two ago and it looked black, not this brown color.

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When there are chips sometimes it chips right to drywall, this chip is about the size of a US quarter or two. You can see some slight discoloration around the chip.

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...other times it seems like the paint flakes off to reveal a layer of white beneath it (this chip is about the size of 1 US nickle)

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That last picture is giving me hope that this is some kind of paint quality / degradation and not something more sinister. We had an ice dam a few years ago and the water damage does not resemble this, it looks more like, well, a dirty wet spot was above the ceiling.

Does anyone know what it could be and if so, how to remedy it?

  • You need to look in the attic and see where it is coming from.I have seen excessively long roofing nails condense water and it drips down .It is pretty typical for water to pick up rust and turn brown. – blacksmith37 May 5 at 0:54

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