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I purchased a home about eight months ago, where the seller had disclosed prior roof leakage. This leakage had occurred a few years before (around 2016). The home was a new build and the roof leak occurred shortly after manufacturing. The roof leak was supposedly addressed by the original builder or a sub-contractor. I presume the drywall would have been replaced as part of this work. Mold inspections done months afterward were all clear.

In any event, I’ve recently started removing wall paper from the room where the original leak occurred. Where the wall meets the ceiling, there is a small gray(ish) line that traverses most of the room. I had always thought this was just glue from the wallpaper.

Now that I have the wall paper coming down, I was hoping to see if someone might be able to confirm. The line is approximately a centimeter. Poking the area does appear to be slightly software than the rest of the walls. I suppose that could be indicative of glue or something designed to close drywall gaps? I also know it could be indicative of water.

Image of drywall meeting ceiling, further back

Image of drywall meeting ceiling, closer up

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  • looks fairly normal to me; maybe a slightly rushed job, but nothing to write home about.
    – dandavis
    Jun 2 at 3:30
  • Sounds like you think there is a problem , 4 or 5 years ago and you see discoloration ,,, oops all on you the seller disclosed there was a leak. If metal corners this could be normal. You presume a lot with no knowledge, just saying, fans on Sheetrock or drywall is normal for minor leaks. What is your question? Is this normal? Absolutely they disclosed it !!!
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 2 at 4:56
  • @Ed: I wasn’t concerned about the prior leak. My concern was whether this could be moisture from a more recent problem. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was wall paper adhesive or some type of filler material. While it’s darker in a few spots, the rink encompasses much of the room. I appreciate the advice. Especially on the moisture meter. I’ll definitely pick one up. Jun 2 at 5:45
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    To me that looks like the painter didn't cut in properly.
    – Matthew
    Jun 2 at 15:05
  • For a leak to be around the perimeter like that no not really possible the ceiling joists will stop it and it would be localized, and would not be uniform in width over a large area especially on 2 walls. I think Mathew is on the right track.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 2 at 16:20
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I read the question as meaning to ask whether the dark area is indicative of persisting moisture, and thus that the wall or ceiling is still in need of repair.

To diagnose the problem you can intrusively cut a small hole, perhaps 1 in diameter with a hole saw, and inspect the cuttings and the exposed drywall. This will require a patch job to restore.

Alternatively you can purchase a "moisture meter". They come in an electromagnetic variety and a resistive variety (with spikes). Read the instructions carefully before purchase to see which is most effective for your case. Test it on a moist control area, then apply to several areas of concern, and also test areas you believe to be dry, and compare the results.

This should quickly tell you whether there is an ongoing moisture problem in that spot. The tester will come in handy when checking any fixes in the future, or re-checking areas of concern annually.

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