Spots on Ceiling

Any idea what these spots might be? They're isolated to just one spots on my ceiling. My ductwork is right above this area.


  • If you have AC it may be condensation collecting in a low section of the duct. – Ed Beal Jul 3 '16 at 19:34
  • Or it could be a minor roof leak in that area. – Michael Karas Jul 3 '16 at 19:56

It looks like water damage to me. Likely either a roof leak or a condensation problem with one of the ducts (or something else entirely that you don't know is there?). It's also possible for the leak to be elsewhere above the ducts and this is just where the water found its way down to the ceiling.

Do you have access to the area above(attic)? If so, maybe a couple pics of what's there might help.

Also, you can buy a moisture tester help diagnose this. If the ceiling at the stain is the same moisture content as surrounding ceiling, then the problem isn't currently happening but that doesn't mean it won't come back. If it gets wetter during or immediately following a storm that almost guarantees a roof problem.

  • The home was built in the late 60s. The AC installation actually just framed in part of the hallway, cut a hole from the attic to the hallway and ran metal ductwork straight into that framed in section. There is no ductwork in each room really. They just made cuts in each room's drywall from the hallway into the room and put a vent grate over it. So does that make it seem more the case of HVAC condensation? – Derek VW Jul 5 '16 at 20:10

I had something similar. It was due to a exhaust pipe in the attic that didn't have a proper tape sealant. The previous owner used duct tape.

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