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Question DetailsAsked on 7/14/2017

stain on bedroom ceiling

round brown stain with a black dot in middel. only attic above

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1 Answer

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Hello Mike1934,

Thank you for reaching out. We are happy to help! If you have not done so already, please go to to set up a membership. Once completed you will have access to highly rated service providers in your area. Based on your issue it seems like you may have a water leak from your roof or attic. By searching the “Roofing” category, you will find top rated providers that can fit your needs.


Iann M

Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


While it could be a spot water leak just starting to show through, more likely a screw or nail rusting (which still means there is probably more moisture in that location than there should be, so may be an indication of a small leak or winter frosting wetting the wood or of excessive humidity in the air near the ceiling).

The black dot may be incipient mold - which also would indicate water in the attic - so I would check out that location in the attic for possible roof leak getting started, or water from leaking water heater or A/C drain if those are in the attic.

Try poking a small finish nail or needle in and feel if you hit metal in an eighth inch or so - if so, almost certainly rusting fastener. If a drywall screw, scrape out the slots (almost certainly phillips head) and remove the screw and replace with a stainless or at least cadmium plated one. If a nail hard to pull without making a big hole in the drywall, so I just drive it on well through the drywall and on into the wood, put a dab of silicone caulk there (to stop any rust from coming through), put in a new rust resistant dryewall screw at an angle (so same surface hole can be used, but angled to miss the driven-through nail), then patch the hole with spackle.

Also look around the ceiling for incipient popouts of drywall from other fasteners which might indicate a moisture issue over a larger area - commonly start first near the walls and most commonly along outside (colder) walls and around bathroom walls.

Here are links to a couple of similar previous questions with answers too:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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