Tag Archives: water stains


Evidence of historic water intrusion is something I come across regularly. In reality, it can be tricky (and often impossible) to determine when intrusion first occurred or when it last occurred. Luckily, I have a few tools in my detective handbag to help.

During a recent inspection in San Juan County, I noted evidence of historic water intrusion—presenting as visible water stains and prior patching repairs—at a downstairs bedroom ceiling. 

When I see these kinds of scenarios, one of my most effective tools is the moisture meter. I’ve written about the value of moisture meters in the past, and encourage you to become familiar with them if you are not already.

I’ve experienced a reasonable degree of success after asking previous owners or tenants for historical information related to the issue.

In this case, my meter did not indicate elevated moisture at the time of inspection. Therefore, I recommended that my clients monitor the area for recurrence into the future and to make repairs if noted.

If you have questions or comments about interior issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

Water stains on ceiling

Water stains were noted at a wood ceiling, immediately adjacent a skylight, at a recent home inspection in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.  Probed with a moisture meter, the underlying ceiling cavity was dry at the time of inspection, but there obviously was water intrusion at some point in time.  The skylight flashing detail appeared to be in excellent condition, suggesting the water intrusion could have been from wind-driven rain, or that it predated the skylight installation when the roof was replaced a decade ago.  In any event, I recommended the client monitor for recurrence into the future and repair if noted.  It’s important to monitor all roof penetrations (e.g., skylights, stove flues, vent pipes, solar tubes, etc.) for water intrusion and repair immediately when/if noted.