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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have thoughts on what these spots on my ceiling might be? I have tried to include sufficient pictures to illustrate, but there are roughly 20 spots like this in an area around 3-4 feet square.

It doesn't look like mold to me and I thought if it was water damage it wouldn't pool in all these separate small areas or be so neatly concentric. However, they do kind of look like there's a darker center with a lighter outer ring. On the other side of the ceiling, there are a lot of little pin prick holes and I thought maybe some of these dots were attempts at a patch (spot3.png looks like that) but there's some faint yellowish ones that don't seem human applied. It kind of looks like there was maybe some splatter in the room and they dripped from that. But these are all just guesses.

These shots are pretty zoomed in -- the dots are 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inch.

I took these pictures with my phone but if they don't appear to be of sufficient quality, I can try with a camera.
 

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Super Moderator
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Do you have access from above?

Looks like some sort of water damage. Maybe condensation, roof leaking, just guesses until you investigate further.
 

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Is this in a kitchen or somewhere where people would eat.

I've seen this many times in kitchen and dining areas. Especially when people have small kids. Greasy food gets splattered, spit or thrown and a grease ring forms around it.

I've also see these with those sticky toys that kids throw on the walls and ceiling. I have spots all over my kids ceilings from those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for responding. I did forget to mention this is a bedroom. I've also only owned the house a short while

There is attic space above but I cannot easily access it, unfortunately.

The ceiling and walls have a lot of pin pricks, as if stuff was hung up in various places, so I'm guessing it was probably previously a kids room, lending some credence to the sticky toy theory. The spots also don't seem like they share an obvious line (like along a joist).

If I cut a hole out of the drywall ceiling around one of these spots, I should be able to look at the opposite side of the drywall and see if the spot is all the way through, no? Wouldn't that probably tell me if it's water damage from the roof or somewhere above the ceiling?
 

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Unless the drywall is soft I wouldn't cut any holes! It looks more like a containment than water stains although the paint fix is the same - a solvent based primer and latex paint.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Cutting a hole just to see the other side is going to take more repair work, than getting a young person to access the attic area and take pictures for you.

I once was hired to paint a ceiling where there were scores of spots similar to yours.

Turned out that someone had been picking their nose a lot, and flicking the booger up onto the ceiling.

And cleaning it off had created these spots after the tenant had vacated,

So no telling what could have caused this.

Check for roof leaks, and then a good primer and paint to take care of this.



ED
 

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Didn’t read the whole t just looking at the spots brought back an issue I’ve dealt with in multiple bedrooms, e.b. Those self adhesive glowing star pattern things that need to be scraped off, sanded, hit with goof off, and finally hit with kilz.....
 
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