Discoloration on Ceiling

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  #1  
Old 10-10-11, 10:38 AM
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Discoloration on Ceiling

Hello -- Hope I'm posting my question and pics to the right area. For several months now, almost a year, actually, we have had these strange discolored areas on the ceiling in three different rooms. I'm attaching a pic for an example. They feel cool to the touch, as opposed to the rest of the ceiling area that looks normal.

A while back, we had a professional come out and go up in the attic and he said that the insulation right above those discolored areas looked like it had been moved at some point - but we have no way of knowing how this happened. Did something get into the attic and try to burrow/nest? Who knows. Anyway, he said that because of that, the difference in temp between the attic and the rooms is what was causing the discoloration because those particular ceiling areas were no longer covered with the proper amount of insulation. He checked for signs of mold growth and there were none. He said that we needed to move the insulation back into place (it was the "blown in" kind) and that should fix the problem with those parts of the ceiling feeling cold to the touch. However he did say that we would have to paint over the discoloration because there was no other way to fix the discoloration.

My question is this - we went in the attic, move the insulation back into place over those areas, we waited a few days, and then we checked to see if the discolored areas were still cold to the touch, and they ARE. So what do we do now? The places have not and are not getting any bigger or changing shape, we have tested for mold and there is none, but if we've moved the insulation back into place and those places on the ceiling are still cold to the touch, what do we do?
Flickr: AngelaSteele5's Photostream

Thanks for any and all feedback!
 

Last edited by AngelaSteele; 10-10-11 at 10:48 AM. Reason: My URL for pic is STILL not showing up.
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  #2  
Old 10-10-11, 03:57 PM
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How much insulation do you have? Air flow thru the soffit vents might make some areas cooler than others but the insulation should make it a non issue on the living side of the ceiling. As for the discoloration, I'd paint it and see how it goes.
 
  #3  
Old 10-10-11, 04:40 PM
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Just a guess, but if those areas are on an outside wall, then air blowing in through the vents can in some cases move the insulation. Even when you reposition it. air moving through may cause it to still feel cold, as marksr stated.

The discoloration would most likely be due to a different moisture content and may have collected dust particles differently than surrounding areas.

The solution to air flow is a baffle to protect the insulation from the air venting in, called wind washing. Prime and paint as suggested and you should be all set.

Bud
 
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Old 10-11-11, 05:40 AM
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Prime the discolorations with an oil based sealing primer and then paint. I would think the odds are pretty good you're going to have to paint the whole ceiling to hide the spots.
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-11, 05:54 AM
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I agree that the entire ceiling should be painted but before I'd apply an oil primer, I'd test paint a portion of the stained ceiling and see how it looks after the latex paint dries. Depending on the cause of the staining - a solvent based primer may or may not be needed.
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-11, 06:07 AM
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Mark's solution has the potential to be less work and cost than mine, I'd start with a test swatch of paint as well now that he added the additional details.
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-11, 06:07 AM
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If it's a water stain, it will bleed thru latex paint/primer in short order! Usually a water stain is darker and doesn't cover such a big area. It might just be where dirt has accumulated on the ceiling. Insulation issues can cause that to happen. Oil priming won't hurt but you might not need to go the extra mile. Coating a sq ft or so with latex paint should let you know.
 
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