How to identify, fix, and clean up after a water leak without destroying my walls and ceilings (any more than I have to)?
I have a 3-story house, and I recently noticed that there are 3 seemingly water-related problems, and each one is above the other. I'm thinking water leak.
On the first floor, there's peeling finish plaster
all around one corner of the plaster ceiling. I removed some of the loose plaster and did not like what I saw
On the second floor, there's peeling paint up and down the wall at the same spot.
On the third floor, there's no peeling paint, but there's a very small amount of mold
. (Toothbrush included for size comparison.) I sort of absent-mindedly painted over it a couple weeks ago, and noticed that it grew back.
The roof above this spot is pitched, with asphalt shingles. I see a patch of roofing tar near this spot, but I'm not sure if it's directly overhead.
How can I figure out if water is still entering without tearing up the wall? I can cut away a piece of plaster on the third floor to check for moisture, but since there's mold growing I'm a little paranoid about it. Help!