How To Repair Your Water Damaged Ceiling

You’ve had a leak in the ceiling. Now what? Well it needs to be repaired and it’s not as scary a task as one might think. Assuming you figured out what was the cause of the leak and had that repaired now comes the easy part of fixing your water damaged ceiling.

The Steps

First, take down the area of the ceiling that’s damaged. You’re going to make a mess so make sure you protect the floor by covering it with some plastic. Have some heavy duty bags to put the garbage in. As you’re taking down the water damaged ceiling make sure to take it back enough to expose at least two joists or rafters unless you have a single rafter running down the middle of the part of the water damaged ceiling you need to repair. Try to take it down in a simple shape, a square or rectangle is best, if you can. Once you have the repaired area open measure it so you know how much drywall you’re going to need for your patch.

Next is to make sure that you don’t have any wet insulation in the ceiling, if you do, remove it and throw it away. Now you’ll need to install new insulation to replace the old damaged insulation, if you didn’t have insulation, you might seriously consider adding insulation to the entire ceiling from the attic, but for this repair, replace what is gone.

After you’ve got the insulation up, time to cut the dry wall to the right size; this is the piece you’re going to use to replace the water damaged ceiling. Once you have it the right size preset your drill and screws on your ladder for ease of installation. If you have a large area to repair you might consider a drywall lift or getting some help. Don’t try putting up a piece bigger than 4’ x 4’, you’re just inviting getting hurt. Now you have your tools ready, the piece is cut, time to put it up. Take a pencil and make some light marks on the open ceiling areas that match up to the joists, this will help guide you for screwing it in. Don’t just do it on one side of the patch for your damaged wet ceiling, do it on two sides. Tools are ready, marks are made, time to lift the piece into place and get that new ceiling piece in. Holding the drywall with one head or the tried and true method of using your head to free your hands, drill in two screws to secure your new drywall.

Tips and Tricks

Make sure you don’t sink the screws to deep, you want to be just below the surface of the drywall but not so far that you’re damaging the repair to your water damaged ceiling. If you feel good about the placement of the patch and you have a good secure tight fit, put in a few more screws, not just at the edges but also into the middle area of the patch, going into the joists, using those marks you made earlier and you’ll be ready for the next step.

Mudding your new ceiling isn’t hard, a lot of people get nervous about mud, but it’s not hard at all. You’ll need a 6” trowel, a mud pan, drywall tape and mud. Lay the tape around the seams, the easiest to use is the self adhering tape. Once you have all the seams covered you will take your mud and spread it along the seams, don’t get to heavy on this, but make a smooth application of the mud. As you are smoothing it lighten the pressure on the trowel as you are pulling it away from the seams to create a smoother application, this will benefit you when you go to the next step.

Sanding, a lot of people don’t sand, do not fall into this trap. If you do you’re repaired water damaged ceiling isn’t going to look good and you will be unhappy. So after the mud has dried sand it smooth. Remember you are merging your repaired water damaged ceiling with your undamaged ceiling, so you want a clean transition. If it’s not smooth, you may need to mud and sand a second time. After that, it’s time to paint.

Painting is done, clean up is done and now you get to look up and see the repair you’ve made of your water damaged ceiling. You did it, and you saved yourself a good chunk of money along the way and what did it cost you but time and a little sweat? But, if you can’t fix it yourself, we’re here to help you. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out!