Сeiling Has Water Damage | What to Do?

Сeiling Has Water Damage | What to Do?

And then it happened – you come home, and water flows from the ceiling. This usually happens in two cases: it is raining outside and your roof is leaking, or the neighbors from above forgot to turn off the tap, or their pipe burst. If you do not live in a private house or on the top floor, all the blame falls on the neighbors upstairs.

Repairing cracks in the roof, or resolving issues with neighbors about compensating and restoring the appearance of your ceiling is the task of completely different Internet pages. Our challenge is how to repair the ceiling after a leak.

Plaster ceiling has water damage

Plaster ceilings are very common. At the same time, these include not only ceilings with wooden load-bearing beams and shingles, on which a plaster coating is applied, but also concrete ceilings with putty leveling and subsequent painting. Let’s start with them.

Getting started: preparing the tool and material

What is neededAnd why is it needed
RespiratorFor respiratory protection during stripping
Spatulas of various sizesFor cleaning the base and applying putty.
Grater with sanding meshWill help remove old plaster.
Household spotlightProvides good lighting of the ceiling, from which you have to dismantle the lighting fixtures.
Roller and brushWill be needed for painting and priming.
Industrial hair dryerDry the wet base
SandpaperIt is used for finishing the finishing layer of the putty to the required smoothness.
PuttyAcrylic filler is ideal for plastered ceilings.
Soil compositionIf the floor is concrete, it is better to take the soil of deep penetration, with an antiseptic.
Acrylic paintIt is better to take the paint from the same company as the primer.

1. The first stage of repair

Usually during a leak, the ceiling does not completely deteriorate. Water finds its weakest point in the floors and seeps out. As a rule, these are the joints of the plates and the terminals of the electrical wiring.

Therefore, we do not need to completely redo the entire coating:

  • Before starting repair and restoration work, it is necessary to dry the ceiling in the place of the leak.
  • To do this, remove the wet putty with paint with a spatula.
  • We will not wait for it to dry naturally, but use a building hair dryer.
  • Wet putty can be removed with a spatula quite easily. If you decide to repair the entire ceiling, use a special trowel to remove the old plaster.
  • Cleaning is carried out down to the concrete base. After that, you can dry the leak with a hair dryer.

Attention! This method can only be used if the leak is at the junction of the slabs. If the leak is at the exit points of the electrical wiring, and this is not uncommon, you must completely de-energize the room before cleaning. When the cleaning is done, drying occurs naturally due to the lack of power supply.

2. Second stage – stripping

After the surface is dry, it is necessary to perform cleaning. It is performed using sandpaper.

Our advice is to use a respirator or medical mask when sanding dry ceilings. Sold at any pharmacy.

We clean it completely, there should be no putty and paint on the surface. The junction of the untouched coating and the cleaned surface must be smoothed. The joint should not be sharp. To do this, we go with emery paper over the whole coating at a distance of 20 – 30 mm.

After the surface is cleaned it is necessary to remove the dust. This can be done with a brush or vacuum cleaner.

3. Restoration of the damaged area

You can start the main type of restoration work.

Application of primer and putty: nuances

Now the surface needs to be primed. This must be done, because:

  • firstly , the primer allows you to get rid of individual dust particles, which cannot be removed either with a vacuum cleaner, much less a brush.
  • secondly , we will achieve a significant improvement in the adhesion of the putty layer to the surface.
  • thirdly , this is how the load-bearing coating damaged by water is strengthened.

Note: The primer is applied with a brush or, if repairing the entire ceiling, with a roller. Be careful not to get the primer on an adjacent surface that has not been touched by water. If necessary, the primer can be repeated one more time.

Now it’s the turn of the putty. It is good if you have a sufficient amount of putty left from the previous repair, or you remember exactly what composition you applied earlier. If not, it doesn’t matter, use a putty specially designed for your surface.

Our tip: In our time, putties for the same surfaces usually coexist perfectly with each other. But don’t risk it. Dilute a small amount of the putty and apply at the junction of the cleaned and untouched surface. The area of ​​application should be 50X50 mm. If, after drying, the putty lies flat without the formation of bubbles and rejections, it can be used.

Putty the cleaned surface. The filling should be uniform with a slight overlap on the adjacent untouched but cleaned surface. Now you need to wait until the putty is completely dry.

4. Final finishing – stripping

And now the putty has dried, you can start cleaning. Now we need a spotlight. When illuminating from different angles, using a float, it is necessary to achieve such a result that a completely flat surface is obtained.

It is not difficult to do this using light. All irregularities will be perfectly visible. If necessary, add putty in the cavities, wait until it is completely dry and continue smoothing with a float.

5. Full painting is not a whim, a necessity

As a rule, after performing this type of work, it is necessary to  completely paint the entire area of ​​the ceiling , regardless of whether the paint has suffered from moisture or not.

  • Any paint, even from the same manufacturer, but from different batches, has a slight difference.
  • Here, the effect of light and other factors on the previously applied paint also affects.
  • In other words, it will not work to get an exact match of the paint without complete repainting.
  • The new painted surface will be different from the old one.

Coloring will not be difficult. Use a roller for this, but first apply one layer of paint to the putty surface.

Plasterboard ceiling has water damage

What to do if it flows from a plasterboard ceiling? Do not despair, let’s correct the consequences of force majeure.

  • In general, water is the enemy of drywall. Unlike the first case, the plasterboard floor suffers from water much more severely. Here putty and painting are indispensable.
  • If the ceiling in the apartment is leaking, this indicates that the water has destroyed the internal structure of the drywall. Therefore, the speed of action is less of a consequence.
  • In this case, do not hesitate, it is necessary to rid the inner space of water as soon as possible. In other words, you should widen the leak as quickly as possible.
  • This can be done with a screwdriver or other tool. You can use an appropriately sized knife. Place the container under the opening first.
  • After the passions have subsided,  you need to start repairing . What are the main difficulties and how is the scope of work determined?
  • The complexity of this case lies in the fact that it is almost impossible to assess the damage caused to the drywall from below.
  • Definitely, the place where the leak has formed must be cut out. Using a mirror and a flashlight, you can look into the ceiling space and determine the size of the damage to the sheet. This will be noticeable by the characteristic bulges on the outer carton.
  • Tap these places from below. If the sound is ringing, the inner plaster coating is not damaged, if it turns out to be deaf, and dents from tapping appear on the surface, these places must definitely be replaced.
  • Remember, deleting less is keeping more. When cutting drywall, pay attention to the location of the supporting frame. When you reach him, you can simply remove the entire sheet.

Our help – as a rule, the joints of the edged drywall sheet suffer the most.

At the place of the factory joint, it may be enough to simply replace the putty:

  • The affected leaf is cut out.
  • A new sheet needs to be installed.
  • This is done relatively easily: a new sheet is purchased and installed in place.
  • Further, everything is carried out in a strict sequence of installation, putty and painting of the plasterboard ceiling.

Sometimes there are cases when a relatively small area suffers:

  • The damaged area must be cut to the nearest support profile.
  • In this case, the main sheet remains in place.
  • The only thing that is required is to cut a new piece to size and set it in place.
  • The junction of the new sheet with the old one must be embroidered with a paint knife.
  • The seam must be filled with putty.

When a new sheet is installed, it must be primed and putty. After the putty has dried, the surface is leveled with a float. Using a spotlight will allow you to do this job perfectly. As in the first case, the entire coating is painted. Except when the ceiling is made in different colors. Look at the circumstances.

Stretch ceilings has water damage, solving problem after a leak

If you have stretch ceilings, a leak can completely ruin the coating, or vice versa, do not cause any harm to it. It all depends on the type of stretch ceiling.

  • If you have a fabric  stretch ceiling, water leakage will cause serious harm to it. For example, you have a fabric stretch ceiling with natural patterns. In this case, stains form on the fabric, it would be more expedient to remove such a ceiling completely. But there is also a resistant fabric
  • There are imported stretch ceiling fabrics, the structure and color of which are not affected by leaks at all. It is enough for such a ceiling to dry – and it will again take its original shape and color.
  • Domestic stretch fabric ceilings cannot boast of such advantages. Of course, you can try removing and washing the fabric, but that won’t make it the same as it used to be.
  • In one of our articles, we talked about the construction of fabric stretch ceilings with our own hands. There we used coarse calico as a covering, and the decoration was carried out with the usual painting. A ceiling like this will handle this situation well.
  • Repairing the ceiling after a leak will consist in a simple natural drying and subsequent painting. The only thing that can happen is the formation of several folds on the coating.
  • But since our ceiling was fixed with a stapler, it will not be difficult for you to remove a few staples, level the cover and then shoot it again.
  • Fortunately, there are vinyl stretch films. In the case when water flows from the ceiling, nothing threatens your property. The film can withstand significant weight and only stretches when filled with water.
  • Vinyl stretch ceiling is like a large container, capable of collecting liquid. At the same time, it will not tear, and the only thing that is required of you is to remove the water from the ceiling. However, this is not entirely straightforward.

Our advice is not to try to drain the water by piercing the ceiling. In this way, you will only ruin the canvas.

  • Let’s say right away that the best way to get rid of water, in this situation, is to contact the specialists – installers. Stretch vinyl ceilings are very expensive, and the slightest improper action can cause irreparable damage to the coating. You just have to throw it out.
  • Of course, we will advise you on how to do this work correctly, but we will repeat: do it only if there are no such specialists in your or the nearest area.
  • Any vinyl stretch ceiling has a special decorative insert. It has a connecting seam, and finding it is the primary task.
  • As a rule, when installing a stretch ceiling, installers arrange an insert seam in the corner. Therefore, first carefully examine the corners, if you do not find a seam, take a look at the entire perimeter.
  • The seam is found, you can pull out the insert. It can be removed quite easily, just pull gently on one end.

Since we only need to drain the water, do not remove the entire insert – 500 mm will be enough.

Vinyl Covering has water damage

Now it is the turn of coverage – this is the most difficult task. The room temperature must be warmed up to 40 ° C. Usually, during the threading of the vinyl sheet, during installation, an edge remains.

  • If there is no such edge in the place where you pulled out the insert, continue to do this until you find a suitable one. It is needed in order to catch on to it with pliers.
  • I would especially like to say about the pliers. They need to be prepared: the edges of the jaws must be rounded. This is done on emery, followed by grinding.
  • Further, the place where the insert was removed is warmed up with an industrial hair dryer. Grasp the hem and pull gently. Enough to pull out just 15 – 20 mm. That’s it, the drain hole is ready.
  • Now, using tape, attach a piece of plastic wrap to the wall, otherwise the water leaking out will ruin the surface. Substitute the container and you can drain the water.
  • To do this, lift the sagging part of the ceiling covering from below and direct the stream in the desired direction.

The advantage of this ceiling covering is that when the water is drained, it returns to its original shape. Leave the hole open for a while to dry. Then tuck the cover into place and install the decorative insert.

PVC panels and leaks

I would like to say a little about  PVC tiled ceilings . If the frame of such a ceiling is made of metal, or the wooden crate is treated with a hydrophobic composition, water is practically not afraid of it.

You can remove a couple of panels for faster drying of the overhead space. Or you can just wait until it dries out by itself. If there are no materials prone to decay in the structure, then leaks cannot cause any damage to it.

So, we looked at the topic: ceiling leakage, and offered you possible options for repairing it. We will be glad if our recommendations will help you in difficult times, but we sincerely wish that this does not happen to you.


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