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How to fix Ceiling Water Damage

Updated: Sep 19, 2020

Water damage to the ceiling is a problem you don’t want to put off or ignore.

Whether the water is coming from an outdoor or indoor source, letting that water continue to pool could lead to mold growth and structural instability, potentially culminating in a ceiling collapse. Yikes!

Signs of water damage to your ceiling include:

  • Slightly discolored spots — usually copper, yellow, or brown

  • Peeling, cracking, or bubbling wall surfaces

  • Discolored growths

  • Odors indicative of mold or mildew

  • Stains on ceiling

  • Sagging ceiling

  • Bulging drywall

So what steps do you need to take to repair the water damage to your ceiling?

Find and Fix the Source

The first step is to identify the source of the water. If the room has no other rooms above it, then you are likely dealing with a leaky roof or gutters that aren’t properly draining. If your ceiling is beneath the floor of another room, then you should look to the room above for the culprit.

If you’re dealing with water coming in from outside, you should start by checking both your roof and gutters, and seeing whether repairs are needed. It may just be that your gutters are clogged and overflowing. Bring in a qualified roofer or repair company to patch up or replace your roof, as needed. Call us @ 515-441-1918 if you need some suggestions as to who to call.

If the room above the damaged ceiling is a bathroom, then you may be dealing with poor waterproofing which has lead to condensation seeping down through the floor and into the ceiling. When it comes to internal water sources, you may also be dealing with a leaky or burst pipe, or a leaky appliance, such as a refrigerator.

Whatever the source, shut it off immediately, and make the necessary repairs.

Repair the Damage

Now that you’ve dealt with the source of the water damage, it’s time to deal with the actual damage to the ceiling.

1.) Drain Pooled Water

If your ceiling is bulging, there is likely water pooling, which should be drained. You can do this by placing a bucket below the bulge and (carefully) piercing the drywall with a nail, knife, or screwdriver. Be very cautious and don’t stand directly below the hole you’re making. Always wear protective goggles while performing this step.

2.) Cut Away Damaged Materials

Next, you will need to remove damaged and discolored materials, anything containing mold or mildew, and damaged drywall. This step can be dangerous, and you may want to bring in a professional at this point if you’re not familiar with the wires that lie beyond your ceiling’s surface. It is also tricky cutting away drywall without accidentally cutting the wood joist, so you’ll need to exercise extreme caution here, only cut away non-structural parts of your ceiling.