Post # 1
Hey Bees, I have a home repair related issue and I was hoping some of you might have experience with the topic!
We had a leak over the summer in our roof. It was localized to one area and it was due to degraded seals in the seams of the roof, as well as a backup in our gutters preventing the water from draining off. It was repaired and has not leaked since.
The water came through along the seams of some of the ceiling drywall. There are a couple of spots that look like deflated bubbles, that eventually “popped” and had drips. The seams just look kind of puckered.
It has been months and we have not done anything with the ceiling inside in terms of repairing. How do I know if we need to actually replace the drywall in the ceiling? Is it possible that everything dried out and we can just keep what’s there and spackle, sand, and paint?
(what we have looks pretty similar to this: http://www.kbrweb.com/images/Ceiling%20Leak.jpg)
Post # 3
Hmm, I wish I could give you a definite answer but I’m no pro. We have somehting like this in the house we just bought. We put a new roof on and flashing etc and we had popcorn ceilings, so I scrapped all that down and we’re going to put textured ceiling instead. So after popcorn is removed, we’re spackling, sanding and then refinishing with a textured look. How big is the area that you need to repair? Can you give it the same look as the rest of the ceiling? If the leak isn’t that old you may want to put a dehumidifier in the room. Watch the area for any mold growth, if there is any I would spray it with bleach and water, if you catch it early on you can just use a q-tip. It’s hard to say for sure but hope that helps a little 🙂
Post # 4
Thanks for the insight nickels. I see no signs of mold whatsoever so I’m thinking that’s a good sign. It looks completely dried out.
There is no texture to the ceiling, it’s just painted drywall. So with spackle and sanding I think we could get it pretty smooth. Then I think we’d just prime and repaint the whole thing to get it looking seamless.
I guess we could just try it – if something goes wrong down the line, we won’t be any worse off than we are now!
Post # 5
You should replace the drywall. It’s not overly difficult to do. The reasons I say this are:
1. Mold growth will be REALLY BAD by the time you see it on the drywall. The inner cavity of the wall is likely where the mold will grow. When you take down the drywall you can spray the inner wall with a solution from the hardware store that will prevent mold from growing. If there is mold, you need to wear a respirator, sand it all off, toss everything and then spray with a special mold solution.
2. The drywall has been compromised. Even if it is dry now, it is not as strong as it once was and the seams are weak. As a result, over time the drywall might fall apart, seams will break, etc.
It’s not horrible to do (I’m currently helping my Future Mother-In-Law redo a kitchen and we redid all the drywall). Basically you need to get a straight line and exacto knife and cut out a rectangle/square area where the water was. Clean out the cavity and cut a new piece of drywall to size. Put in drywall screws to hold it up. Tape the seams with drywall tape, putty, dry, sand, putty, dry, sand and you are ready to paint! If you are already redoing the ceiling you won’t notice it at all. If you are anxious you can hire someone. It is likely a 6 hour job spread over three days (all that drying!) and won’t cost too much.
Also, there is a chance the water leaked down the wall. Did you check to see?
Post # 6
Hi takemyhand, thanks so much for the info. I’ve watched some youtube videos on patching a ceiling so I have a vague idea of what you are talking about. I see how cutting out a piece and replacing a patch might be simple if you have like one spot, but we have this long puckered seam basically spanning the width of the room where water tried to pass through the seam between two sheets of drywall. Would you still go about that by cutting out that whole length and replacing it?
There are no visible signs of water leaking down the wall luckily.
I’m interested in trying this ourselves but my husband feels otherwise! Haha. I’m not against hiring someone either but I felt like getting away without replacing the drywall would have been an easier DIY. Thanks again!
Post # 7
i would cut out the piece that you want to replace (just make sure you leave a spot to secure the new piece to!) . it will give you piece of mind with mold and make it feel fresh 🙂 no wrinkly paint when it gets hot or cold. 🙂
Post # 8
Thanks for the suggestion. I’m beginning to think replacing it is the best way to go!
Post # 9
If it is the entire seam then there is a really good chance that there was water pooling all over the drywall in several places… not great. You will likely want to cut out the entire area with the seam plus a few feet. Honestly though, you might want to call an expert for a recommendation of how much to replace. All I can think is that if the water degraded the seam, it likely was pooled across your entire ceiling in that room. Again, not an impossible job (and I say this like an expert because I just redid the ceiling in a kitchen like PRO!), but at the same time, it is a long and boring job.
Next time if you ever have a leak (and I hope you don’t), it would be best to take out the drywall that is bubbled right away to let the water out. If you don’t let the water out it will eat away the drywall from INSIDE your walls/ceiling. I guess that’s why I’m wondering if you might have to replace a significant amount. Depending on how long the water was there, how much water was there… the water damage is likely much worse than what you can see. I would assume that you would have to replace at least 4ft on either side of the seam you are talking about, but, again, an expert would tell you more.
Post # 10
Just looked at the picture too… I know it’s not your place, but what is happening in the picture is the drywall compound that is holding the tape up has “melted” with the water. It’s a lot like real plaster where if it gets wet it just turns to a soup. Anyways, if the seam is falling down like that, again, you might want an expert to look and assess how much needs to be replaced.
Post # 11
I may be a little late in this, but it seems like takemyhand has given you some solid advice. I work in architecture, and if you want to do this yourself, a moisture meter would be a really handy investment and it will most likely be cheaper than a consultation with a professional.
The meter has little pins that detect any moisture and provide a reading on the screen. You have to start with a non-damaged portion of your ceiling to determine the “baseline” the work your way into or out of the damage areas creating a reading. This will tell you the extent of the damage and how much to patch.
There are details in the link below:
Wear masks and call a pro if you run into black mold. Otherwise it should totally be diy.