If your ceiling is leaking, it is a serious problem even if you temporarily fixed it.
Water leaking from the ceiling indicates that roof damage needs to be repaired and there is no time to waste before you hire a water damage service and ask them to fix the problem.
It seems like something you can fix yourself (especially if it’s just dripping water from the ceilings), but the challenge is locating the source rather than doing random repairs to the roof of the house.
If you don’t, the problem will come back and you will end up with a completely destroyed roof that isn’t exactly budget-friendly to repair.
Water Coming Through The Ceiling – How Can You Fix It?
When water leaks from the ceiling, the first and foremost task is to locate the source or to move the path of the water, as roofers like to say.
Most of the time, the reason you see water coming through the ceiling is because some of the shingles are missing, broken, worn, or that some of the nails have been poorly sealed and corroded over time.
Loose vents, poorly installed skylights, or old chimneys can also cause water to flow at intersections and damage your ceiling when it is least expected.
Getting rid of water damage is one of the most important functions of your home’s health whether or not you rent one Water damage restoration Regularly wait or wait for a heavy rain to remind you that this is what you should do.
If such damage is not repaired, mold can appear or, worse, weaken the entire roof structure. The sad truth is that you can’t 100% protect your ceiling, be it a drywall or a plastered ceiling.
No ceiling material is completely waterproof, so you’ll need to check it here and there to see if there is anything that can be done to improve it.
The good thing, however, is that water usually runs over a rafter and you can see exactly where it started.
Once past the roof, it continues to flow towards the sheathing, reaching the top of the ceiling to look for the thinnest layer that drips down. Unfortunately, this can even be your most expensive piece of furniture.
What you can do is examine the roof in daylight, still use a powerful flashlight to watch your step, and only walk on secure frame parts to avoid falling or damaging the ceiling.
Either way, skip the insulation on the top as it is never strong enough to support an average adult. Once there, follow the wet tracks and work your way up to see which frame member has been damaged.
Important steps to restore the ceiling
Don’t let it happen again
When you find the source, close it as there is no point doing repairs without it. Repair the leaking pipe or even replace it with another one.
Check whether the roofing material above is damaged
This is pretty easy on a flat roof, but there’s a good chance water will leak elsewhere as well. Therefore, examine everything. When looking at a sloping roof, investigate areas higher than the source of the leak.
Don’t forget to check the attic for mold, stains, or wood stains, or ideally, run a hose and let the person inside alert you if any water leaks.
Dry out the blanket (both below and above)
Before doing anything, make sure that your floor and furniture are protected from the tarpaulin that can fall on them. Plug the leak and dry the blanket with a vacuum cleaner, fans, towels, or other available item.
The blanket should be dried on both sides so that no water drips. If this still happens, dry it again. If this does not help, then you need to examine the ceiling for saturation.
During the process, the drywall may also bulge out. So make sure there is a bucket under the swollen area. You can easily stab it with a screwdriver, but make sure to collect some water as it flows down.
The risk of mold shouldn’t be underestimated, and it almost certainly will happen when you’re repairing a wet surface. Just in case, let it dry before proceeding.
Straighten the curled shingles
The challenge here is not to ruin the shingles as they are usually made of highly delicate asphalt. Straightening is easiest by warming up, which may require more warmth in colder weather conditions.
You can use a flashlight or even an open flame, but extreme care should be taken – even the most fire-redundant clapboard can be damaged by direct fire. Use an electric fan instead.
Remove the damaged sections
The damaged sections should be cut out, but before doing this you need to be aware of the other side of the drywall as well.
The damaged areas may be exactly where an electrical wire, gas pipe, HVAC duct, plumbing, or metal beam is. Hence, it’s always better to cut a small test hole with a utility knife and use a flashlight to see what’s inside.
This is especially important in cases where the leak occurs in the middle of the ceiling creepage.
Clean the surface
The best material for smoothing the ribs is sandpaper, which also ensures you have a clean surface to work on. If there are large cracks or holes, dry clean and repair them.
For smaller ones, you only need grout. The resulting unevenness can also be smoothed out with sandpaper.
Get rid of unusable shingles
Once the clapboard is in contact with water, it will break with a simple crumb so that even a young child can lift it off the roof. So it is important to replace it with a new one.
The best way to avoid damage is to lift the edges first and pry the nail off. There may be cement residue. So scrape the area to make sure there are no problems. A sharper utility knife should be enough to round the corners.
Then take the new clapboard and place it in place by driving galvanized 3.2 cm long roofing nails into the top corners, then covering them with cement.
Tips on priming and painting
A primer and a few coats of coat are needed to cover the damage and stains on the ceiling. Note that a coating without a primer is not enough to cover the stains, as is painting over directly.
Ideally, paint the entire ceiling to avoid any visible color differences.
Things you should be doing
Ventilate regularly. If it’s summer, make sure the air conditioning is on until the area is completely dry and use alternative sources such as heating in winter.
When the surface is flat, use a sponge to remove the water. If the floor is made of hardwood or some other delicate material, cover it with foil or styrofoam blocks to prevent water from leaking directly on it.
Ideally, move valuables and electronics to another room and leave the furniture door open for internal drying. If your books and valuable documents have been damaged, put them in the refrigerator to slow down the growth of mold.
If there is excessive damage, consider a water damage company to clean up and help you.
Things you shouldn’t do
If the ceiling is leaking and the room is still wet, don’t go in. Do not turn on any electrical appliances or appliances until you are absolutely certain that there is no risk (the risk remains as long as the floor and walls are wet.
Note that heat will not help in an enclosed area. So only remove the fabrics to avoid mold and let the room dry out.
From the very first moment, stains appear on the roof. Think if your roof needs repair and check it out.
Ideally, hire professional service rather than doing it yourself, as you may neglect where the damage is coming from or cause even more damage to the roof structure.
Once the damage is fully repaired, paint the ceiling to cover the damaged area.
There are many external and internal factors that can cause water damage, especially storms, burst or leaking pipes, malfunctioning equipment, clogged drains, etc.
Unfortunately, we cannot control all of them (especially no weather damage or contaminated sewer system failures), but we can regularly check them and prevent such damage from occurring.