The Steps to Repair Drywall Ceiling Water Damage

Eddie Shekari
January 17, 2022

Water can cause severe and irreversible damage to your ceiling. If this happens, it’s important to take immediate action as your ceiling could deteriorate, need replacement, and potentially cause health problems. A water-damaged ceiling can lead to mold growth, which can be extremely dangerous to your health, resulting in rashes, headaches, dizziness, nausea, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and lung infections.

However, water-damaged drywall and water-damaged ceilings can be repaired. All you need are the proper steps and tools to know how to assess the drywall water damage and how to fix it. Failure to do this will result in irreparable destruction to the damaged area, which is why we at  Pro Painters have put together the following steps for you to repair drywall ceiling water damage successfully. 

Use a bucket to collect water from leakage

1. Inspecting Where the Water Leak Came From 

If you have a roof leak or suspect water damage, it’s critical that you first assess the damage. The source of the water leak needs to be found before repairs can be made. This is essential for preventing further drywall ceiling water damage; the water source must be stopped, or the damage will continue.

Sometimes it’s an undeniable observation as the ceiling could be showing signs of peeling, cracking, or bubbling. Other times, the ceiling can have exposed seams or sagging areas on the roof. However, it’s not always an easy investigation to locate the source. It’s possible that the water has already transferred from a roof leak, and is now causing damage to places where you would never expect. 

If, after further investigation, the source of the water-damaged ceiling still cannot be found, it’s time to remove the damaged drywall. The removal will help you find the leak’s location and dry out the water-damaged areas


2. Dry Out Damaged Areas  

Before removing the damaged drywall, you have to dry out the affected areas. Place down a drop cloth or tarp to protect the floor and catch any dust and debris created when removing the damaged drywall. If the ceiling’s drywall has a bulging area, puncture it to release the water and have a bucket in place to catch all the water.

Take the time to ensure that all areas are completely dry — above and below. 

Water damaged drywall can lead mold

3. Remove Drywall Ceiling Water Damage 

Before beginning the removal process of the water-damaged ceiling, make sure you are wearing protective gear such as safety goggles and a face mask. Start by removing the damaged drywall either by hand or by using a hammer or wrecking bar. If the drywall panels only show water stains and aren’t showing structural damage, it can be salvaged by cutting out only the damaged areas.

Furthermore, when cutting out the affected area, use a keyhole saw to cut the hole into a square or rectangular shape. This can then be later used to make a patch with another piece of drywall. 


4. The Repair Process

Use sandpaper to smooth any ridges and bumps that have been left. Then continue by filling all the small holes with a joint compound, letting it dry, and then smoothing it down again. For the other times where you cut out the damaged areas of the drywall, measure the size of the hole and then cut out a new piece of drywall 2 inches wider and longer than the previous hole. This new piece will fill the hole.

Remember to always start with a bigger piece that can be cut down with a utility knife. Once the adhesive has dried, make sure to repeat the process of filling the holes with a joint compound and smoothing. 

Please hire a restoration company to put in complete slabs of drywall panels or work on ceiling repairs. The task can be daunting by yourself as drywall is heavy, and keeping it steady can be challenging. 

5. Prime and Paint

After finally completing the repairs, open the windows to provide ventilation for the priming and painting process. If the whole ceiling was not damaged, it’s still critical to prime and paint the entire ceiling to ensure an even finish.

Start by priming the ceiling and allowing it to dry. An important note is that you don’t have to wait to paint in between coats, but doing so will ensure better results. Once completed, you can then paint the entirety of the ceiling. 

However, if the whole priming and painting process seems like a drag, call the professionals

hire a restoration company to put in complete slabs of drywall panels or work on ceiling repairs

Call the Pros

Attempting to repair the water-damaged areas of your drywall and ceiling can be challenging, especially by yourself. This is a very involved process, and if you need help, the professionals at Pro Painters can help. We are a Houston painting company that can repair and install drywall.

The Pros understand the urgency of these situations — water-damaged ceilings and wet drywall. Our drywall repair and installation service includes measuring, marking, and cutting the panels. Afterward, we fasten the boards with glue, nails, or screws; match and trim rough spots; seal the joints, layer the drywall with sealant, and sand the joint and holes to make it smooth. We will restore your home all back to normal. Contact Pro Painters for immediate replacement or repair of drywall ceiling water damage. 

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Eddie Shekari

Eddie founded Pro Painters in 1995 to meet the growing need for high-quality residential and commercial painting needs in Houston. In nearly 20 years, Pro Painters has exponentially grown our client base, serving residents across the greater Houston area. Our core principles have helped us achieve the highest standard of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Our years of experience have allowed us to become an extension to our customers as the all-in-one solution for home makeovers.