Remove Standing Water Immediately
If water from a roof leak is permitted to stand and soak through the ceiling, widespread and expensive damage can be the result. To minimize or eliminate water damage to the plaster or wallboard, go into the attic, pull back the insulation between the joists, and find out where puddles of water have formed. If water has been standing long enough, you will see wet spots on the ceiling from the finished side. To remove the water, create a drain hole in the ceiling with a cordless drill. Place a bucket on a ladder under the hole to catch the draining water.
After the water is removed and the roof has been repaired, drain holes can be patched and painted.
Stains on ceilings are often the product of a roof leak. After the water has been drained and the cause of the leak repaired, sand the area of the stain well and then apply a coat of fast-drying sealer. Interior wall paint can be then be applied over the sealer without the stain bleeding through.
Repairing a Drywall Ceiling
The difficulty of the repair will depend, of course, on the severity of the damage. Minor damage can be repaired rather simply with drywall compound, after the affected area has entirely dried.
Patching a Hole In A Drywall Ceiling
– Before beginning work on any repair, turn off the circuit that supplies electricity to the area. Widen the hole at the center of the damaged area with a hammer so that you can check for electrical wiring and the position of ceiling joists. Use a flashlight and mirror to examine the area for wiring.
– After determining that the area is free of wiring, pencil in a square or rectangle encompassing the affected area. Cut out the square of damaged drywall using a utility knife or drywall saw. Two sides of the opening should back up to the nearest joists.
– The parallel sides of the two existing joists will act as a nailing surface for furring strips, but you will need to create a nailing surface for the top and bottom edges of the cutout. You can do this by toenailing 2 x 4 blocking between the joists and at each end of the cutout. Extend the blocking at least halfway beyond the cut ends of the existing drywall to act as a nailing surface for the new piece of drywall.
– Nail 1 x 2 furring strips flush to the bottom edges of the joists.
– Using drywall of the same thickness, cut a piece to fit the opening; there should be a 1/8 inch gap around it when it is placed within the hole. Drive nails into the patch and through to the blocking and furring. Place wallboard tape over the cracks and finish the area with wallboard compound. Sand the area after the compound has dried.