When a ceiling becomes water damaged it will become stained, moldy, and may even collapse. These problems are both unsightly and unsafe. The first thing you will need to do is find the source of the water. If a it is from a leaky pipe upstairs then the pipe must be fixed. If your roof is leaking and causing the damage then the roof must be repaired. Fixing the ceiling without fixing the source of the water is pointless.
Once the leak has been repaired you can begin taking the steps you will need to take to fix the water damaged ceiling.
What you will need:
- Plastic or tarps
- Stud finder
- Straight edge and pencil
- sheet rock knife
- Garbage bags
- Cordless drill
- Phillips head bit
- Tape measure
- New insulation
- 1/2 inch staples
- New sheet rock
- Several 2 inch sheet rock screws
- Mud pan
- Sheet rock mud
- Sheet rock tape
- Mud knife
- Electric handheld sander
- Paint that matches the ceiling
Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the ceiling under the damaged area. Use a straight edge and the pencil to make a square along the studs. Two lines of the square should run on the studs and the other two should connect from stud to stud. It’s a good idea to make the square large enough to extend one to two feet beyond the damaged area.
Lay down plastic or tarp to collect the mess and protect your floor. Use a sheet rock knife to cut the old, damaged sheet rock along the lines. Pull it down and place it in garbage bags. Pull down the old, wet insulation as well.
Use a cordless drill and a Phillips head bit to remove all of the old sheet rock screws. Throw them away.
Use the tape measure to get the exact measurements of the square. Cut insulation to size and install it using a stapler and 1/2 inch staples. Ceiling beams are generally 24 inches apart. R-19 insulation works best. If your ceiling beams are 16 inches apart use R-13 or R-11.
Use the tape measure and straight edge to measure and mark a new piece of sheet rock according to the size of the square. Use the sheet rock knife to cut the sheet rock to size. Hold the new sheet rock in place where the square is and secure it using the cordless drill and 2 inch sheet rock screws. Be sure that the screws go into the beams. There will be no beams to insert screws into on the two sides of the square. That’s okay. As long as the two sides that run along the beams are secured well there won’t be a problem.
Cut 4 pieces of sheet rock tape, one for each side of the square, according to the length of the square. Fill a mud pan with sheet rock mud then use the mud knife to smooth a thin layer of mud over the tape. Allow the first coat of mud one hour to dry then lightly sand it using the electric handheld sander. Apply another coat of mud over the tape. Allow it to dry for another hour and then sand it until it is completely smooth.
Use paint that matches the existing paint on your ceiling to paint the new sheet rock.