Plumbing leaks or malfunctioning appliances are bad enough on their own. But things are made worse when they leave behind noticeable damage in a ceiling. As a homeowner, you have to decide whether to try and fix the ceiling yourself or hire a professional like Storm Guard. Getting it wrong could mean a lot of money spent on a job that ends up needing to be redone.
Minor ceiling damage can be repaired fairly easily while major damage may require a bit more experience. The key is knowing what you’re capable of handling versus what you should leave to the professionals. One way around having to decide who makes a repair is to purchase a home protection plan that would pay to have repairs made to water damaged ceilings. Don’t have one? Well then you must assess the seriousness of the damage and then act accordingly.
Minor Ceiling Damage
Minor damage includes water stains, small cracks and flaking paint. These are things that are cosmetically unattractive without indicating more serious underlying damage. They can be fixed with a small investment of time and money.
When dealing with a stain that involves no cracks or flaking paint, the stain can be covered with a special kind of paint available at your local DIY store. Just tell the salesperson what you intend to do and he or she will direct you to the right product. After covering the stain with the special paint, you can then prime it and cover it with ceiling white or another color. Bear in mind that the fresh paint over the repaired area will not match the rest of your ceiling.
Flaking paint with no cracks is also fairly simple to repair. You start by scraping away the paint with a flat drywall knife. Even out the area by applying a bit of spackle or drywall compound, making sure you sand and prime before applying paint.
Repairs involving cracks require a process that is a bit more involved. Scrape away any loose paint or drywall around the damaged area with a drywall knife. Next, cover the crack with either self-adhesive drywall tape or paper tape and compound. Then gradually cover the tape and build up the surrounding area with multiple, thin layers of drywall compound. When you’re satisfied with what it looks like, prime and paint.
Major Ceiling Damage
Major water damage is characterized by bubbled paint, broken drywall or large cracks more than an inch or two in length. You can try repairing these yourself by cutting away the affected drywall and replacing it with a new piece. You would then use the tape and compound method described above to finish off the repair prior to painting.
If this is an area in which you lack experience and confidence, you are probably better off hiring a professional to do the job for you. A pro should be able to handle most ceiling repairs within just a couple of days. He only needs a day between coats to let the drywall compound dry and cure.
Another good reason for hiring a professional is that of repairing water damage to textured ceilings. A textured ceiling is a special case in that you want the repair to look as close to the original as possible. Given the nature of textured ceilings, it’s a good idea to hire a contractor who specializes in ceiling repairs for this kind of work.
Water damaged ceilings are a normal part of home ownership. Fortunately, most repairs can be made without having to spend a fortune on replacing the entire ceiling.
Written by David Glenn. David is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about real estate tips, home maintenance, and DIY home repair.