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Ceiling Repair

Causes of damage to the ceiling

A common cause of damage to the ceiling is water that normally comes on it from leaking/damaged water pipes or through the rain water entering through a hole in the roof. Sometimes the seepage is so strong that it cannot be prevented by the plaster or drywall on the ceiling. The water may come in through the point where the two drywall panels join each other. It may also seep through the weak points and cracks in the seams.

Sometimes the water forms a pool, saturates the plaster and starts seeping through it. It may even throw down big slabs of the ceiling. When the water gets into the walls and ceiling, it may cause mold and you may find it very hard and expensive to get rid of it.

A constant flow of water may result in total collapse of the ceiling.

Steps to repair the ceiling

1. Stop the flow of water

The first and the most important step is to block the points from where the water is flowing.  Put a new pipe if the old one is rotten, leaking or damaged. Ask your neighbor to replace it if it is coming from his home. Warn him with a lawsuit if he is adamant.

2. Dry the upper and lower surface of the ceiling

Sweep away all the water as soon as you can both up and below the ceiling. Try to dry-clean the area with fans, towels or vacuums. If the water is dripping, it shows that the ceiling is still soaked with it.

If you find bulges in plaster or drywall, remove them with appropriate tools such as a knife or a screw driver.

In case some portions remain stubbornly wet, you need to remove them altogether. Remain cautious as you do so, as the water may come out. So keep a bucket to get it.

3. How to deal with mold

The most favorite spots for mold to come up are the dark and moist corners. So, don’t allow the ceiling or the walls to remain damp over a longer period.

Sometimes, the mould becomes so stubborn that the residents are forced to abandon the house.

Removing mold may take days of keeping the fans running on the damp areas. Once you are sure, the area has become absolutely dry and mold free, you may start repairing the ceiling.

4. Rip off the damaged parts of the ceiling

Scrape the loose, peeling, flaking, chipping or bulging plaster/ drywall using a paint scrapper or a putty knife until you get a smooth and flat surface.

5. Readying the ceiling surface

Scrape away the bulges between the affected and intact surface areas with a putty knife and make them as flat and smooth as you can. Fill the minor holes and cracks with joint filling compound and cover the large damaged areas with plaster or new sheets of drywall.

6. Use primer to hide the stains

 Apply a coat or two of a white looking   primer, ’Kilz’ over the stain and leave it to dry.  Ignoring this step and just painting over the water damaged area may reveal the stain again.

7. Painting the ceiling

Cover the floor under the ceiling with tarps before you start the painting work. Try to match the color of the paint with the existing paint. If the old color is stubborn and is difficult to match, it would be better to paint the whole ceiling once again. In that case, don’t forget to spread the plastic sheets over the furniture and walls.

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