Perhaps the most common type of damage to a ceiling is that caused by water. This damage is most likely caused by a dripping pipe, overflowing toilet, badly sealed shower or bathtub, or a leaking roof.
There are a few signs that indicate you have a water damaged ceiling that needs repair. You may notice a rusty discoloration, swelling or bubbling, mold growth, or ‘sweating’. You may see sweating at the early stages of water damage – the ceiling looks a little darker, and eventually evolves to staining and bubbling.
The temptation may be to get stuck in and repair your water damaged ceiling. If you do, you may be lucky and make a perfect job first time. More likely – especially if this is your first experience of repairing a ceiling – you’ll make one or more of the most common mistakes. These mistakes can be costly and require a new repair to be made.
I’ve put together this blog, which details what these mistakes are. This should help you to avoid them and save you tons of time and a bunch of dollar bills.
Failing to address the cause of the water damage
This is the most common mistake I see with DIY repairs. The repair would have been great: no seams showing, color perfectly blended. The problem here is that if you don’t find the cause and address that first, then that leaking roof is going to damage your ceiling again. At best, you’ll have to make the same repair a second, third, and forth time. At worst, the water damage will spread and worsen.
Using poor quality materials
We all like to save money. That’s why you’re repairing the water damaged ceiling yourself in the first place, I expect. Don’t make the mistake of buying cheaper, substandard materials to make the repair. They simply don’t work as well or last as long.
If you’ve ever been into someone’s house where they have made a ceiling repair themselves, the likelihood is that you’ll see it before they tell you what a great job they did. The repair itself may very well be good and strong, but they’ve left an unsightly finish. It may be uneven, with different textures or different colors. Blending takes time and experience − something most DIY repairers don’t have.
Taking on too much
I’ve done DIY jobs myself where I’ve thought ‘this shouldn’t be too difficult.’ In my case, usually it’s something to do with my vehicle. Before I know it I’ve got half the engine laid out in the yard and I’m desperately flicking through repair manuals.
The trick is to fully assess the job before you start. Find what the problem really is, measure up correctly, and stop and think before making that first cut in your water damaged ceiling. If you’re not sure that you have the skills to make a great, invisible repair, don’t start. Call a professional.
Calling the wrong person to do the job
I caught an episode of Everyone Loves Raymond a week or two ago. The one where Raymond tells his father that the washing machine isn’t working properly, and asks him to take a look. When Raymond returns, he finds the machine now doesn’t work at all, and there’s a rogue piece of pipe that his father couldn’t find a place for.
If you’ve decided the repair is a step too far for you (and there’s no embarrassment in that) be careful of hiring an enthusiast. Instead, ask friends and family for recommendations. Do an internet search. Look through Whitepages.
When you speak to potential repairers, ask questions about their experience, permits, and insurances. Ask for testimonials from satisfied customers.
If your ceiling is water damaged, contact us today. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
P.S. Here are a couple more articles you might find helpful: