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A Beginner’s Guide To Ceiling Repair

water-leak-leaks-down-rooftop-floor | A Beginner's Guide To Ceiling Repair | Featured

Ceiling repair can look daunting to a beginner. With the right tools, materials, and some safety precautions, you can patch up the damage and avoid a more costly repair job.

In this article:

RELATED: Low Basement Ceiling Ideas | Basement Makeover

A Newbie’s Guide To Ceiling Repair: FAQs

What Causes Ceiling Damage?

ceiling damage-caused-by-damp-moisture-on | A Beginner's Guide To Ceiling Repair

Here are some reasons why your ceiling could break:

  • Water damage: Leaks from your roof or other areas in the house can cause water to seep into your ceiling and damage them.
  • Structural issues: This could either be due to poor workmanship or natural disasters like earthquakes.
  • Humidity: This is especially common in damp areas of the house like kitchens and bathrooms. Moisture can seep in to the ceiling and cause molds to appear.
  • Age: Some types of damage are just due to normal wear and tear.

What Are the Common Signs of Ceiling Damage?

Here are a few signs of a ceiling in need of repair:

  • Brown watermarks or stains (a telltale sign of a water leak)
  • Cracks of various sizes
  • Paint peeling off your ceiling
  • A ceiling that’s bowing down instead of lying flat above you.

Water Damaged Ceiling Repair

man repairing a collapsed ceiling panels | A Beginner's Guide To Ceiling Repair | home repair

Water damaged can be really frustrating especially if it affects not just one tile. But here is one simple guide to repairing water damaged ceiling:

  1. Figure out what’s causing the water leak and fix that.
  2. Let the water-damaged area dry.
  3. Repair the damage based on the type of ceiling material.

To prevent leaks before damage gets on your ceiling, you can use a wireless water detector. You can place them in bathrooms and kitchens to alert you to problems early on – click here to learn more.

Moldy Ceiling Repair

If the mold only covers a small area in your ceiling, you can clean off the mold with some common household cleaning products.

  1. Mix some warm water and mild detergent, then clean the area.
  2. Let that dry.
  3. Apply a mix of 1/4 cup of bleach with 1 quart of water to the area.
  4. Wait for 20 minutes.
  5. Apply the bleach solution a second time.
  6. Let dry for another 20 minutes.
  7. Treat the ceiling with some Borax to stop the mold from growing.

Warning: Wear safety gear like goggles, gloves, and a face mask before cleaning a moldy ceiling.

RELATED: DIY Drywall Patch To Fix Holes And Dents On Your Walls

Drywall Ceiling Repair

huge hole in the roof from rainwater | A Beginner's Guide To Ceiling Repair | ceiling drywall repair

To repair a damaged drywall ceiling:

  1. Cut out the damaged drywall into a square shape.
  2. Add some wood blockings to act as a support between your drywall patch and the surrounding ceiling.
  3. Insert your drywall patch into the hole you cut out and fasten them in place with some screws.
  4. Fill the gaps with some spackling compound and make sure they blend with the rest of the ceiling.
  5. Apply your ceiling patch and make sure it matches the texture of your ceiling.

Warning: If you’re living in an older home, have a health professional test for asbestos first before attempting to repair your ceiling.

Drop Ceiling Repair

Repairing drop ceilings depends on how extensive the damage is. For small holes, you can get away with a spot ceiling repair job:

  1. Slide the damaged ceiling tile off the metal grid.
  2. Place your ceiling tile somewhere you can work safely on.
  3. Use a putty knife to remove any loose ceiling tile material.
  4. Apply some latex caulk to the damaged area and wipe the area smooth with the putty knife.
  5. Let the caulk dry overnight.
  6. Paint some acoustical ceiling touch-up paint to the area and allow it to dry.

For a tile with more extensive damage, it’s best to replace the entire tile. You can find replacement tiles in your local home improvement store.

  1. Slide the damaged ceiling tile off the metal grid.
  2. Insert the new tile into place with the finished side facing down.

When Is It Best to Call a Pro?

builder-installing-rest-drywall-on-ceiling | A Beginner's Guide To Ceiling Repair

Much as we love a great DIY repair job, there are some types of ceiling repair that are just too risky for even the most seasoned DIYer. Here are some of them:

  • When your ceiling contains asbestos: This especially applies to popcorn ceilings in older homes. Asbestos is a dangerous material to work with and exposure comes with many health risks, including lung cancer.
  • Mold that covers a large part of the ceiling: Exposing yourself to a large amount of mold can also cause health issues.
  • If you suspect structural damage is at play: A sagging ceiling or a long crack traversing the entire ceiling indicates some amount of structural damage. It’s best to check with a pro to assess what is the root cause and address it.
Zinsser Ready-Mixed Popcorn Ceiling Patch, 1-Quart
  • This product adds a great value
  • Convenient, easy to apply
  • Use to repair blemishes, scratches and scrapes
  • Model number: 76084

Watch this video from How2D2 on how to fix a ceiling with a big hole:

Ceiling repair is a simple job as long as you see the signs of damage early and fix issues before they become a bigger problem. We hope you learned something from this guide and stay tuned for more home improvement projects.

Have you repaired your ceiling before? Share your tips and experiences in the comments section below!

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