Repairing ceiling water damage can be a lot more complicated than cleaning up water damage to flooring or walls, mainly because of it being more awkward as it’s above you, but also because there is more risk of the ceiling collapsing under the load of the water. But, the way you approach clearing up ceiling water damage is much the same way you would go about clearing up after any sort of water damage in your home.
The first thing you want to do is make sure that the flow of water is stopped at the source, to prevent it building up and getting worse. Sometimes it can be hard to locate where the water is actually originating from, because the water can spread quite far. Most commonly, the causes of ceiling water damage are things such as a leaking roof or window, a burst pipe, or an overflowing sink, bath or toilet. Depending on your situation, it may be easy to stop the water by closing off the valve to your water system, but in more severe cases you’ll want to enlist the help of a professional.
Next, you’ll want to drain any water that is being held in the ceiling. Be cautious when doing this, depending on how much water appears to be in the ceiling. Cover the ground on the floor below with plastic sheeting so as to protect the floor, and get a number of buckets to collect the water when it falls. If there is a bulge forming in the ceiling where the water is gathering, place a bucket underneath and pierce the bulge to allow the water to drain. Don’t underestimate how much water there could be in the ceiling, as once you pierce it, it will just keep draining until it’s empty.
From here you can work to dry out the wet area of the ceiling. Depending on the extent of the damage in your situation, the extent of this task will vary. If there really was a mass of water that has significantly destroyed the ceiling, then you’ll need to seek the help of a company that specializes in ceiling water damage repair. It’s not a task to be taken lightly. If the wet area is on a smaller scale, you may be able to completely resolve the situation yourself.
Open windows in the rooms where the water is located, to allow fresh air to circulate. Fans can help increase the airflow also. You want to dry out the area as soon as possible to prevent the growth of mold. Mold will develop within 24 – 48 hours of the dampness occurring, and can be hazardous to both your home and your health. Also, use a dehumidifier to reduce any moisture in the air as this will speed up the drying process.
From this point, you just need to completely dry out the damp area so you can begin making repairs. Obviously you’ll need to make any repairs at the source of where the water came from as well as the actual ceiling itself. If this is a task beyond what you are capable of, seek the professional help of a ceiling water damage specialist as it needs to be done properly.