What to Do When There Is Water Damage on Your Ceiling

What to Do When There Is Water Damage on Your Ceiling

Ceiling damage is one of the usual problems that many homeowners face. The most common cause of it is water damage, which occurs when water breaches the ceiling’s structural integrity.

Do you know why addressing ceiling water damage is not only important but is also urgent?

Ceiling water damage is more than just leaving rust-like stains that mar your ceiling’s appearance. If left unchecked and unaddressed, it can lead to something far worse. The infiltration of water weakens the ceiling’s structure, potentially compromising its stability. 

Not only can ceiling water damage pose a safety risk, but it can also become a health risk, as water infiltration can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth.

The progression of the ceiling damage caused by water intrusion may not be noticeable right away, which stresses the importance of early detection and prompt, effective solutions that protect both the structural integrity of your home and your and your family’s health.

If fixing the ceiling may be a bit too much for you, professional painting contractors in Concord, CA, can do the work – addressing the leaks and restoring your ceiling to its original appearance.

Signs of water damage on ceilings


If you’re experiencing a water-damaged ceiling, detecting the signs won’t be too hard. Here are the following signs of ceiling water damage:

  • Discoloration or stains – Discoloration on your ceiling usually presents as yellow, dark brown, or rust-colored. There are also “water rings,” which are undesirable watermarks on the ceiling so-called due to their circular shape.
  • Paint damage – These may include peeling, flaking, cracking, or bubbling paint in your ceiling.
  • Mold and mildew – You may find mold and mildew along the corners, ceilings, and walls.
  • Installations separating from walls – The water ceiling damage may also affect your walls. Installations such as wallpaper, baseboards, and trim may lose their adhesion due to leaks from the ceiling, causing them to separate from the walls.

Signs of water damage on ceilings

  • “Sweating” walls – Moisture condensing on your walls and making them look as if they sweat is an indication of a leak that comes before mold or watermarks appear.
  • Musty smell – If your nose picks up a disagreeably musty smell, it indicates mold and mildew in your home.
  • Sagging ceiling – A sagging or bowed ceiling is a giveaway that your roof might be leaking.
  • Increasing water bills – If your ceiling has water damage and there’s a bathroom above it, the most likely cause is a leaky pipe, which may also be the reason behind the sudden and unexplained rise in your water bills.

Important steps to take when there is water damage on your ceiling


As soon as you have identified signs of water damage on your ceiling, act on it swiftly. 

In case there is severe water damage to your ceiling, expect more extensive work that may also involve roof repairs and the replacement of damaged wood features. Before repairing the water-damaged ceiling, prepare the work area through the following steps:

  1. Move your furniture away from the work area so that necessary ceiling repairs can be done.
  2. Turn off your home’s electricity and/or water supply.
  3. Remove décor and fixtures from the walls and drapes or curtains from windows.
  4. Ensure that the work area is well-ventilated by opening windows, turning on fans, using air filters, etc. 
  5. Protect the floors with drop cloths.
  6. Use protective gear like goggles, rubber gloves, and a dust mask.

Follow the steps below to repair your damaged ceiling:

1. Find the source of the leak.

You may have to inspect the roof for holes or a missing shingle that allows water to flow into the ceiling. The roof may have aged or deteriorated over time and can no longer offer sufficient protection from the rainwater, so it should be repaired or replaced.

Or if there’s a bathroom above the ceiling, the cause of the water damage is most likely leaky pipes. If the pipe was improperly installed, has burst out due to freezing, has worn out with age, or has been punctured, your pipe must be repaired or replaced.

It is vital that you locate the source of the water damage. Otherwise, you’ll just keep making the same repairs to your ceiling all over again.

2. Repair the leak.

Depending on the root cause of the problem, you may have to repair the leak by yourself or hire a professional handyman to do the job for you.

3. Remove the damaged materials

f damage to your ceiling is serious, you must remove the materials to let the entire surface dry out properly. Like interior walls, the ceiling is made of drywall, which can absorb moisture like a sponge. Make sure to cut a hole of the damaged drywall as you’re removing it. Be extra careful not to cut through any electrical lines.

4. Let the drywall dry out completely 

You’ll need to let the entire ceiling dry out completely before you attempt to repair it. Sure, you may be tempted to rush into the ceiling repair as soon as you’ve removed all the damaged parts, but it’s essential that the surface be completely dry first. Since drywall holds so much moisture, any patchwork may not be effective unless all the neighboring areas are 100% dry.

To facilitate drying, use industrial drying fans to get rid of all moisture on and underneath the surface. Make sure that everything is completely dry and free from moisture, mold, and mildew. Just because it looks dry on the surface doesn’t mean all the moisture is gone.

5. Repair the ceiling 

Once the ceiling is completely dry, do the necessary repairs. They may involve complicated fixes involving placing a new piece of insulation, along with a piece of drywall and new paint. Or the repairs may simply consist of applying primer and paint to the stained area of the ceiling. Whatever repair you go for, make sure that it is carried out as seamlessly as possible.

Why should you hire professionals?

Unless you have direct experience dealing with water damage, trying to fix the damaged ceiling yourself is an ill-advised move. This is where the professionals come in.

Here are the following good reasons why it’s better to hand the job to professional handymen, such as experienced handymen or painting in Concord experts:

  • Savings on money – Hiring a professional to repair water ceiling damage will save you money. Instead of spending on expensive equipment but having no experience of using it, it’s better to hire someone who’s knowledgeable in home repairs and improvement. Professionals bring the proper tools and use their skills and experience to carry out the repairs smoothly and efficiently, bringing long-lasting results.
  • Savings on time – When you hire a professional handyman or residential painter, you don’t have to spend too much time figuring out how to cut out the damaged section of the ceiling without damaging the electrical wires or painting the newly installed drywall. Since professionals have the skills and experience can finish the job in a fraction of the time you would have spent if you tackled it by yourself. Let the professionals do the job, and you will save valuable time.
  • Quality results – One of the reasons for hiring a professional residential painter or handyman is quality results. The pros have access to the best quality tools, materials, and equipment, which ensure that your ceiling is repaired, restored, and painted to a high-quality finish.
  • Safety – Repairing a water-damaged ceiling can be risky, especially if you’re not trained to do it. You may run into physical injuries or other hazards, such as exposure to mold and mildew. There will be less risk of getting into an accident if you hire professionals to repair your damaged ceiling.
  • Peace of mind – When you hire professionals to repair and restore your water-damaged ceiling, they will take all the necessary steps to ensure that you get the service you expect without fail.


Water damage to your ceiling may be negligible, but you should not ignore it. It can get serious if left unchecked. Not only can a water-damaged ceiling ruin the aesthetics of your ceiling, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of your home and put your health and safety at risk. 

Look out for any signs of water damage and determine its root cause. It’s better to locate and address the source of leaks before making the necessary repairs so that water damage won’t occur again to your ceiling.

Depending on the extent of the damage, it should be assessed before you call someone in for cosmetic and structural repairs of your ceiling. If the damage is minor and mostly cosmetic, you can get by with as simple as priming and painting. But the damage that encompasses a large portion of the ceiling – and worse compromises its structural integrity – might be best handled by interior painting Concord professionals such as our team from Custom Painting, Inc. 

For over 40 years, Custom Painting, Inc. has been delivering high-quality results so your home will look as good as new. If you’re concerned about water damage to your ceiling or other parts of your home, we will help you find issues that might have been caused by the leak. We can also deal with mold, mildew infiltration, and other widespread problems within the interior walls. Call us at 925-686-0903 or send us a message for a free quote!