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nilewaves 06-06-2011 10:15 AM

drywall ceiling repair after bathroom fire help
My bathroom fan exploded into flames after being on for a while. It made a lot of noise before that. So I need to repair after smoke damage. I remodeled a burn out once but literally replaced the entire roof, framing and everything. So there was no concern about trapped smoke and potential odor later on etc. We ripped out part of the drywall ceiling last night and the insulation which had soot deposits. I am guessing there would be soot deposits further into to the house but we can not reach the insulation from the bathroom and would have to cut the ceiling apart in the other rooms. There is not a horrible odor at all but summer has not hit. My question is: the drywall on the ceiling lays on top of the drywall for the walls. I am now spending a lot of time trying to dig the ceiling drywall out on the edges. Is this necessary. Does the whole ceiling need to be removed? It seemed it would make installation of a new piece easier because we would not have a crack between the existing and the new to cover. Is this right? I also am wondering about sealing for the odor. What do I paint to seal the ceiling? The drywall after I put it in? With Kilz? What should I wash the walls with to clean soot residue. I can not see anything, but I am sure I need to wash it. The fire was contained in the fan box and dropped to the floor, so the damage was minor. I have never done this without a contractor, if you have not noticed. Thanks for any feed back, Alison

MikeKy55 06-06-2011 11:31 AM

How about posting some photos of the damaged area? It would be easier to advise if more was know about the actual damage. A picture is worth a thousand words.

AfterDinner 06-06-2011 12:01 PM

Having the ceiling drywall resting on top of the drywall for the walls adds stability at the edge of the ceiling. You can augment this stability by screwing small 2x4 sections into the beams and then screwing the edge of the ceiling drywall in to those 2x4's. It all depends on the orientation of your beams. As long as there is support along the edges, it should be fine. In addition, you will want to use some kind of tape between the ceiling and the wall to deal with reducing any cracking that may occur due to house movement.

I would personally remove all bits that are sticking further out than your wall. If they are behind the face of the wall drywall, in my opinion, they are ok. In addition, I would remove all affected drywall from the ceiling. The last thing, in my opinion, that you want to do is "cover up" a problem. These tend to come back. It is much better to fix it right the first time than to deal with fixing the same issue multiple times. Typically from my experience, paint (etc) doesn't fix the problem, it hides it and it only hides it for so long. To my knowledge, there is no "sealer" for a situation like this.

nilewaves 06-06-2011 02:20 PM

Thanks for the prompt responses. Here's pictures.
6 Attachment(s)
I am not sure how to attach these pictures but I think I did it right. I also included the last piece of insulation to show the color. Is that normal wear and tear or soot damage. We see clearly the soot from a crack in the wood or a seam. But we are not sure about the gray areas. There really is not much odor either so I am not sure if I should alsolutely replace everyone that is gray.

Any feed back would be much appreciated. Thanks, Alison:)
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AfterDinner 06-06-2011 02:49 PM

The insulation can be moldy especially since it is in a bathroom. I am using my phone and the one photo with the insulation won't download. Mold appears as Black on insulation. From the looks of your other photos, it appears that you have removed the problems spots.

I would clean the walls with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and see what is left.

ccarlisle 06-06-2011 03:19 PM

That may just be dirty insulation - not sooty insulation. Air movement over the years does this whether it's above a bathroom or not, but the air travels in and out of the joist area (where you show the pink stuff) every day, and picks up and deposits dirt. So it may not be mouldy...why would the inert insulation be mouldy when the cellulose-rich drywall and wood sheathing isn't?

It would help knowing where you are in your country too. And what are those pink round dots?

Jasonlongor1 06-06-2011 03:48 PM

Agree.Looks dirty.Is this on the 1st floor??I'd replace what you can reach.Bins shellac would be your sealer.Blocks the stains and smells.Might as well hit the framing if it's sooty.Wash n rinse walls and hit it too.I'd just cut drywall in corners and but new drywall up as long as nailers are in place and paper tape new corners:)

AfterDinner 06-06-2011 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by ccarlisle
That may just be dirty insulation - not sooty insulation.

Agree. In looking at the photo, it appears to be dirt. My experience, mold would have formed on the interface between the drywall and the insulation.


nilewaves 06-07-2011 09:52 AM

Many, many, many thanks for these helpful posts
This is the first floor and I live in Tucson, AZ, very dry. The paper on the outside of the insulation had black spots on it that we thought looked like mold because it was consistant rather than soot. The soot had obvious deposits where there were cracks. We removed the ceiling sheet rock completely and will be washing and sealing today. Thanks so much for the suggestions and the caring answers. It is very very very helpful to me. The pink circles are bird board. :thumbup:

Gary in WA 06-07-2011 03:33 PM

I curious as to why your ceiling joist cavities are vented to the outside if another living space above? An earlier construction....


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