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Wet drywall repairs

3292 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bjbatlanta
My roof was recently punctured (golf ball size hole) by a flying branch during a really bad wind storm. As a result, my bedroom ceiling sheetrock (drywall) got wet.

I have 4 parallel water stains where the water migrated from joist to joist. The worst part right below the hole in the roof.

The water damage looks minimal, NO water actually dripped through the ceiling onto the floors and I removed the wet blown-in insulation the next day when I noticed the damage.....


It has been 5 months now and there are no signs of sagging or cracking in the ceiling. The insurance company will pay to replace the ceiling. My reservation is all the blown-in insulation will be a huge mess and I just painted the crown moldings and walls in this room and dread having to redo everything. Is ripping out and replacing the sheetrock my only option??

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Depends if there is any texture on the ceiling and how much overall damage. 4 parallel water stains is not much to go on. If the rock is dry and solid now why replace it. Just seal it ans paint. If the rock is truly damaged a section could be cut out and replaced. This is where texturing comes into play. Matching texture is an art in itself and most time is noticeable.
I recently had a professional painter take a look at similar damage in my kitchen and he said the best bet is in fact cutting out the bad and adding new sheet rock. Though I can't see why you can use some tool to just sand/grind out the bad and just apply plaster (many coats) until it's straight, but I've never really done work like that before so I'll take his word for it.

There may be some technique to get away without doing it though.
Thanks for the replies!!!

The ceiling is smooth.... no texture. There is only one nail/screw head patch that has really only slightly buckled but could be sanded smooth and remudded. 4 parallel lines...... 4 joists (18 inches?? apart) and about an 8 foot long water mark on each joist..... each about an inch to 3 inches wide at the worst area....

I had my A/C freeze up last summer and when I turned it off and the ice melted it dripped a very small one foot long (about an inch wide) water mark in my kitchen...... these water marks are about the same......

I'm not, by ANY means, qualified to assess this. I will get a professional to look at it. But just wanting some "second" opinions.

Save one nail area.... the entire ceiling is completely smooth, only water marks.

Thanks again for the input guys!!
See if he says replace it. He should as the screws/nails are starting to rust and will continue to if any water vapor is present. I would be more concern about mold, which is why your Insurance paid to replace it. The adjusters are professional and do not throw money at you unless needed. They have seen this before, many more times than others on this forum including me. I would take the hint and replace. Be safe, G

I will ultimately take the advise of a professional. But, as we ALL know.... Telling someone to just paint it, you'll be ok.... OR, I need to rip out your entire ceiling at $X,000 is sometimes a matter of making money.

Since I am not paying out of pocket, I WILL have the work done. I just wanted "opinions" from others, and I REALLY appreciate the input!!

I'm just thinking about the mess! Will it be worth it if the damage isn't that bad.... I guess I'm just hoping for the best...... But I am prepared for the worst.

All opinions are welcomed!!

And again, thank you guys for your replies!!

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As long as the drywall dried without sagging, tape coming loose, etc. you can Kilz the water stains and paint.....
I'm with GBAR on this... my only worry would be mold.... specifically mold on the hidden side of the drywall and insulation. If you can go through a crawl space or some how check out that area up there to make sure that absolutely nothing was growing, then I say to heck with it... spackle, paint, and be done with the matter. But if that area is inaccessible, I'd be much more concerned, and likely would cut out the damaged area, replace the insulation, and paint.
If you removed the wet insulation the next day, the chances of mold developing isn't nearly as probable as if the area had stayed wet for days (as in the wet insulation staying there). Being an attic space, the drywall LIKELY dried very quickly from natural heat. However if you have ANY doubt as to whether there is mold present or cannot confirm visually, I would go along with replacing the drywall. I was assuming you were confident there was no mold present when you re-insulated or had treated to prevent. Yes it will be a big mess if you tear out the whole ceiling, but if in doubt.....
Yes, the wet insulation was removed then next day. I do have access to the area. I will inspect for any mold. I live in South Louisiana, and to say it is hot here.... well, I could cook eggs in my attic!

Thanks for your input!! REALLY appreciate it.

This may be an opportunity to increase the amount of insullation in the attic as the builders put the minimum required. BTW, what are your thoughts about blown-in insulation. WHAT A MESS!! The builders put just enough to cover the joists.... in some areas I can see the beams.

Sounds like you need to add more insulation. I would call an insulation company and have them come out and give you a recommendation. My main dislike for blown-in is from having to do repairs and having it falling in my face (even though I get in the attic and move as much as possible). I'm sure you can get an adequate "R" value if enough is used. Doesn't sound like you have enough, though. Get a professional assessment......
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