Water Damaged Ceilings

Repairing Water Damaged Drywall in Bathroom



A leak registered into this bathroom from the apartment above. After running the fixtures upstairs, the culprit turned out to be a breach in the wax toilet seal.

The toilet repair only took about two hours, but the damaged ceilings and walls would consume many more hours of labor.

Fortunately, the sheetrock in the bathroom was built entirely with the water resitent “green-board” type, and incurred no damage except for the paper and the spackling compund.

The joint compound, along with the paper tape had absorbed moisture and remained clammy and damp. It had to be scraped away.





I sliced a margin in the latex paint to avoid pulling the rubbery, monolithic semi-gloss paint away from the undamaged sections; thus reducing the workload.

A garbage bag was taped to the wall below the work area – it caught most of the debris, save a few fugitive crumbs.

This section was dry enough to apply the home-made compound without a heat gun.

Since the existing paint was a semi- gloss finish, it was necessary to apply primer to the bordering areas of painted surface – to assure adhesion.








I prefer to use a mixture of joint- compound and unsanded grout with acrylic emulsion diluted in the mixing water for this application. The emulsion aids in the adhesion, while the portland cement present in the grout can absorb any residual moisture. I also prefer fiber-mesh to paper tape in bathrooms and other damp locations. In the long run, this repair holds up more adequetly to water damage than paper and straight J. compound.

The mixing tray is a teflon baking pan that someone had discarded. It works well for mixing gypsumite, cleans easy, and won’t rust.








A scratch coat of the custom mix was applied, and fibermesh tape was used liberally, thus fortifieng the surface. The second pass of gypsum was slung thicker than the scratch coat. The general idea is to make the entire surface as flush as possible. Small imperfections would be corrected on the finishing passes.





A third and final pass of the supermud was applied. Since this was an occupied apartment, I had to achieve a high end finish without sanding – at the occupants request. The fourth coat was a mere feathercoat which dried very quick.

Caulking was used on the inside corner.

A thin coat of drywall primer was applied with a paintbrush- focusing mostly on the edge areas which tend to stand out the most. A heavy coat of primer was applied followed by a coat of semi – gloss. The only way to have it look like a proffesional repair was to paint the entire cealing, and every wall that had been patched.

Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of the bathroom after it was painted.

Water Damaged Ceilings

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