Water damage on the ceiling: how to manage the painting work?

Water damage can seriously alter the ceiling of a room. The damage it entails require intervention to restore the ceiling to its original state. Only problem: we do not immediately repaint the ceiling which has suffered water damage, just to hide the misery. There are many other things to do beforehand to limit the risks of seeing mold settling in the more or less long term, but not only…

Identify the origin of the water damage

Water damage can be due to the overflow of the bathtub, for example, or to a defective seal. Those are causes easy to identify. In other situations, the origin of the leak is more complicated to find. It can be a rupture of a pipe, a capillary rise or even water infiltration through the roof. In these cases, thehumidity stealthily soaks the ceiling and when you realize it, the consequences of water damage can be very significant.

Before dealing with the ceiling itself, it is already necessary to repair what is leaking. When the cause of the damage is a broken pipe, for example, it is necessary to involve a professional even if you are a fine handyman. Locating the area of ​​the accident and the cause of the accident as quickly as possible prevents the damage from spreading to other parts of the house.

Let the ceiling dry before repainting it

No need to repaint a ceiling as long as it is soaked with water. After water damage, it is therefore necessary to be patient because, depending on the degree of impregnation, the drying time can be quite long.

Repainting a wet ceiling: the risks

Repainting a ceiling that is still wet has no other consequence than keeping the materials wet, which leads to the following risks:

  • paint blistering,
  • plaster rot,
  • Peeling off the wallpaper,
  • Fungal growth (mold).

Putting a painting on a ceiling after water damage without waiting for it to dry completely leads to the irreparable deterioration of the various materials and coatings. The work accomplished will therefore have been for nothing, the money spent on the purchase of paint will be wasted and we will only have to start over.

Tips for speeding up the drying time of a ceiling

There’s nothing worse than a confined environment to keep the humidity level at its peak. This is the reason why it is essential, above all, to ventilate the room whose ceiling has suffered water damage. It is also necessary to maintain a sufficiently warm ambient temperature in order to promote drying, which makes it possible to reduce the risk of mold and deterioration. This procedure therefore consists of alternating periods of ventilation and heating. It is effective but requires quite a bit of time before the ceiling is completely dry.

Direct heating of the wet ceiling should be avoided as this promotes the appearance of cracks. Logic: the surface having dried well, the moisture which is still in depth has more difficulty in evacuating. If the ceiling is repainted only because it has dried on the surface, the humidity will reappear. This major drawback can be overcome by using a specific device.

Use a drying device

When the water damage has really soaked the ceiling in depth, we can promote drying by using:

  • And dehumidification device which works by condensation: it is rather recommended to dry out a small room when it cannot be sufficiently ventilated. The humidity level drops very gradually, which can take time.
  • The central with suction and expulsion system which treats ambient air and removes humidity from a large room in just a few hours. This reduces the drying time of the ceiling, but there is however no miracle: the ceiling will not be completely dry in one day.
  • The magnetic field dewatering plant : it is especially recommended in case of capillary rise and infiltration.

These devices are very expensive. No need to spend a fortune for one-time use. The best solution is to opt for the location.

Check ceiling humidity with a moisture meter

Regardless of the drying method used, it is recommended to regularly check the humidity level to know for sure when it is finally time to repaint the ceiling. We can only consider attacking the repair work when this rate is less than 10%. The use of a moisture tester or moisture meter is very useful. There are different models of devices, more or less sophisticated, with a margin of error of less than 2%. You can get a fairly basic reliable model for around thirty euros.

Repaint your ceiling after water damage

Following water damage, as soon as the ceiling is finally perfectly dry – and not just on the surface – it’s time to repaint it either by yourself or through a professional painter.

Treat the surface to be repainted

A quick general look is recommended to check if the surface to be painted is sound. It is possible that the ceiling has a floury appearance or even that certain areas are crumbly or show a little mold. If this is the case, we start by cleaning up the surface by proceeding as follows:

  • Open the window to ventilate the room well during the sanitation operation,
  • Thoroughly clean the ceiling with a soft brush,
  • Pass a product treating against saltpeter if necessary. In addition to eliminating saltpeter and preventing its reappearance thanks to the active ingredients it contains, it promotes the drying of the support without preventing the evaporation of humidity. Moreover, thanks to anti-saltpetre treatmentwallpapers and paint last longer.
  • Completely cover the ceiling with a layer of hardener, either with a roller or with a wide brush according to the supplier’s recommendations. Care must be taken to fully saturate the entire support.

A drying period of at least 24 hours must be observed after the application of a treating product or a hardener and before spreading an undercoat. Once this has been installed, all that remains is to repaint the ceiling with a suitable paint, in the color of your choice, and the water damage will be just a bad memory. You can buy a paint adapted to the room to be repainted, namely:

  • A anti-humidity paint which contains glass microbeads: intended for damp rooms such as the shower room, bathroom and kitchen, this paint provides good thermal insulation and limits the risks associated with water vapor on cold walls.
  • A peinture anti-condensation : it is recommended in a poorly ventilated room, in humid rooms and in poorly heated areas where the ambient temperature is relatively cold. Rich in glass microbeads, this paint is a thermal insulator and limits the risk of condensation.

It may be necessary to wait several months before repainting a ceiling that has suffered water damage. This sufficiently long period of time allows the support to dry completely, but it is also necessary to make an appointment with an expert. This professional is charged by the insurer to note the extent of the damage before repair and to estimate the amount of thecompensation that the insurance company will have to pay to its client. For the latter to be able to claim this compensation, it is still necessary that he has declared the loss as soon as possible, as stipulated in his home insurance contract.

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