A storm has just blown through and you’re dealing with the aftereffects. You look up and you see it: a brown water stain, or a bubbly sag in your ceiling, or worse, an entire cave-in. The culprit: water. Where do you even start? Take heart. You’ve got options. Tackle it yourself (we’re talking about the water stain), or call the professionals. Let’s dive in.
Grab your cell and snap away. Why? Your insurance company will not only want to see the damage, but also, if you’re doing a self-repair, you’ll also want to keep a record. If you call the professionals, they’ll also want to see the damage. However, if the water is still in the process of wrecking your ceiling and you’re not planning on DIY, you and everyone else will want to see how it progresses before the pros show up and everything is fixed.
Identify the Source
Certainly, after a storm it’ll be obvious where the water is coming in: the ceiling, or through a vent or skylight.
Fixing a Water Stain All by Your Lonesome
If you’re Mr. Fix-it and like to do things yourself, here’s what you do:
- Put a tarp or waterproof cover of some sort on the floor, gloves and goggles.
- Mix up one part bleach and one part warm water.
- Blot, then wipe the stain away. Use a rag or sponge, your choice.
- After the area dries, you can paint over it, but make sure it’s very dry.
- If it’s worse and it’s really sagging (also called “pillowing”), remove the damaged part of the ceiling and replace with new material.
- Sand, seal, and paint the area.
Causes Might Include:
- Roof flashing failure. These are the metal pieces on your roof where two areas come together: Roof valleys, the intersection between a dormer wall and roof surface, along with chimney and skylight perimeters. They’re supposed to prevent water from getting in, but sometimes they don’t.
- Damaged/aged waterproof membrane failure. This is the layer that goes underneath your roof material (asphalt, tile, etc.) and is meant to keep water out of your home.
If It’s Not Storm Season, Causes Might Be:
- HVAC unit. Best to get this checked before the summer even begins.
- Pipe leak. Even if the pipes aren’t in the ceiling, we’ll check ‘em.
If you’re handy, you might try to fix all of these things. If not, it’s time to call the professionals aka Peak.
We Start with a Thorough Inspection
The primary goal of an inspection is to identify every single area of your attic and home interior that’s affected by water. If you don’t call us—and immediately—permanent discoloration, mold, or mildew could set in. Even if you’ve already taken photos, we’ll also take some, including damaged areas you can’t see like inside the attic. In fact, we have a proven system: we start at the top and work our way down and look for other damp areas, along with water-soaked insulation and ductwork that looks suspicious.
How Bad is the Mold?
No one wants this. You must get this looked at ASAP. Here’s why: Mold spreads quickly in dark, moist places and is often difficult to detect. And it’s not just on the ceiling surface or attic. Frequently, it starts growing inside walls, the insulation, even vents. We also feel along walls for damp or “mushy” spots. If you have wood floors, we check these, too, looking for warped areas. If you have carpet, we check for wet spots. We don’t miss an inch. After a storm, water is not your friend.
What We Do
Whether it’s a water stain or we have to remove anything, this is our plan of action:
- First, we prep the site. Cover the floor, tape off the area, etc. Our pros come in and get to work with all the appropriate gear and tools.
- If you have water stains, we treat them with higher-grade cleaning agents than bleach and water. We get in, fix it, and get out in a jiffy.
- If the ceiling and drywall are damaged beyond a simple repair, we’ll remove and replace everything, along with any damaged corners or seams.
- We repair any and all cracks and nail holes.
- Ceilings and walls are textured and painted. If you have popcorn ceiling, this’ll take more time. We’ve got lots of replacement options to choose from.
- If the ceilings are really sagging/pillowing, in addition to replacing the material, it might be necessary to replace the insulation above.
- After everything checks out, we verify that the repair area is, in fact, thoroughly dry.
- Next, we ready the space for painting: Lay out tarps and tape off the area. Then we sand.
- Time to paint! Again, we make sure the area is completely dry. Typically, we apply multiple coats. Note: If the paint is applied too early, it doesn’t adhere and looks shoddy, unprofessional.
- After the paint dries, we caulk and install any missing trim.
- We step back and take a look and make sure the areas look better than we found it!
One Phone Call
You’ve got enough to deal with after a storm or leak. That’s why all it takes is one simple call to get the ball rolling. We guarantee all our work and will be out to see you as fast as humanly possible. If you want us to hop up on your roof or check the exterior of your house, too, all you have to do is ask. We’re here for you.