According to insurance company records, water damage is the most common form of plaster damage. This article is a step-by-step guide to repairing water damaged ceiling plaster. Water can enter into a ceiling cavity through blocked gutters, loose roof tiles and cracks in roofing materials. You will be able to see the effects of the moisture, as the plaster will start to bubble, there may be discolouration, paint may start to flake off, and mould may start to develop on the gyprock. Water damaged plaster needs to be repaired as the moisture weakens the structural integrity of the gypsum, and it can suddenly come crashing down. Repairing the plaster is not a major job, and can be attempted by anyone with simple tools and basic do-it-yourself experience. Gyprocking skills are similar to painting skills, so if you have performed painting throughout your home, you will find that you have enough skills to successfully complete the job.
The initial and most important step is to ensure that you have prevented further moisture leakage to the area. If water can still gain access to the gyprock then there is no point repairing the site, only for it to get damaged again when the next rain storm hits your suburb. Therefore before you attempt the following steps, locate the entry point of the moisture, and prevent moisture entry.
Use a broad faced metal scraper to scrape off any flaking paint and loose material. Scrape in all four directions to ensure that there is no harsh cracks in the paint. If necessary use any paint chips for colour matching to the original paint. You can easily take the paint chips into a hardware store and they will be able to replicate the original colour. Apply a coat of primer to the stained area. Once the primer is touch dry, normally only after an hour or following manufacturer guidelines, use the metal scraper again to clean off any debris. Rub your hand across the gyprock to make sure that the surface is smooth to touch.
Apply a coat of joint compound across the area. Use the metal scraper to smooth it out across the affected area. When the joint compound is dry, sand the area with a piece of sandpaper. Use 120 grit sandpaper for the best finish. Sand a wider area than where you applied the joint compound. This will ensure that there are no surrounding marks once the job is completed. Use a moist rag to wipe off any sanding dust once the sanding is completed.
Repeat the joint compound application, sanding and dusting as outlined in the previous paragraph. This second coat will ensure that the repair job is durable, and there is no cracking with extreme weather. Following these steps, paint the entire area with a primer and sealer. When the primer is dry, then paint over the area with the original finishing paint.
This method will provide a durable a professional finish. If performed correctly you will not be able to notice the area where the water damage on the gyprock previously was. The main skill needed for this gyprocking project is a smooth hand. When individuals first try scraping the joint compound onto the wall, it can be hard to get a smooth and even finish. If after attempting this step you are not having success. Then call a professional gyprocker or plasterer to complete the job before you go onto complete the job.