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Drywall ceiling damage, repaired - Williamsville, NY 2023

Drywall Ceiling Repair in hallway - Williamsville, NY - 2023

In 2023, 50% of our work was related to drywall repair

Est. Read Time: 20 minutes
Sections:
Skim Coating
Critical Lighting
Drywall Cracks?
Water Damage?

Drywall Ceiling Repairs

Ceiling damage can be a bit intimidating for homeowners. Most painting contractors do not like to repair drywall and prefer to avoid it. But at Carrigan Painting we are able to repair drywall damage quickly and efficiently. Drywall damage often present unique challenges for painting contractors not found in any other trade. And it all has to do with lighting.

Sheetrock Repair

Also known as Drywall Repair

Most of our clients often think we are fast, we're really not, we are just very efficient. We have decades of proven experience dealing with damaged ceiling drywall so we have developed techniques which allows us to handle these types of repairs quickly, cleanly and safely. Not many painting contractors keep 2x4's on their trucks. We do because we believe in conservative drywall repair. We do not want to make your repairs any bigger than necessary.

We begin by covering the entire room and all property with new plastic sheeting and drop cloths. We never re-use plastic from the last job.

We will often create a 'containment box' around ceiling repairs to help contain the dust and dirt. Drywall repair is often pretty straight forward. However when it involves water damage, it can become a bit more complicated. Bowing wallboard, wet insulation, leaking pipes or roofs, mold, are but a few examples of the complications involving drywall ceilings damaged by water.

Ceiling repair dust containment - Carrigan Painting

Dust Containment

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Water Damage Drywall Repair

Did you fix the leak?

Thats a serious question. One of our first questions. Its a waste of your money, and our time to fix a ceiling that is still leaking. Mold is bad news (CDC.gov).

How can I identify water damage on my ceiling and determine if it requires repair?

The most common result of water damage to a ceiling is an ugly brown stain. The brown stain is caused by water disturbing the dust and dirt on the ceiling.

What follows is a loss of its structural integrity, causing the ceiling drywall to sag. Often, this isn't apparent just by standing on the floor and looking up.

To really assess the extent of the water damage, you need to shine a light across the ceiling towards the affected area. A flashlight (not your phone!) works good enough for this. If its sagging you will know it. There will be no second geussing. If you havent already, poke a hole in it and let the water out!

The biggest priority right now is to get the water out and stop the leak. Your situation will dictate priority. Most often its less than a gallon of water. If its an active leak, you want to control where the water goes, and that is where ever it will cause the least amount of damage.

In the image below, our client had a minor leak & turned off the water right away. This damage is superficial, just looks bad. We do not know why theres a white spot in the middle. We repaired the damage, primed the ceiling with oil based primer, and then painted the same.

Drywall ceiling damage, repaired - Lancaster, NY 2022

Lancaster NY, 2022

We often use a high powered work light when bidding repair work to create critical light. In addition to appraising hundreds of damaged ceilings, we also know what to look for, especially when it comes to water damaged plaster ceilings.

The flashlight method can often provide answers regarding whether it's a simple water stain or if the ceiling has sustained serious damage. That's why it's crucial to address ceiling leaks with urgency!

Often times, there is insulation above the ceiling in question. Depending on the age of your home will largely determine the type of insulation you have. Wet insulation acts like a heat sink instead of an insulator. It also absorbs water like a sponge.

When drywall begins to bow or sag due to moisture saturation, it's only a matter of time before it detaches from the ceiling and falls to the floor. Unfortunately, this tends to occur at inconvenient times, like 2 AM on a school night when everyone is asleep. - Like dropping a piano

Our client in the photo below had a tree fall on her house during The Blizzard of 2022, This was the families solution to deal with the water leak. Diverted the water into the bath tub. Worked extremely well!

Drywall ceiling damage, Clarence Center NY 2022

Clarence Center NY, 2022

If you attempt to remove the drywall yourself, you must then contend with a hole in the ceiling, which could lead directly outside! It will create a chimney effect in your house, and suck all the heat out! Our advice is to leave the drywall in place until somneone looks at it, especially if its between October - April.

It might look bad, but a hole looks worse

The image below is what happens with wet drywall and insulation. The corner bead, the seam is all begininng to degrade from water damage. The wrinkles in the paint is due to the water trying to escape, so its collecting behind the paint creating those wrinkles. If you see this happening in your home, you have a major leak!

This was caused by an ice dam between the kitchen and the great room. A common area of the home to have water damage; East Amherst and Clarence homes especially. The problem from what we have been told, is there isnt enough flashing under the siding in that corner of the roof, and depending on which way your home points, snow collects. Its also not very well insulated in that corner due to all the framing for the great room.

Water Damage Drywall corner, Clearence Center, NY

Clarence Center NY, 2023

This next image shows another home, this one in East Amherst, same problem. Only in their case the damage was much more severe which required the removal of the affected drywall and installing new insulation and wallboard.

Water Damage Drywall corner, East Amherst, NY

East Amherst NY, 2023

Repairs like the 2 examples above typically take 2-4 days to complete


What is Critical Lighting?

Critical lighting is the worst kind of light when it comes to any kind of wall and ceiling repairs. Due to the nature of drywall repair, making repairs 'disapear' is almost impossible under critical light. Below is an example of critical light from a window, casting bright sunlight across a dark ceiling.

The Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry defines critical lighting as any lighting condition that tends to magnify surface anomalies on a finished surface. The finish could be an interior painted gypsum panel wall or ceiling surface. Ceilings and walls which incur repairs should have either flat or matte paint applied when critical lighting is involved. Lesser the sheen of the paint, the more defects the paint will hide. - There are limits to this!

Critical lighting across a basement ceiling in Clarence Center NY, 2023

Do you notice the ceiling is not flat? Most people only notice

after

the ceiling repair is complete. The big waviness your seeing is not due to water damage but instead due to the framing of the home or bad drywall work; could also be a patch(Its not). The big hump and the smaller hump towards the back of the room. There is absolutely nothing we can do to fix that, and is not caused by ceiling damage. In fact, anything you do to that ceiling, will show forever. The problem is the window.

Even if we skim coated the ceiling it would look worse, not better. The reason being is that drywall panels follow the curvature of the framing. If the framing isnt square and flat, you get this type of waviness. Happens a lot in walls. The moment you fix the water damage to that ceiling, those repairs will be visible forever due to the shadow casting of the critical lighting caused by that window behind the camera.

When repairing drywall, it's necessary to apply additional material to the existing wall or ceiling surface to smoothly blend the repair. This subtly raises the repaired area compared to the surrounding ceiling or wall surface. Despite decades of experience providing insights to address this issue, in certain homes, complete avoidance is impossible. The only definitive solution would be to replace the ceiling, but this can be costly and always creates new problems.

The outline of the drywall and the screws is due to excess moisture in the ceiling. Given enough time, the areas with the most moisture will be marked with brown water stains.

Source of Drywall Cracks

Drywall cracks upto about 1/8" are typically stress cracks and will sometimes re-appear. Large open cracks 1/4" & larger are typically related to structural problems with the home.

Small cracks, hairline cracks are typically the result of natural movement of the structure. For example around your fireplace in your living room or bedroom. Small cracks from Buffalo winters, wind storms, the occasional blizzard, are usually not a cause for concern, however large open cracks signify substantial movement.

We do not fix structural problems

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Cracks between the top of a doorway, or the corner of a window going to the floor, are examples of cracks that generally speaking, can not be repaired. So in that case, we do our best to hide them. These areas are natural stress points for the home.

Our method for repairing drywall cracks has a 95% success rate. If it re-cracks after, the crack can not be repaired.

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How to repair a Drywall Crack

The crack must be opened up a bit in order to give the new material something to 'grab on to'. Depending on the material we are working with will depend on how we open the crack.

With drywall, we V out the crack with a utility knife. Plaster can be tricky. A hatchet is often the fastest, easiest and loudest method. Oscillator works well too but creates a lot of dust and can be hard to control for a novice, not to mention dangerous.

Critical lighting across a basement ceiling in Clarence Center NY, 2023

Once the crack is opened, we remove any loose material, such as pealing paint from the area around the crack to make room for the thickness of the mesh tape. Then we will use drywall compound to fill in the crack with new material. We will lay fiberglass mesh tape into the mud. Then finish the repair. This method provides the strongest possible repair for drywall cracks with out creating a hole.

The Mesh Tape Mistake

How to use mesh tape when patching drywall

The mistake many people, not just painters, from what we have seen is they do not embed the tape into the mud when patching. This is especially true with mesh tape! The correct way to apply mesh tape is to lay down a bed of mud first, then lay the mesh tape into the mud, using your knife, scrape off the excess leaving enough material to hold the tape in place and cover the joint.

Laying tape over any hard painted surface and mudding over it does nothing but waste material. The mud will not magically connect on the backside of the tape!

In new drywall work they apply the mesh tape directly to the un-painted drywall. That is why its sticky.


What if we find Mold?

We do not offer any mold mitigation services. Mold requires special training, expensive insurance, and licensing to be done correctly. An excellent resource is this guide by the Environmental Protection Agency A Comprehensive Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home by the E.P.A.

We Prime Our Patchwork

We prime all of our repair work. We do this because it shows us the imperfections in our work. Water stainsm nicotine staines, and soot, require an oil based primer. It usually dries with in 30 minutes and then the odor is gone. Otherwise we use a latex primer.

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Skim Coating & Level 5 Finishes

We do offer skim coating services. This is very labor intensive, and often involves a considerable amount of dust. Our skim coating services include priming. A level 5 finish, is when you apply a very thin coat of drywall compound to the entire wall or ceiling surface typically over drywall. When done correctly it gives walls and ceilings buttery smooth uniform appearance. It should be noted, that there is no 'industry standard' to a level 5 finish. So communication between all parties is critical to address any concerns.

Jobsite Schedule

We understand that you must live in your house while we are performing our work, and will do everything we can to minimize our impact into your daily life. With repair work, there are 4 distinct phases which often require blocks of days. 1-3 days at a time or more to complete our work. Multiple Phases often occur concurrently.

Phase I

Setup & Demo: We set up the job, bring in necessary tools, equpment & materials. This is by far the loudest phase of the job, as we often are using power tools and hatchets. Also tends to be the dirtiest, but we clean up daily, and we cover everything with plastic. Dust containment is an art.

Phase II

The Repair: We are installing new material in this phase. Depending on the job, this may require multiple consecutive days. We try to start this Phase as quickly as possible so the plaster or drywall can begin to dry.

Phase III

Priming & Painting: We prime all of our repair work. This shows us the imperfections in our work, and provides us an opportunity to fix them while still on site. This has effectively eliminated our callbacks. Spoiler alert- We are not perfect! But we try! We also paint most of our repair work as well, giving everyone more time to inspect our work. Yes, we want you to critique our work.

Phase IV

Clean up & Touchups: Its the end of the job. We are doing a much more thoruogh clean up than previously, and we are doing any final touch ups before we conclude the job.

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5 Star Rated

We are rated 5 stars because we take care of our clients

Insured

We carry $2,000,000 in liability, and all employees on site are covered with Workmans Compensation Insurance as required by NYS.

We honor our Contract

We honor the price on our Contract so there are no surprises!

Water Damage Plaster Repair in Amherst NY, 2023

The 3-Step Project

  • Step 1

    Schedule Consultation

    We need to actually see the proposed work in person to give the most accurate bid. Pictures can hide a lot.

  • Step 2

    Schedule the Work

    Our scheduling is pretty flexible. However repair work often requires multiple days to complete.

  • Step 3

    We Get It Done!

    Life aside, we show up on time and get the job done, so you can move on!

Reviews

From Satisfied clients

  • All of our reviews are organic
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  • Richard F.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Amherst, NY

    We contracted with Carrigan Painting after three estimates. They responded quickly and their price was very fair. Dave and Stacey repaired five cracks in our drywall in our main area and worked at it until we were totally satisfied...

Raymond S.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Clarence, NY

David promised a top notch job and fully delivered on his promise. David and Stacy were thoughtful and hardworking. A pleasure to have in the house. I would wholeheartedly recommend them.

Tara W.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Clarence, NY

I could not recommend Carrigan Painting more! Dave was so kind and showed up right as scheduled and truly did an amazing job! We are so happy with the work and the professionalism. We will be recommending them to anyone who needs paiting done!

Angela L.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amherst, NY

David and Stacy were very efficient and worked well together getting our job done professionally and at a fair price. We highly recommend and will definitely use again! 👍

Katheryn R.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Snyder, NY

Amazing work on plaster repairs and painting in our entry hall. We have an older home with a large curved ceiling, and Carrigan were the only people we trusted to actually repair the plaster. The other companies we received quotes from wanted to cover with squared off drywall. They did gorgeous work - just as good as brand new. Pleasant to work with and finished on time and below budget.

Cheryl S.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Clarence, NY

Dave and Stacey were fantastic! Prompt, professional, organized, tidy and did a wonderful job on repairing and painting damage to walls throughout our house. Highly recommend.

Jonathan D.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Williamsville, NY

Great work and great customer service. Explained everything that was done clearly and completely. Highly recommend!!

Susan M.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amherst NY

Repairs to plaster walls, ceiling, and cement board after galvanized pipes were replaced with pex. The work was done in a very professional manner, respecting and protecting our home as it was completed....

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