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Drywall Ceiling Repair

The method of patching the ceiling is not the same as the wall. Not only is access farther away to the problem spot, but the way that the wall holds patch will differ.

Repairing flat finish ceilings:

If the repair is on the uppermost ceiling and it supports insulation, before beginning, the insulation must be cleared away and replaced after completion. Prep Repair of Drywall Ceiling

  • Start by cutting out and clearing all compromised areas, until your reach sound drywall paper and gypsum on all sides. If the patch is caused by water infiltration this must be resolved as should any mold or mildew before closing the ceiling back up. The ceiling board should be thoroughly dry.

  • If borders of repair are close to joist over a duration, these may need cut back halfway as shown in the photo (marking with a pencil and straight edge -- with outer guides of blue tape to prevent unwanted pencil deposits beyond the completed fix.)

  • Transfer the ceiling measurements to be patched with a tape measure onto a spare sheet of wallboard. Cut the piece out and shave the sides straight with a rasp if they are out of order.

  • Install Joist Backers
  • Hold up the new cut over the opening on the ceiling, to serve as a template and mark with a pencil around the replacement for cutting. Saw out the tracing barely oversized, to accomodate for a difference of increased size with the replacement.

  • For larger repairs, fasten with screws a set of parallel backers and if the patch is near a joist, and you are able -- aligning the cut patch halfway onto the 1 1/2 joist.

    For smaller repairs, place clips on each side at the minimum, or attach with backers.

    Secured New Panel, Tightened Existing Drywall
  • Mount the replacement piece in the created opening with screws. Coarse thread screws are the best option. If clips are set, be careful not to overtighten.
  • Consider a lift for hoisting larger/numerous sections.

  • Apply joint compound to the seams and apply paper tape resulting in at least and inch and a half overlap at the corners. Later, knock down high points of the dried compound with a hand sander, for an even grade throughout. Then mudd again and sand smooth.

    For using adhesive mesh, press the strips overlapping in the same fashion and then apply the compound. Give a nominal sand of highpoints, then recoat and finish sand. ( see finishing a repair patch to review the process)

    Repairing drywall ceilings that are textured:

    Follow the above procedure, except -- after the initial clearing of damage and ceiling cuts -- scrape away the present texture to a flat surface at about an additional 2 1/2" to 3" surrounding the area (which includes the width of the tape itself). When the repair is set and taped, area of texture removed will help merge the prior and new repair textures.

    If the ceiling doesn't have a paint layer, the job becomes easier. The texture can be more gradually blended with the absence of a sealed surface.

    To match the textures, first complete the repair to having an established, match in levels. The level of the new patch portion should be a slither under the existing level -- this is very important that the total repair be in-level with itself, and not at an over-build, which would be quite visible on completion. Thus, before starting to match the texture, the patched section should be slightly recessed. Proceed to then mimic the texture on the new patch, and blend off with a damp sponge with the existing.

  • See Also
    Taping and Mudding Hanging Ceiling Drywall Finishing

    Other Patch and Repair

    Ceiling Texture Topics

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