Huge Guide to Ceiling & Roof Repairs

In this huge guide we’ll cover all sorts of information about ceiling and roof repairs. Whatever your questions about fixing ceilings or roofs, we’re likely to answer them in this guide. But if this guide doesn’t answer your questions fell free to contact us and we’ll get your questions answered. 


How to Fix a Sagging Gyprock Ceiling


Follow these steps to fix your sagging gyprock ceilings:


  1. First, you will need to remove any fitted cornices and use a level and a straightedge to find the lowest spot on your ceiling.
  2. Once you have marked the lowest spot, measure down 24mm. This gives you clearance to add in 18mm batten and a 6mm leeway.
  3. Next, you will need to locate each end of your ceiling joist.
  4. The battens you will be using are 68mm x18mm.
  5. Cut the batten strips to fit between your walls and hold them in place temporarily by partially driving in a plasterboard screw.
  6. Shim the battens so that they are level and then screw into the ceiling frame using screws that are long enough to penetrate at least 25mm into your ceiling framing.
  7. Use a string line to ensure that the battens are straight and level.
  8. Take the gyprock and place it up to your ceiling to ensure an accurate fit.
  9. Screw the gyprock into the battens and ceiling joists.
  10. If your ceiling has a light fixture, you will need to contact a licensed electrician and have the fixtures removed. Ask the electrician to leave enough wire exposed to help you properly place your light fixture.


Resources: fix a sagging plasterboard ceiling 



How to Repair Water Damaged Ceiling Paint


Follow these steps to repair water damaged ceiling paint:


  1. The first thing you need to do is clean the water damaged area
  2. Next you need to clear and scrape any flaking
  3. Use Peel-Stop or Sealer Binder to cover the water damaged area
  4. Apply the filler to the area
  5. Once dry sand the surface until it’s smooth and even
  6. The last step before painting is to apply water-based Primer / Sealer
  7. Finally paint over the water damaged area


Resources: how to repair water damage in your living room


Why is the paint bubbling and peeling?


Paint bubbles don’t always appear immediately after the wet surface has dried. They can appear weeks or even months later. Paint bubbling happens when heat and/or moisture on the underlying surfaces causes the paint to lose adhesion and lift up. Eventually the bubbles and blisters will result in peeling.


How to fix a Sagging ceiling Joist


Here’s how to fix a sagging ceiling joist:

  • A sagging ceiling problem can be fixed by bolstering the joists with a two-piece strongback.
  • You need to attach a wooden plank (stood vertically for maximum strength) to the ceiling frame arranged so that it intersects the joists at the place where the ceiling is sagging.


How to Repair Water Damaged Ceiling Plaster


Follow these 12 steps to repair water damaged ceiling plaster:

1) Dry the patch out.

2) Scrape off any paint or loose materials, removing any bits that are damaged.

3) Use sealer or primer to coat every stain.

4) Be on the lookout for all spots of loose point which might have gotten missed. Catch them before things dry.

5) Clean away all the debris before you complete the priming.

6) After the primer gets dry, use a knife to scrape off any remaining debris.

7) Apply your first coat of mud or joint compound across the damaged area.

8) Create an even surface by lightly dry sanding.

9) Remove any sanding dust by wiping with a damp rug before you let it dry once again.

10) Apply your second coat of mud or joint compound before sanding again after it is dry once more.

11) Use an additional coat of primer to cover the area.

12) Finish everything up with one coat of paint.


Need your ceilings repaired? Here are our locations:

Perth Joondalup Fremantle Mandurah Rockingham Bunbury  Sydney Inner West Sydney Eastern Suburbs Western Sydney Orange  Newcastle Adelaide Adelaide Hills Port Adelaide Melbourne CBD Melbourne South East Melbourne Western Suburbs Melbourne East Melbourne Northern Suburbs Brisbane North Brisbane West Brisbane South Side Gold Coast 


What Causes Sagging Ceilings?


People will often ask why ceilings sag.  The simple answer is that some of the fixings holding the ceiling timbers to the plasterboard sheets have begun to fail.  A plasterboard ceiling is typically fixed using a combination of nails or screws and stud adhesive. Here are some more reasons why ceilings start to sag:


  1.  Poorly Fixed Plasterboard


It is common for poor work practices regarding the fixing of plasterboard sheets to result in ceilings that do not last as long as the remaining areas of the structure.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell if plasterboard sheets are fixed correctly until the sheets begin to fail. The reason for this is that the strength of the system relies fully on the use of stud adhesive and stud adhesive cannot be checked until a ceiling is fixed.  Each of the six-metre ceiling sheets weigh approximately fifty kilograms and without correctly applied stud adhesive, the nails in the plasterboard will not be able to hold the weight over a prolonged time span.


When a single screw or nail ‘pops’ or falls through the plasterboard, it places more weight on surrounding nails or screws until they all turn in and fail.  Slowly, you will start to notice a sagging affect in the ceiling areas and this is when the ceiling will start coming down.


  1.  Levels Of Moisture


In addition to poor fixing methods, a second contributor to sagging ceilings is moisture.  Moisture can be caused in a ceiling by two main problems. The first problem is water penetrating the roof during rainy weather; thereby damaging a poorly sealed roof.  The second problem is via condensation.


Plasterboard is essentially created using chalk placed between two layers of paper.  When the paper becomes damp or wet, it will lose strength and rigidity resulting in sagging.  This is why the building material needs to be kept dry for as long as possible over the building’s lifespan.


If a roof leak occurs and large amounts of water enter the structure through the leak, it is noticeable immediately and can be resolved by repairing or replacing the area of plasterboard ceiling.  However, the problem can be bigger if there are condensation issues or a smaller leak due to a lack of roof ventilation or sarking. When this occurs, the problem may evolve over time resulting in a situation so great that it is impossible for the homeowner to notice the issue until it is harder to manage and widespread.


If the sagging ceiling is identified in time, it is possible to resolve the issue by re-screwing the damaged areas and repainting the ceiling.  However, if the ceiling is left for too long the sagging plasterboard will adopt a bow shape and cannot be fixed. If the problem reaches the latter stage, the only option for resolution is to replace the sagging ceiling with a new ceiling.


Other issues placing added pressure to ceiling fixings is the application of extra weight to the ceiling, such as use of the roof space for storage of boxes.  The suction effect occurring can also be seen, particularly in garages, because external doors are regularly opened and closed. Of course, ceilings will sag based on various reasons and the causes need to be assessed by professionals with experience in this area of the plasterboard trade.

Resources: causes and warning signs spontaneous ceiling collapse   |    why is your ceiling sagging


Common Causes of Water Damaged Ceilings


Here are 5 of the most common reasons for ceiling water damage:

  1. Leaky roofs are often caused by heavy storms and windy conditions. Once shingles are blown or knocked off the roof or they are worn down by age, it will become more difficult to keep water from working its way into the home.
  2. If water isn’t draining away from the home, it will obviously find its way inside. Gutters are meant to direct water away, but they can become clogged over time.
  3. Old or poorly secured pipes can easily develop leaks over time. The issue can also be spurred on by ill-prepared renovation work or other random accidents in the home. Leaking pipes are incredibly dangerous, with even the smallest pinprick of a hole making way for multiple gallons of water in the home.
  4. A bathroom that hasn’t been properly waterproofed with materials such as caulk or other sealants is another prime source for water damage, especially if there are additional floors, rooms, or a basement below.
  5. Appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines can all develop leaks over time. Water can pool behind or underneath the appliances, sometimes undetected, leading to a wide array of potential damage.


How to Dry a Ceiling That Has Water Damage


The best way to dry damp ceilings is to increase the airflow. However, not many homeowners will have the proper drying equipment. To completely dry a water damaged ceiling, you need to use an industrial fan (or two of them). These fans are designed for drying water damaged ceiling. All you have to do is point the fan towards the area of interest and switch them on to get the job done. Additionally, you need use an industrial dehumidifier to remove the moisture in the air.

After 2 to 3 days, check the ceiling for lingering moisture. If you find none, you should repair areas of the ceiling that have been heavily damaged to structurally sound. These sections should include the weak and warped sections of the ceiling.

Additionally, you need to throw away any sections of the ceiling that exhibits discoloration, mildew or mold growth, or any sort of bulging. Once you remove such ceiling section, you can repair the ceiling. to finish it off, paint the ceiling to leave as good as new.



What Causes a Roof Leak?


Here are 10 things that can cause your roof to leak:

  1. Age: As they get older, all roofing materials gradually lose their ability to keep water out of the home.
  2. Vent Leaks: Missing nails, cracked gaskets, or loose connections around vent pipes may allow water to penetrate the roof. Check vent pipes thoroughly, paying particular attention to the gaskets around them.
  3. Inadequate Slope: Roofs with a low slope are inappropriate for certain types of roofing and certain climates. Shingles on a low-slope roof in a windy climate may not be able to keep rain from getting driven underneath them, for example.
  4. Debris: If leaves, twigs, and other detritus build up on the roof, they can trap water and allow it to penetrate via capillary action.
  5. Poor Flashing: Over time, flashing can become loose and ineffective due to missing nails and cracked caulk.
  6. Damaged Ridge Caps: Damaged ridge caps can open up a vulnerability that allows rain into the roof. Neglectful contractors may damage ridge caps if they employ rope and harness systems without taking steps to protect them.
  7. Clogged Gutters: If gutters become clogged with leaves and other debris, they can cause standing water on the roof and allow it to soak through.
  8. Bad Drainage Design: Upper roof gutters that empty onto a lower roof can subject the roofing material there to undue saturation and produce leaks.
  9. Holes: Equipment removed from the roof (e.g. antennas) can leave behind vulnerable holes. If these are not properly patched, rain can enter the home.
  10. Missing Shingles: Over time, shingles can tear away due to high winds and age. Note that missing shingles can be difficult or impossible to detect from the ground.


Resources: 10 common reasons roof leaks


Water Damage Ceiling Mold


One of the more serious concerns of having a leaky roof or water damaged ceiling is the growth of mold. Below we answer a few questions about mold and what to do if you find mold in your roof or ceilings. 


Can water damage cause mold?

Many individuals wrongly believe that it is only major water damage, like localised flooding, that causes mold to appear in a property. Water leaks of all sizes that are left unrepaired can lead to mold growth over time.


How long does it take for mold to grow from water damage?

Many are surprised by how quickly mold can grow and spread. In a dark, humid environment, mold can start to grow within 36 hours of the spores settling on a surface.


What do I do with a ceiling that has mold?


  • Make sure that you regularly inspect the property for leaks. If any are identified get them repaired immediately.
  • Ensure there is sufficient airflow in your home. Airflow can be improved by using extractor fans and opening any external doors and windows. Air circulation can be further improved in a home by rearranging furniture so it is not situated right up-against exterior walls.
  • Always turn on extractor fans when using the bathroom, kitchen or home appliances like the washing machine and tumble dryer. If there are no extractor fans in the property, they should be retrofitted as soon as possible to prevent further mold growth.
  • Ensure all attic spaces and crawl ways are well insulated and ventilated.
  • Vacuum carpets and solid flooring regularly to remove mold spores from the fibres and surfaces before they become airborne.
  • Mop up any spilled liquids and wipe away any condensation spotted immediately to prevent the possibility of mold growth.
  • Hire a trained professional to inspect the property for water leaks and mold. A specialist will often identify water leaks and mold spots missed by those not trained to spot such issues. What’s more, specialists can fix any identified leaks on site to reduce the possibility of future mold growth. A specialist can also monitor the humidity levels in your home and suggest devices to reduce them.


Roof Leak Mold On Walls

Having a leak in your roof can lead to getting dampness and mold on your walls. Here’s a resource we found in a local DIY forum:

I have a roof leak which I’m 94.8% sure is getting in from where the roof and vent meet (roof is in great shape otherwise). Water is coming in and running inside my walls, pooling & creating a water stain where the ceiling (slant roof) meets the outside wall in master bedroom. Water is running down that wall and pooling where wall meets floor too. No dripping water or wet carpet, just water stains on walls, mold growing inside wall, and mold on wall facing the room (already cleaned up with bleach).

Resource: mold in walls from roof leak diy or hire mold remediation company 


What Causes a Ceiling to Collapse?


The main reasons a ceiling can collapse is water damage and poor quality workmanship or a combination of both of these. Water damage is usually the start of issues with your ceiling. The dampness puts structural pressure on your ceilings and starts to rot the materials. When the screws can no longer hold the ceiling in place it can collapse. Obviously this is a safety issue – so if you notice any of the following signs with your ceilings, make sure you hire an expert to check your ceiling out and at the very least make sure they are safe. 


Warning Signs Ceiling is About To Collapse 


Warning signs of a ceiling under stress may include:


  • Large or small cracks in your ceiling or cornice
  • Visible join lines throughout rooms
  • Screw holes showing
  • Bow in ceiling
  • Visible gaps between ceiling and timber rafters inside roof space
  • Pushing on sections of your ceiling and if there is any movement then your ceiling is sagging.
  • Noises or cracking noises


Sagging Ceiling Repair Costs


The damage caused by a water leak should be dealt with as soon as possible since it is quite a serious issue. That is because of the damage caused by a water leak can worsen with time. It may lead to sagging of the ceiling and its eventual collapse. The most important thing is to identify the cause of the water leak before addressing the problem. The first person to contact is a professional plumbing company. Once they have fixed the leak, you should consult a professional ceiling repair company to do the rest.


How much does it cost to repair water damage?


The repair rates would vary depending on the reputation of the contractor and the quality of the materials used. But you should expect to pay between $40 and $80 per hour for such repairs. The hourly rates don’t include material costs. In fact, cornices and decorative plaster products may cost much more. The size of the average ceiling installation job in Australia is approximately 170 square metres.

The following plasterboard installation costs should be taken as a rough figure:

  • $8 – $16 per m2 for plasterboard – only installation
  • $15 -$20 per m2 for plasterboard – supply as well as installation
  • $4 – $16 per linear metre for installation of cornice (mid-range)
  • $5 – $20 per linear metre for cornice supply and installation (mid-range)


Resources: how much does Gyprock ceiling installation cost


How much does it cost to fix a leaky roof?


It may mostly depend on the height and type of your roof. A steep roof on a single storey building will cost more than a gently sloping roof on a single storey house. The cost could be much more if you got a two-storey house. For example, the prices of major repairs of a 10-metre roof that is 3.0-metres high are as below:

  • A roof with a normal slope – $4500
  • Terracotta tiles will cost $7200
  • Colourbond or Zincalume roofing will cost $6300
  • A moderate slope will cost $5400
  • A steep slope will cost $6300


Resources: how much will it cost to repair a leaking roof


How much does it cost for water damage restoration?

A homeowner should expect to spend between $1,069 and $4,099 for such a repair. In fact, the average repair cost is $2,582. A licensed professional is essential to determine the cause and the extent of the damage. Such a professional will categorise and classify the damage caused to your home – which is two of the largest factors that should be taken into account when arriving at a final figure.


Resources:repair water damage


Is a burst water pipe covered by insurance?


Burst water pipe damage claims are some of the most common property claims affecting residential and commercial buildings in Australia. Even though the water pipe isn’t covered by most insurance policies, the resulting water damage losses are usually covered by such policies. When you hire a professional to repair the damage, it is important that the professional write down on the estimate the extent of damage to your property. In fact, all important information and photos of the damage should be passed onto your insurance company for further action. This is very important when repairing water damaged homes.


How much does a roofer charge per hour?


Depending on the type of roof, roofers can charge anywhere between $18 and $51 per hour, with the average being $27.70 per hour.


Recourses: roofing contractor hourly rates

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