stipple ceiling water damage

Homeowner Beware! 3 Ways NOT to Repair Your Damaged Ceiling

Water Damage in a Stipple Ceiling

We get it – spending money to repair your ceiling is not sexy or even interesting. Most homeowners want to spend the bare minimum, when it comes to home repairs and maintenance. They’d rather spend money to put up cornice moulding, or perhaps install some built-in cabinets to increase visual appeal and enjoyment of their living space.

Unscrupulous contractors with little experience or training know they can profit from this fact. They will take advantage of this situation and propose a “quick solution” that will in the end come back to bite the naïve homeowner.

Here are 3 “quick fix solutions” that homeowners often fall for. If a contractor suggests any of these, run the other way!

1. Applying drywall directly over top of a stipple ceiling application is dangerous, lazy and improper. This is due to the fact that the contractor doesn’t know what they are screwing into.  In order to execute this,  a minimum 2” screw is needed. If the contractor misses the stud with just one screw and there is a rogue electrical or gas line in the joist cavity (run improperly by a homeowner or lazy/improperly trained contractor), then there is a real risk of driving the screw into that rogue line – resulting in a gas leak, explosion or even a fire via electrical arcing that causes sparks in the ceiling that will ignite dry timber/debris in the hoist cavity.

2. Re-spraying an existing damaged area. This procedure involves scraping off the damaged or stained area of stipple, skim-coating the area and then trying to re-spray stipple on that affected area only, hoping to blend that with the rest of the ceiling using tape lines and sponge techniques. This is practically impossible to do well because the contractor doesn’t know what type of stipple was used for the original application, what nozzle tip was used on the gun for the spray application, nor the consistency of the original stipple mix. The end result is improper blending.

3. Re-spraying the entire ceiling with new stipple over the old stipple. If the stipple was unpainted and you try to mask the damaged area that’s now either missing stipple or has been water damaged, by respraying over the entire ceiling just to mask the damaged area, then the new stipple will activate the old, being that both are water based, the ceiling will start to blister and fall off in big chunks. If the original stipple ceiling was painted, then you’re not going to get proper adhesion on the oil-based paint on the existing ceiling.

As soon as it starts to dry out, it will flake and pop and fall off in little bits and pieces. By the time all this has taken place the contractor is long gone and good luck getting him to come back and correct it. You don’t really want that, do you? Of course not. 

The only proper way to deal with any type of ceiling water damage is to scrape and smooth the entire area, replace the affected drywall or rip down the entire ceiling and apply new drywall. It costs a little more, but it will last for years.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for, when you hire a quality master plaster applicator from Fine Finish. Request your free estimate today

About the Author Jason Harper

Jason Harper formed Fine Finish Wall Systems after he became disillusioned with trades in the construction and renovation industry. He was tired of seeing people getting ripped-off and exploited by under-qualified and unscrupulous contractors who are only interested in getting paid. These so-called professionals fail to learn or understand the basic science behind their trade, and often leave homeowners stranded and out of pocket. Homeowners deserve excellent quality work, performed by professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced. It is Jason’s goal and mission to bring back pride, quality and purpose to the construction sector.

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