How to Drain a Ceiling With a Leaky Roof

Written by robert sylvus
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How to Drain a Ceiling With a Leaky Roof
The water from a leaking roof damages a ceiling's drywall. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Water from a leaking roof often travels down the roof deck until it hits an obstruction, like a roofing nail. Once it hits the obstruction, the water drips onto the top of the ceiling. As the water puddles on top of the ceiling it soaks through the drywall, where it gathers above the paint. Eventually, the water weighs on the paint and forms a large bubble. Failure to drain the water from the ceiling causes extensive drywall damage. After draining the ceiling and repairing the roof leak, allow the water-damaged area enough time to dry before repairing the ceiling.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Buckets
  • Ladder
  • Awl
  • Pencil

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place several buckets on the floor under the water-damaged portion of the ceiling.

  2. 2

    Set up a ladder under the edge of the water-damaged portion of the ceiling. Adjust the ladder's position so the top of the ladder sits under the outer portion of the water damage.

  3. 3

    Set a bucket on top of the ladder. The bucket should rest under the edge of the bubble.

  4. 4

    Poke a hole through the ceiling above the bucket with either an awl or a pencil. Remove the awl or pencil. Catch the water in the bucket. Drain the water from the bucket after the water stops dripping from the hole.

  5. 5

    Move the ladder toward the centre of the ceiling's water bubble. Set an empty bucket on the top of the ladder and poke a hole into the drywall with the awl or pencil. Drain all the water from the hole.

  6. 6

    Place the ladder under the centre of the water-damaged area. Set an empty bucket on top of the ladder. Drain the water from the centre of the water-damaged area.

Tips and warnings

  • Always work from the outside edge of the water-damaged area toward the centre. Starting at the centre can cause the ceiling bubble to burst.

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