Sheetrock in your house can be easily damaged by water. One of the sources of water can be from ice damming that occurs during the winter months in cold, snowy climates. The ice dam allows water to sit on the roof and slowly leak into the attic and walls.
Fix Water Damage Promptly
If you see water spots starting to form on your ceiling or walls, you will want to take action immediately. I have found that by the time you see the damaged sheetrock there might already be mold and roof damage that you can’t see. The insulation in the attic could be wet and compacted, which makes it less energy efficient.
Remove the Ice Dam
The first step to fixing the water damage will be to get rid of the ice dam. If you do not get rid of the ice dam you will continue to have water dripping in slowly and do more damage to your real estate. Read my article “How to Get Rid of an Ice Dam Without Damaging Your House” for more information on how to remove an ice dam safely.
Remove Water Damaged Sheetrock
You will want to remove the damaged sheetrock to expose the wood studs or rafters that are behind it. By removing the water damaged sheetrock you will be able to see the extent of the damage that the ice dam has caused.
I would not recommend painting over a water stain to hide it. Painting may be a temporary solution if you are not able to fix it right away, but eventually you will want to replace the sheetrock.
Assess the Damage
Now that the water damaged sheetrock is off, you can see what needs to be done. Take the time to look at the roof sheeting and trusses and note any mold or rot. Have a professional contractor fix any roof trusses or rafters that need to be repaired.
In the walls you might find wood studs that are completely rotten and need to be replaced. If the ice dam problem is new, or if it doesn’t happen frequently, you probably won’t have wood that is rotted yet. There is a good chance, however, that you will find mold.
Clean and Treat for Mold
To prevent mold from growing, use an anti-mold cleaning agent. However, if mold has already started growing, clean off all mold that you can access. Use soapy water to help get it off. After all of the visible mold is off, you should then tread the wood with an anti-mold cleaning agent. This will kill the mold spores and hopefully stop mold from coming back. Once you put the sheetrock back on you can no longer see the mold growing, and it could make the air in your home hazardous. Do it right the first time, and you will save time and money.
Once the wood is dry again you can put new sheetrock on. Go ahead and tape and texture like you normally would to match the existing sheetrock.
Prevent a Future Ice Dam
Now that the ice dam is gone and the sheetrock is fixed, you will want to prevent the ice dam from ever forming again. Read my article “How to Prevent an Ice Dam from Forming” to learn methods of preventing future ice dams. The water damage does not have to happen again.
It is quite difficult to handle one ice dam so you can imagine the problems that can be caused if one more pops up in its place so therefore it is better to prevent it from happening. Apart from the above article, you can also visit http://roofrestorationperthwa.com.au for some new tips.