How to Repair a Leaking Ceiling Crack
LESLIE: Catherine in Rhode Island is on the line with a leaky roof. Tell us about the problem, Catherine.
CATHERINE: I have a small hole in the ceiling, in the corner of the back end of the house. And I was just wondering if when I go to have it replaced, how much of the plaster they’re going to have to take down.
TOM: So you say it’s a small hole. So this is a hole that was caused by water damage?
CATHERINE: Yes. It’s coming from the roof. I’m going to have to have a new roof, also.
TOM: How old is the roof that you have now?
CATHERINE: The roof is about 20 years old.
TOM: OK. Well, it might be at the end of a normal life cycle.
In terms of that ceiling space, you don’t have to take a lot down. How big is the hole that you have right now?
CATHERINE: I would say it’s about 8 inches across.
TOM: Eight by what?
CATHERINE: It’s just like a slit.
LESLIE: So there’s nothing open; it’s just like a crack.
CATHERINE: Yes, it’s like a crack. And water drips but just from one area; it’s just like a little drip.
TOM: If it’s not swollen or deformed in any way, then what you can do is you can add drywall tape across that crack, which would be perforated. You use – it looks kind of like a mesh; it’s a little sticky and it’s like a mesh. And then you spackle over the tape. And so you can basically spackle this crack closed and then prime it and paint it without having to replace any of the drywall.
CATHERINE: Oh, really? Oh. Well, thank you very much. I thought I’d have to replace the whole ceiling.
TOM: Nah, don’t let the contractors tell you it’s any more than that. It’s a real simple repair. If it’s just a crack, it can be spackled, primed, painted and you’re good to go.
CATHERINE: Well, thank you very much. And I just want to add I love listening to your show. I learn so much. I listen to it every Saturday night.
TOM: Well, thank you very much, Catherine. We really appreciate it. Thanks again for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.