Water Damage Restoration from ServiceMaster

Water damage of any type or extent is problematic and best repaired by experienced professionals, like those from ServiceMaster. Our skilled technicians are equipped with the advanced tools, machinery, and training to successfully restore your property after water damage.

ServiceMaster specialists are IICRC-certified and insured. Local home and business owners have full confidence in our effective water damage restoration techniques and quality customer service. Our water damage restoration crews work quickly to limit the spread of damage.

Technicians arrive promptly after your call to assess the extent of water damage. Our powerful equipment extracts all excess moisture and dries the affected areas with speed. We also provide mold remediation, if necessary, and top-notch reconstruction services to restore water-damaged materials.

How Long Does It Take For A Ceiling To Dry After A Leak

With the right equipment, most ceilings can dry out in one full day. However, having unlimited access to all of the necessary equipment might be hard to achieve.

Some might be tempted to just run their home ceiling fans during the drying process.

While regular home ceiling fans may work, they tend to be quite slow and could take several weeks to fully dry out your ceiling.

Leaks Left To Dry On Their Own

If your ceiling is left wet for extended periods of time, expect an increased risk of:

  • Water stains & mold growth
  • Insulation decay
  • Shock hazards
  • Wet rot
  • & Structural deterioration

Ultimately, using any drying method is better than taking no action at all. Use any resources you have available as fast as possible.

Once your ceiling no longer has any signs of water circles, make sure to feel the damaged areas for lingering moisture.

Always use a moisture meter for an added layer of reassurance.


How To Know Your Ceiling Is Getting Dry

It can be hard to tell if your ceiling is getting dry. One of the most obvious signs is touching the drywall and seeing how it feels. If it feels dry to the touch, chances are it’s starting to dry.

You can also look for rings around the water spots. Dark rings usually indicate dry water spots.

Step 2: Identifying the Source of the Water

It can be hard to find the source if the water travels far from the source of the leak and ends up in an unexpected place. However, keep in mind that ceiling leaks generally start from one of two places: the roof or plumbing. Water damage that is directly below an attic or roof, the culprit could be a leaky roof that’s been damaged by hail or an ice dam, or an issue with your chimney, caused by storm damage or age. Clogged gutters can also cause water issues near your roof line. Watch for these other signs to suspect to roof:

  • The ceiling appears wet during or soon after rainfall
  • Insulation is wet in the attic
  • The water is brown (it’s bringing dirt with it)

If you have a two-story home, water on a first-floor ceiling is most likely coming from a frozen, burst pipe or other plumbing issue upstairs. If the water damage is below plumbing pipes, such as a bathroom or kitchen, watch for these other signs:

  • There is no weather event
  • The leak is steady
  • The water is clear

In any case, a property restoration professional can assess your situation to identify the source of the water and find a permanent solution, before you undertake any cosmetic repairs.

What Are the Signs of Ceiling Water Damage?

Thankfully, most signs of ceiling leaks are easy to see. Water spots on the ceiling are common, but water dripping or leaking is a more urgent problem. If you have any of the following signs, find and fix the water leak right away. After you fix the leak, you still need to repair the ceiling water damage.

Water Leaks From the Ceiling

You should always treat water leaking from your ceiling as a major problem. In most cases, you can find the cause of the leak easily. Look at the plumbing above the damage for leaks or overflows. If the roof is directly above the ceiling, look for damaged shingles.

Sagging Ceiling

A sagging ceiling is also a sign of a ceiling leak. As the water saturates the ceiling material, it also weakens it. The weight of the water will then cause the ceiling to start to sag. Although most common in drop tile ceilings, water can also cause drywall and plaster ceilings to sag as well. Typically, a sagging ceiling indicates a moderate water leak or issue.

Peeling Paint or Cracked Plaster

Another sign of a ceiling leak is peeling paint or plaster. This is most common with a small leak that leaves the ceiling wet for a long time. Over time, the water causes the paint to bubble or peel. Wet plaster shrinks and expands, causing cracks.

Yellowish-Brown Water Spots

Yellowish-brown water spots on the ceiling also mean you have a problem. These water spots mean the leak is small enough that the area has time to dry. Repeated or inconsistent leaks will form rings as the water spreads further from the source over time. Even if they feel dry to the touch, water spots on the ceiling mean you have a leak somewhere.

Track Down and Repair

Next, it’s time to track down and repair the source. Water can travel a surprising distance from the initial leak, and roof leaks in particular can be tough to isolate. Even in an apparently simple situation, such as when a bathroom is directly above the stain, there are still a number of potential sources for the water. It could be a leaking drain, loose supply line, or missing caulk.

You may need to cut a hole in the ceiling in order to see where the water is coming from, and if you’re having trouble re-creating the leak, you might try the old trick of laying sheets toilet paper along pipes and ceiling joists. The toilet paper will clearly show any reaction to moisture, allowing you to narrow the scope of your search.

How to find and fix roof leaks.


Feel the drywall with your fingers and draw an outline around all of it that’s wet. You can tell if drywall is wet if it feels spongy – it may even break apart when you push on it, explains Ask The Builder. You have to replace this drywall because, now that it’s wet, the fasteners will no longer hold it reliably to the joists, even after it dries out.

View Comments

  1.  			 				 								EthanB 						    		    		 				|

    EthanB | Oct 13, 2018 11:55am | #1 I used this process when a client’s washing machine blew a supply hose. But I went a step further and used a dehumidifier. I bought a 4×10 duct boot and taped it to the outlet on the dehumidifier and ran the flex duct up to a hole in the ceiling. Then I ran another piece of flex duct out of the outlet hole in the ceiling and out a window to avoid dusty air from going all other their living space. Worked great!


Cut out the rectangle with a drywall saw and discard the wet drywall. Be prepared for wet ceiling insulation to fall out when you remove the drywall. Throw that away as well.

Blotting With Dry Towels

After setting up the fans and increasing air circulation, you might want to try dry blotting the walls. But do so carefully. Because wet drywall is already more weaker than normal, even a small amount of pressure can cause you to punch a hole through it. So, if you choose to blot dry the drywall, do it gently, applying pressure along all affected areas. Use less pressure as you move away from the baseboards and where they drywall intersects with the ceiling. It’s stronger in those areas.

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