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Question DetailsAsked on 8/23/2016

during a storm i notice that water was leaking from the roof in my kitchen and now i have a crack in my ceiling

i have a crack in my ceiling in my kitchen should i be concern of it collapsing

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1 Answer


If you can reasonably get into the attic, look to see if you have wet insulation or a pool of water lying on top of the vapor barrier over the drywall - keep on the dry areas and use an insulated tool to poke around through the insulation in case water got into an electric box, which could make the water "live".

Sometimes water will accumulate on top of the vapor barrier in an attic, with the weight bowing the drywall and/or ceiling joists down, which forms more of a basin or pool which will hold more water before it spills over at the walls - so ceiling drywall collapse can happen, and in very rare cases with attic joists in poor condition it can cause structural collapse too. Easy solution, since you already have a crack which you will undoubtedly want to repair - find the low spot in the ceiling with a level or straightedge (may or may not be right at the crack) and, while holding a good sized bucket under it, punch a hole in the ceiling - use a fairly dull tool like a phillips head swcrewdriver so you don't accidentally puncture into an electric wire. You need to go say 6 inches or so up to be sure you actually punctured the vapor barrier rather than just pushed it up. Let water drain out - and of course put a pan or bucket under that spot until done draining (which might be hours) and also have it there if it rains again before it is fixed. So consider where you put the hole - if low spot is somewhere over a appliance like the stove say or right on the edge of a countertop, you might move the hole location oer a foot or two so it is not over the appliance and is in a place where it can reasonably be caught. 5 gallon bucket is best for catching drips like this as it is tall enough that (assuming you empty the wter frequently) the splash does not get out of the bucket and all over the floor like it does with a shallow pan.

If your insulation is cellulose (shredded paper) or vermiculite (like mica flakes) it can soak up a LOT of water so can potentially get heavy enough to collapse drywall ceilings. Fiberglass generally will not hold enough weight of water to be a problem.

Obviously, if there is water in the attic you will need to get that wet insulation pulled out and dried (for small quantities can just be laid out or hung over bracing in the attic to dry over the course of a week or so - cellulose pretty much has to come out and be tossed and be replaced. Insulation would be the contractor category for that is not a DIY project - and you only have a couple of days before it starts going moldy, so not a leave it till next week thing. And of course, you need a Roofer (your Search the List category) to fix the leak in the roof.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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