Generally, water damages that are mild by nature are not as challenging as some extensive damages that should be left only to the experts. Different remedies are available for damages incurred by ceiling, drywall, and hardwood floor. Most water damage is a result of faulty construction, improper maintenance, and lack of awareness of humidity, vapor, and condensation in the house environment. Rotting wood, rusting steel, de-laminating of materials are other causes of such problems.
Above the water drip, there would be an attic (floor consisting of open space at the top of a house just below roof; often used for storage). If you can access it, try to find the roof leak in it. Using a bucket under the leak, collect the water, and remove any standing water using water absorbing rags. In case you are unable to fix the problem at once, tarp the roof so as to prevent the water leakage, and work on it once the weather clears. The damp spot in the ceiling has to be left dry and cleared of any flaking paint or drywall. After the repaired area dries, use a stain sealer to seal any stained area and then repaint.
Repairing water damage in drywall depends upon the size of the damaged area. The area that has been damaged should be isolated. Cut out the damaged part of the drywall and let air circulate through the opening. The moisture should be dried up within 12 hours and once everything dries, replace the drywall with studs. Thereafter, place a new drywall patch on the hole. In case the hole is too large, a plywood backer board can be installed over the studs in order to keep the new drywall in place. After this, you would have to nail in the drywall patch to the backer board. Using a putty knife, make the joint compounds to spread over the edges. The final step would be to tape off the joint in the intersection of the drywall and the existing wall. After having a smooth finish, repaint the drywall.
Cleaning the hardwood should be the first step in the repair work. Remove moisture from above and below the surface of the wood using fans, dehumidifiers, and other drying methods. After having left it to dry, screen, fill and re-coat to fix the hardwood flooring. However, in case there has been any stain due to the water damage, refinishing may be required. Water leakage may also damage the entire flooring. In such a case, hardwood refinishing and sanding would be required to restore the hardwood's original look and feel.
Water damage in house can be avoided from regular maintenance and professional help. Some places where you can inspect such problems are kitchen (dishwater, refrigerator, and sink), bathroom (showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets), laundry (washing machine, water heater, air conditioning) and basement (sump pump). Also keep a check on roofs, drainage, gutters, and downspouts.
Preventing and correcting water damage is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to home improvements. Solving the problem at its earliest stage prevents major construction and costs in future.