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Install & Replace

Water Damage to Shower Wall and Ceiling



I have water damage on my ceiling and wall directly next to the shower in my bathroom. Water bubbles have formed on the wall and ceiling and in some cases have blistered open.  I don't have water damage on the wall opposite where the bathroom damage is. 


The shower is a tub shower with curtain and subway tiles going up 3/4 of the way up the wall.  I always use my ceiling fan when taking a shower to help with the condensation that builds up but it doesn't seem to be helping. 


How should I fix this problem?  Do I need to open up the walls to make sure there isn't mold growing or to make sure there isn't an underlying problem? Or can I scrape off the damaged paint and dry wall and then repaint? 


Also, how do I prevent this from happening again?  Should I get a new vent in the bathroom or should I use a special water resistent paint when fixing the damage? 


Thanks for your help!!

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Posted 2012-12-28T16:03:42+0000  by Ashley3345 Ashley3345

Hello Ashley3345.  Welcome to the Community!


Let me start with the repair process for your walls and ceiling.  PaintPro addressed this very issue in a post you will find here: 


This is what he said.

  1. First you will need to scrape off any loose, cracked or blistered up paint. Remove as much of the damaged material as you can. Inspect to see if any mildew has started to grow and clean it with a bleach/water mixture.
  2. Next, you will want to prime the whole area that was affected by the leak.  I recommend an oil based primer to stop any water stains from passing through the new coat of paint that will be applied.
  3. Now patch the sections with drywall compound.  You may have to apply a second coat over the areas that are deeper than the rest.  Sand smooth when dry and prime again.
  4. Apply your ceiling paint first and don’t worry about getting it on the wall – you can straighten up the line easier when you paint the wall.
  5. Lastly, paint the two walls with the same color, brand and sheen that the existing walls are.  If you don’t know what paint was originally used, then simply take a piece of the pealed paint into our paint department for them to match.

I think that this is where you want to start.  Scraping the damaged drywall away will allow you to see the extent and depth of the damage from both a structure and mold standpoint.  You won't know if you will need to cut out a section of drywall until you scrape away the bad area.  With any luck, you can simply prime, patch the area you cut into, prime again and paint.  Oil based primer is a good idea even though I know it's a pain compared to using latex.


You may find that there is more damage hidden from view as you remove material, creating a hole.  In this case you will need to use a piece(s) of drywall to patch the area.  Please note that ceiling repair is very similar to wall repair.  Home Depot has a project guide on how to do this here:


How can you prevent this from happening again?

Well, first off more ventilation is always good, but a quality paint on the wall should stand up to condensation.  I highly recommend that you paint with an interior semi-gloss or full gloss enamel.  This includes the bathroom ceiling.  I have personally used Behr semi-gloss in my bathroom.  It has no ceiling fan, gets condensation on the walls and still looks new after 12 years and counting.  It is also mildew resistant.


Let me direct you to a couple other posts that are relevant to this topic as well: 





Posted 2012-12-28T20:19:23+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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