If the ceiling in your apartment is cracked, paint is chipping, or there is water damage, its time to repair it!
If you see a problem, its best to fix it as soon as possible.
Often, what appears to be a minor cosmetic problem can actually be an indicator of structural damage, and you will end up spending a lot more than if you would have called in a professional right away.
We will break down average ceiling repair costs, as well as the most common problems.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Ceiling?
The average cost to repair a ceiling is between $450-1,500, depending on the type of ceiling you have, its height, what needs to be fixed and the materials required. Extensive damage to the ceiling and underlying structure can cost as much as $8,000 + to repair.
Patching: the average cost to patch and level the ceiling in one area is between $250-300 (one patch and includes labor and materials). If your ceiling has a special texture and color that needs to be recreated, expect to tack on at least another $200 to the total cost. Also ceilings made of plaster, wood, or other special materials will be a lot more costly to repair.
Drywall Repair: if your ceiling is made of drywall and parts of it need to be cut out and replaced due to water damage, expect to spend $700-950 for a 200 sq.ft. ceiling (includes materials, labor and removal of damaged drywall)
Remove Signs of Water Stains: if your ceiling has water stains, and they are purely cosmetic, a contractor will charge an average of $250 to patch and repaint one area. If you have stains all over the ceiling, it is most likely an indicator of more serious problems, and will cost at least a few thousand dollars to fix.
Common Ceiling Problems that Require Repair
The following are common problems that many people have on their ceiling. While a few of these are purely cosmetic, others may be an indication of more serious, costly problems.
Having cracks in the ceiling is usually a normal thing, especially in older apartment buildings. However, the look, location and size of the crack can help identify any underlying issues that require attention.
Crack on the edge of the ceiling near a wall: most likely its cosmetic and is part of the normal aging process.
Spiderweb cracks: small spiderweb cracks are a normal part of the ceiling’s aging process. However, if you notice big spiderweb cracks, such as 1/16 inches wide or bigger, you should call a professional.
Wide, long and multiple cracks in the middle of the ceiling: may be a sign of structural issues and should be evaluated right away.
Crack with a dip: may be an indicator that structural ceiling beams are starting to fail, should be evaluated.
Crack that stretches from the ceiling half way down the wall: may be an indicator of structural problems, and should be checked out by a pro.
2. Peeling Paint
If you notice peeling paint on your ceiling, it may be the result of two things:
Normal aging: over time paint may start to peel and the issue is purely cosmetic. You can either repaint the specific areas (cheapest option), or the entire ceiling (this is more expensive, but will look better as the color will be completely uniform).
Sign of water damage: paint will peel in area that is wet or damp. If you notice peeling paint, check the area for any moisture. If its there, call a professional to fix it, because letting water damage go on for a long time will result in major and costly repairs.
3. Water Stains
If you notice water stains on your ceiling, its typically not a good sign. Depending on where your apartment is located (top floor, attic, or not), leaks can be the result of rain, broken pipes, or tenants above. If you can the leak right away, it will most likely be cosmetic and fairly inexpensive and easy to fix. However, if there is prolonged water infiltration that goes untreated, you risk having your ceiling start to sag or bulk, which will be difficult and costly to repair.
Also, major water damage may require new drywall and reframing, as well as repair of the walls, all of which will cost a pretty penny. Another hazardous and costly problem that may result from water damage is mold. The best way to prevent any serious issues is to evaluate and fix a water stain right away.