Tips & Ideas - STAINS

Tips & Ideas - STAINS

From time to time all of us will face situation with leak from pipe under bath/shower etc then stain from damp on the wall. Lats talk about these situations today

Leak and stains (usually after leak)
These two mean the same to us (due to decoration challenge) – we will need to get rid of this.

Before you pick up the brush, you need to make sure that the cause of the leak is fixed. If you just cover it with few coats of paint (or even the most expensive stain block etc) this stain will reappear. Or some part of plaster will start coming off in this place as well.
You need check what is the possible cause for this stain. So please go above and check place (maybe under the bath, behind wash basin pedestal or WC you will find wet spot).
Please remember – you don’t need to have massive leak. Sometimes its enough if the leak is very, very small but lasts for long time.
Let’s see a photo of the floor in this bathroom.

From a blind eye, everything is looking in place and the stain didn’t even show up in the flat below. However, the floor started to adapt to the damp and formed a soft saggy consistency which was bendable. As you can see, after removing vinyl, it wasn’t looks good.
It was very small (but long time) leak from under WC cistern. As it was small cabinet between bath and WC, nobody noticed this leak.

Its important to check from time to time connections like flexi between feed pipe and WC or under tap pipes as well as waste (white 32or40mm) pipe under wash basin or sink. If you can, please uninstall bath panel every few months and check feed pipe and waste pipes there -just check there are no water droops there, touch with your hand and if you can feel wet places there; If yes- call handyman, plumber or (if you confident) fix it yourself.

A separate chapter will be dedicated to topic how to tackle small plumbing jobs. But please remember – if you don’t feel confident – don’t do it. Don’t touch electric or gas installation – IT SHOULD BE FIXED BY CERTIFIED PERSON.
Sometimes damage and amount of work which is needed to fix it, plus necessary skills/experience will require contact another person (me or another trader), but many times I believe, some problems you could fix yourself.

Below, you’ll see damage made by small leak from under the cistern (WC), when this ground floor flat was left closed for few months. Owner of this flat was away and when she decided to decorate flat due plan of renting it, she found wet carpet, damage in plasterboard’s, woodwork and horrible smell. 

It was necessary remove all carpet, parts of walls and use lots of bleach, industrial dehumidifier for many weeks, then re-boarding, plastering, installing new door frame, skirting boards and finally new vinyl and decorating. Took almost 4 months (most of time just used dehumidifier) to make sure that all moisture will evaporate.

On pictures below you can see damage made by leak on the ceiling. Wallpaper removed and place left for few weeks to dry. Then preparing for plaster, taping and plastering all ceiling. After another two weeks – painted. All done and looks good. Unfortunately plastering is not the easiest things, and best if you will hire person like me or plasterer to do it correct way.

This is what your space could look like when you are not consistently checking for a possible leak from placed I mentioned before - pipes, roof, cracks/holes in external walls etc. 

These jobs will take more time, they require experience and are more costs. If you have a similar problem at your property, I’ll be more than happy to help, but after current situation. However, If you cant wait and this property is empty, when my work is not causing risk to anybodys life, contact me now, so I could pop in, asset it and after agreeing all details I could do it for you sooner.

As I said above - most importantly think, when you will find a stain, check what caused it and fix it. When this is done, unfortunately best way is to wait some time until the damaged area is dry. If damage is so big, or you prefer not to wait, I suggest cut damaged part of ceiling (most possible we are talking about ceiling) plasterboard, cut it between middle of studs and install piece of new plasterboard. Then you can use plaster: (most possible that it will be necessary) or easy fill like this: making these area same depth like surrounding ceiling. About plastering and making correct depth another time.

BUT if this is only a small or minor stain (where they are light) and didn’t damage structure of ceiling – is emulsion is still intact and there is no even cracks, you could try easy, cheap solution, which could save you dozens (if not hundreds) of pounds. Make sure that this area is dry.
You could find at home small spray bottle (we don’t need steam, we will need mist – so make sure you will set up it on the bottle (if you have bottle with adjustable nozzle) and bleach.
Now please cover EVERYTHING under and around stained area with polythene dust sheet, maybe even few layers of it – bleach will ruin your carpet, wooden floor or furniture etc. Make 50/50 solution bleach and water. Don’t wear your best cloths and wear gloves and glasses like below

Now spray this stained area and let it set. Please don’t touch it, as (especially if you have artexed ceiling) you could remove layers of paint or artex, and you will find yourself in situation where you’ll need to fix new damage. You need just get rid off this horrible yellow-ish stain on your lovely ceiling. S0 let it work for around 24hr, maybe will be necessary use another approach and leave it for another 24-48hrs.
If stain is darker, you must use correct stain blocker. I don’t recommend water based stain blockers, as from my experience they not always works well. I definitely recommend Zinsser BIN – shellac based primer/stain blocker.
And first – again – please make sure that leak which cased stain has been fixed and ceiling is dry. If you have some residue there – just take dump sponge or small rag and wipe it off. You could use mould killer (be very careful – many times is bleach in this staff) Leave for few some time to dry and apply coat of stain block. This Zinsser BIN will required around 30-40min to dry. Then you could apply second coat (if necessary), leave for another 30-40min and you are ready to use your emulsion over it.
I truly hope you will get rid of this stain. Unfortunately it is very unlikely that you will be able find shade of white with will be exactly same like rest of ceiling. So if you want - paint only stained before area. But I think that you will go into painting all ceiling.
Instead of Zinsser BIN, you could use Zinnser Cover Stain, which is oil based primer.

This product is for and exterior use. So if you need cover stain outside ( the porch) I suggest use it.
If you have a stain inside your house/flat – suggest use Zinsser BIN, as this staff is not only staying on the surface (like most of oil based primers), its soaking into structure of plasterboard.

If you going to paint just the ceiling, not walls, you need protect walls from dropings of paint. You can use masking tape which I told before – yellow frogtape, and tape along ceiling (or covings) around the room.

It’s 2m/50m so I believe it will be enough. You will need to cover all the furniture and floor with dust sheets as well. Nobody likes cleaning dry paint from carpet or items after painting….
If you tape ceiling rose with masking tape, you’ll safe time for cleaning it after job.
And again – remove masking tape as soon as possible after painting (possible after second coat), when paint there will be still wet/damp – it will prevent removing layer of dry pain from under the tape.

Next time – about removing wallpaper, something about plastering/ using fillers like easy – fill and more.
When this crazy time ends and you will decide to let me decorate another room in your house or office, laying a floor, remodel bathroom or do some other job around your house, I’ll be more than happy meet you, talk about details, and do it along your preferences.
If you check out my website, you will find some more info about me and completed projects. You will find there are very unique, acrylic based walls decorations, which Im doing as well, including venetian plastering, concrete effect paint and wall sculpture. So, I believe to see you a few weeks from now.

Till that time, please stay safe and enjoy your DIY projects