We're in the middle floors of an apartment building and have had some damage done to our bathroom ceiling around the manhole due to some leaking pipes (minor rupture so there was a bit of water).

The damage is most visible around the manhole primarily because this is how the water leaked down out of the ceiling section. There was a fair bit of water when it was discovered. The leak has been fixed by the buildings plumber.

Now the building management is responsible for repairing the damage as it was caused by a fault that occurred between apartments.

What I see:

  • Some discoloration and stains around the area where the water leaked out.
  • The ceiling looks slightly darker (still wet look - but not the touch) around the manhole up to the edge of the wall.
  • Images here: corner discoloration hard to see and stain on manhole

I'm still waiting to hear back from the repair man about what steps he'll take. I'm hoping it will involve repainting the ceiling.


  1. What else can I look for / ask to be done as part of the ceiling repairs to ensure any damage doesn't get worse?
  2. Should I be concerned about the state of the plaster now?

3 Answers 3


No need to worry about any damage and by looking at your photos everything looks fine. (from the bottom side - how it on top?)

if there was excessive amounts of water, i mean like massive pools of water, that could have caused the plaster board to bend on the weight, then it would need replacing.

In you case it was a minor leak, so if the leak is fixed:

  1. Leave the plaster to dry natuarlly over 1 or 2 weeks
  2. Clean the area with a rough material, slightly damp with water- do not use soap.
  3. Let the surface dry.
  4. Pre paint any discoloured patches with the colour you want, several times, letting it dry in-between coats.
  5. Paint the whole ceieling to match the colour with 1 or 2 coats.

Nothing else needs to be done.


During our renovations we had extensive leaking through our very old plaster (c1927). We found that even after the plaster had dried, the stains would continue coming through. We had the ceiling treated with a stain blocker before painting but still some stains came through.

On the ceilings with the least damage, the stain blocker + a few coats of paint worked. The plaster was as strong as ever. For the badly damaged ceilings, we ended up replacing the plaster.

For us the decision was easy since the plaster was so old and kinda wobbly.

Long and short: you should be ok but wait until it is totally dry then apply a lot of stain blocker before painting.

PS: Also check the state of your insulation (if you have any)


The damage look really minor and can be fixed as follows.

First, let it dry for up to a month. Then prime the damaged surface several times. The primer is designed to prevent the surface from absorbing the solvent from the paint, but it will work in reverse as well - block moisture from reaching the paint. Finally apply two or more layers of paint.

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