I recently had some water damage to my ceiling after a storm. For the most part, it's a simple cut out and replace procedure, but I'm stuck wondering what to do in the kitchen. There's about 1'x2' area that's above the cabinets that I won't be able to get to when I'm installing the new drywall. Do I need to remove the cabinets to fasten the drywall to the joists? Or can I just put an extra few screws in around the edges and add some 2x4 crosspieces between joists for extra support at the edge of the cabinets? From the attic I can see that the walls were originally drywalled after the ceiling, which will give some support on the edge. Can I leave it floating like this, or will it cause problems later?
Personally I would pull them down and drywall the entire thing. The edge of cabinets is going to not look very well when your done if you don't and will stick out like a sore thumb. It's easy enough to pull down the cabinets too.
Also I would remove the drywall from the edge by the wall too and mud the corner. It's going to make it cleaner looking in the end.
I discovered that the water damage didn't extend over the cabinets after all - just within a few inches, but between the nearest joist and the edge of the cabinets. I framed a few 2x4's between joists to line up with the edge of the drywall that I cut out.