The wall, where it meets the molding/ceiling.
As if that was not enough, there was also a slow drip coming from a drywall seam, in the ceiling above my bed. My BED! There was brown water dripping onto my PILLOWS. The drywall/ceiling repair (damage pictured below) will be covered in my next blog post, "Drywall Repair: Taping, Floating, Sanding and Re-Painting."
The ceiling, with split drywall seam
The wall repair:
When the room was renovated in '03, I painted the newly sheetrocked walls with 2 coats of "Kilz' mildew inhibiting primer and 3 coats of water based latex...in a very soothing sage. Those five coats saved me from water cascading down the wall and wrecking the carpet as well. I was not overwrought, just alarmed when I saw the water balloon...so maybe there is something to the calming qualities of sage green!
If you think things through, these kinds of repairs are very straighforward. You CAN do it yourself!!
1. Drain out the water and let the wall/damaged paint dry out.
2. For this you'll need a straight edge razor blade and some towels. Lay one towel down at the floor level to catch any spills. Hold the other towel to the bottom of the 'water balloon' and make a SMALL slit with the razor blade. Press the towel against it until the water is absorbed. With firm pressure, blot the wall and the now-wrinkly paint 'dry' then let the air do it's job. You don't want to gouge or rip the sheetrock. (If the water sits for too long, it can cause the soaked sheetrock to bulge, and then it needs to be replaced.)
3. Have a glass of wine and gather your thoughts. You need to find and fix the source of the water before your repair the wall!
I called my roofer and after he carefully inspected the roof, he confirmed that his roofing and repointing jobs were holding up fine. Water can travel, so he had to look carefully at my roof as well as the roofs on the two adjoining houses for any split seams.
He found the problem---a crack in the mortar near the base of the living room chimney flue---that is situated on the roof, above my bed. He filled in the crack and while he was up there, he ran some caulk around a skylight, for good measure.
4. Now the repair can be done inside.
Wide putty (or joint) knife
Sandpaper, fine grade
Quick drying lightweight spackling
Paint + roller and a brush (I always keep a pint of leftover paint, for each room. It's handy for touch ups)
1. Scrape the dry, wrinkled paint off with the putty knife
2. Sand the area, including the undamaged paint edges...to make a smooth repair area
5. Paint 2 coats of the room color. Feather the paint out a bit to fully blend the wall color