Moist drywall ceiling

A storm blew a chunk of roofing off and let rain pour in.

Roof had been repaired now, and I removed insulation under the affected area to remove all damp insulation (cellulose layred over batting) to allow things to dry out.

Structural wood looks fine, and moisture meter is saying wood is in acceptable range now, so I want to reinsulate asap since weather had turned freezing st nights.

>BUT!

Although the drywall ceiling underneath LOOKS fine, I tested it and most of the ceiling is registering 20% with some areas as high as 70%.

The drywall is backed by a 3mm poly moisture barrier, and I think that's trapped the moisture in. Behind that, the drywall is attached to strapping boards which also are reading as too moist.

Affected ceiling area (registering high moisture) is about half of total ceiling (room is 17'× 12')

I cannot get any fuckign drywall to call me back, and even insurance company can't get anyone to take the job because in rural and live in an area without much services

Please give me some good news or truly useful advice.
This is a disaster for me

  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    shit doesn't mold immediately, just dry it out with fans and you will be fine. once its dry skim coat it and pant it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I've had 2 dehumidifiers and 2 box fans running 24-7, 1 of eaxh set both in the room with the ceiling problem, and directed at the affected area in the attic.

      Insulation was removed Oct 22 and I'm still getting 70% moisture off of the ceiling in some places along the lines where the drywall is nailed to the strapping.

      I guess I may just have to take down the ceiling at this point.
      Dreading that job, though, since it means I'd have to remove more insulation over the rest of the ceiling in order to do the job completely.
      Plus I've never drywalled before.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        bro you are an adult human being. You need to dig way the fuck down into your adultness and just dry it out. Youve dried things before havent you? Dry it. It is that simple.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Why would you be drying on the side of the moisture barrier that's fine....
        The drywall would be wrecked if it got wet and it would show
        Maybe your moisture meter is cheap shit ?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >why dry side witn moisture barrier
          There are tears in the barrier from the removal that I have left open to help draw moisture through with the thought that it would dry faster with both sides exposed. I'll tuck tape them together when reinsulating
          >maybe moisture Meter is cheap shit
          It is the cheapest I could find, but all of the other drywall surfaces in the house are reading 11-12% consistently, so only the affected ceiling is is showing a spike.
          I gotta think that counts for something

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >I want to reinsulate asap since weather had turned freezing st nights.
    Paying extra for heat is cheaper than redoing all the drywall. If it's still damp, wait.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I understand what you're saying, and I won't disagree because I just do not know — but it will be below freezing outside soon, and the contrast in temperature from the lack of insulation causing warmer air to migrate up and contact the cold roofing and will cause condensation and therby introduce more moisture into the situation, no?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >but it will be below freezing outside soon, and the contrast in temperature from the lack of insulation causing warmer air to migrate up and contact the cold roofing and will cause condensation and therby introduce more moisture into the situation, no?
        Maybe, the condensation line based on the wet bulb temperature will move, but if you have no insulation, it should be outside the ceiling drywall. Cold air can accept moisture, just not as much as warm air. Honestly, while I am a mechanical engineer, I am drunk and spit balling here.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    take a shop vac, stick the hose in the exhaust and blow any areas that are visibly wet for as long as you can tolerate doing that

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Are you sure you cleared all the mushy insulation? The top layer would be the last to show as wet, outside of the portion directly below the roof hole. You could have a subterranean slurry in your attic.

    The upside is that cellulose insulation is saturated with boric acid. That's what is currently marinating your drywall. Remove all the excess moisture asap but you have a little more time than you'd expect. Your biggest risk remains mechanical failure but that merely saves the the trouble with Step 1 in your next drywall replacement adventure.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I vacuumed up even the last bit of insulation I as far as I determined the leak to have extended.
      The areas registering high ceiling moisture I the drywall are all correlated with the area that has had the insulation removed.

      I believe it's the strapping boards that hang under the joists that have sopped up water, and it makes sense since the nail holes through the moisture barrier would be there, wicking water into the gypsum.

      Interesting note about the boric acid rinsing through the insulation as it worked down....

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Great follow up. Are the dehumidifiers pulling noticeable water out of the air?

        The only other remedy to try would be or or more pinholes to let any liquid water drip directly out. But since you came to us almost 2 weeks after the fact, and given the boric acid, if the dehumidifiers are working I'd let them keep working.

        Are your soffit vents blocked?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Dehumidifier in attic needs frequent emptying - a few gallons a day. The one under the ceiling isnt pulling much at all, and the room's humidity is consistently 30-35%.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    If you want to be sure then you need to gut it.
    Remove the drywall, moisture barrier, and any wet or ruined wood underneath and replace it with new. Trying to dry it out could take you months and you probably won't remove enough of the moisture.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I appreciate hearing that.
      It was my feeling, but I'm not experienced and have nobody local to ask.

      Thanks to everybody to helped!

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