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4 Risks to Be Aware of If You Are Patching Your Own Ceiling

If you need to replace a damaged bit of your ceiling, you can do so with the same type of patching kit you would use to repair a hole in a gypsum wall. However, there are additional safety considerations you may want to keep in mind. To stay safe, remember these tips.

1. Work Carefully at Heights

While fixing your ceiling, you will need to stand on a ladder to reach the ceiling. Ideally, you need a ladder that is high enough that you can comfortably reach the ceiling without standing on the top rung. The ladder should also have a spot where you can place power tools or other supplies as needed.

Finally, the ladder should be stable enough that you don't have to worry about it tipping to the side. Avoid using short step stools that force you to stretch toward the ceiling, and don't try to increase the height of the ladder by adding books, cinder blocks or paving stones underneath it.

2. Make Sure the Attic Can Support Your Weight

To secure the patch, you will likely also need to access the top side of the ceiling, and in most cases, that involves going into your attic. If the attic is finished, you will need to remove floor boards to reach the ceiling.

If it's not finished, you have to ensure that you can climb through that area safely. For instance, if there aren't studs that you can sit on whilst you work, you risk falling through the ceiling, creating more damage and potentially getting hurt.

3. Be Aware of the Danger of Working in Confined Spaces

If your attic doesn't have windows and if the entryway is quite small, that may be considered a confined space. Professionals are required to get special training to work in confined spaces due to their inherent dangers, and as an amatuer doing DIY work, you should also be aware of these risks.

The key danger is that the area may not have ample oxygen. To deal with that, you should work with a partner who knows CPR. That way, if you lose oxygen while working in the attic, your partner can pull you out, contact emergency responders and administer CPR.

4. Watch Out for Asbestos

Asbestos was a popular material that was used in insulation for decades, and if your house was built before the 1990s, there is a chance that you may have asbestos in your insulation. Patching the ceiling generally requires you to lift up insulation in your attic so that you can access the area you need to patch. If the insulation contains asbestos, you may inhale the fibres, which can make you ill.

Make a plan to minimise these risks before you start fixing your ceiling. Otherwise, play it safe and turn the job over to a professional ceiling fixer.