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Paint Bubbling On Wall Water Damage: How To Fix Water Bubble In Wall? [Easy Guide In 2023]

It is disheartening to see your favorite paint peeling off from the walls and innumerable bubbles appearing on the surface. But truly speaking, this is one of the common problems in every space. 

Paint bubbles largely occur because of issues within the underlying surface where the paint is applied. Hence, to get rid of this problem completely you must figure out the root cause, rectify it, and then go ahead with applying fresh paint.

Read on to learn about the various reasons causing water bubbles and the necessary steps you have to take to fix this paint bubbling on wall water damage problem. 

What Is Wall Water Damage?

paint bubbling on wall water damage

This is a situation when the walls get damaged because of water penetration within them. This water can come from inside because of a burst pipe or outside like a storm. If left unaddressed, it can lead to severe structural damage and the growth of molds.

Hence, as soon as you witness this issue in your office, house, or another space, you must seek professional aid. 

What Indicates Wall Water Damage?

Just like any other issue, wall water damage has its symptoms and indications. 

Let’s glance at them!

1. Discoloration- A damaged wall tends to discolor over time. Short streaks of distinct colors appear on the surface. The discolored area shows soft spots. 

2. Water Bubbles- This is the most common and severe problem that occurs because of water clogging behind the pools and paint. It stretches the paint across the surface. This results in the appearance of small bubbles and if the water continues flowing through the surface, it can lead to holes in the walls. 

3. Softened Drywall- Softening occurs on the backside of the drywall. The exterior paint, however, appears normal. If you suspect water damage in the wall, you may press against the drywall. When there is a depression or buckle, it is because of wall water damage. 

Why Do Water Bubbles Appear On The Ceiling?

Water bubbles on the ceiling usually appear because of excessive moisture within the drywall that creates red and brown stains. The problem becomes severe when swollen water bubbles appear on the walls. This can happen because of many reasons:

1. Improper Sanding Of Ceilings Before Painting Or Plastering

You must apply paint to a dry and smooth wall. Avoid applying paint on humid, hot, or rusty surfaces as this will not stick the paint firmly to the wall. In a leaky situation, water stocks up and gets clogged in one area. 

2. Poor Quality Plaster Or Paint

It is best to apply waterproof paint to walls. A lot of homeowners use cement with regular paint. But this does not work when the weather is moldy and soaked. Even if you install skirting boards, the wall absorbs water that ultimately penetrates within. 

3. Concave Errors Or Uneven Concrete Ceilings

This is a situation where the mortar layer is thin in some areas and thick in others. This results in fragility and more chances of experiencing water damage. 

4. Excessively Smooth And Glossy Ceilings

Sometimes contractors use roll waste oil and bamboo boards before formwork installation. This is done to ensure avoiding corrugating iron. 

Reasons For Blistering Or Bubbling Paint

Bubbles under the wall paint can appear because of various reasons. Below are some of the common causes of the appearance of paint bubbles.

1. Applying the Paint on a Dirty Surface

The most common reason for the occurrence of bubbles under the paint is that you have applied the primer and paint on a dirty surface. 

The surface may appear clean, but when paint reaches its depths, it extracts impurities, which get visible in the form of bubbles. 

2. Forgetting To Apply Primer Before Paint

Applying paint before using a primer is another common reason for bubbles appearing on the wall. The primer must be applied as plaster or raw wood so that they soak the binder and pigments in paint. This also gives you an even and streak-free finish.

For wall paint works, the primers are the foundation without which you cannot expect a perfect result. 

3. Leakage, Moisture Or Mold In The Surface

  • Mostly, the bubbles under the paint material are water bubbles that expand outward. When you apply paint without checking for moisture-related issues, this thing happens. 
  • If you notice small bubbles appearing on the surface, call professionals and get an inspection done immediately. The professionals can detect the presence of molds or other issues before it spreads more.
  • Plumbing issues, a burst pipe, or high humidity levels can result in water bubbles on wall. If this is the issue, you need to remove the paint completely and then treat the wall. Apply fresh paint to the wall only after completing the treatment. 

4. Using Excessively Hot Materials

Heat can result in bubbles under the paint. Excessive heat can be because of using a hot primer, painting, or painting on a hot wall. It is because when the paint comes in contact with a hot surface it unnaturally expands. 

What You Must Not Do With Paint Bubbling On Wall Water Damage?

  • Bursting wall bubbles can release the accumulated water and make the condition worst. This can cause internal damage to the building.
  • It is best to hire restoration experts who can dehydrate the affected parts and repair your wall using relevant structural materials. 
  • Avoid poking the hole yourself as it can drain out water. You may, instead, apply a dehumidification process. This procedure dries out the moisture and ensures you have clean walls.
  • Timely contacting the professional can help restore the property and save you a good amount of money and time. 

6 Ways To Manage Water Damage Ceiling Bubble

Whenever there is a wall water damage issue, you need to identify the water source and stop that influx. 

The first step is to seek professional damage restoration services that provide immediate emergency dry-out services before the water penetrates deeper into furnishings and building materials. If more bubbles appear on the wall, it means the plaster is getting more pressure, and hence, has the potential to collapse.

In addition to calling professional aid, the other ways you can follow to temporary fix the problem are:

  1. Painted Wall – It is possible to limit the damage by using sodium lights. These lights must be applied with high pressure and they shine on the wall.
  2. Brick Skirting – If there is limited penetration of water in the walls you are safe and can go for brick skirting.
  3. Wall Decals – If the previous decal layer is damaged, you must remove it and clear the same. 
  4. Wood Paneling – The best way out is to remove and clean the wooden wall 
  5. Natural Wood Flooring – This kind of flooring holds high resistance to moisture but it does not impart protection against water damage. 
  6. Laminate Flooring – This flooring has weak resistance to moisture. The wood is retracted when it meets flooding and you must remove, clean, and refurbish the boards again. 

Tips To Prevent Water Bubbling

It is tricky to deal with the water damage problem. Hence, you must be careful and follow adequate preventive measures rather than engaging in complications. 

There are various useful methods to prevent bubbling ceiling paint:

1. Waterproof Stickers

There are waterproof stickers available that are made using self-adhesive materials. These stickers are affordable and efficient and offer a straightforward process of application.

You need to apply them directly to the cracked areas to prevent water from entering the surface. It does not require advanced technical knowledge.

2. Using Sika For Waterproofing

Sika latex is a sort of waterproof material containing additives. It is useful for waterproofing factories, industrial, and other constructions.

Using this you can prevent seepage and efficiently handle water leaking and cracks in your building. But usually, it is not costly and extremely effective. 

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Q1. Should I pop water bubble in wall?

A1. Water bubbles on your wall can appear at any time without being invited. Even if you have applied high-quality paint, plaster, or latex, these bubbles may showcase. However, you must try to avoid popping these bubbles as this can worsen the situation. Whenever you see a bubble appearing on your wall, you must seek immediate professional aid. 

Q2. How can I dry walls after water damage?

A2. You need a dehumidifier to dry out the wall after water damage. Run the dehumidifier and carefully blot walls. Remove excessive moisture. Make sure you don’t press too hard as it can soften the wall and further damage it. Get your wall investigated for problems like mold, rotting, and electrical issues. Take adequate repair measures to protect your wall and keep your home safe. 

Q3. How can I get rid of bubbles in paint?

A3. Most likely, you cannot get rid of the bubbles in the paint. It is because this problem occurs because of underlying issues that do not change till you get them rectified. 

Q4. What I should do if paint bubbling in bathroom starts?

A4. Some points in the bathroom may start bubbling if incorrect paint is applied to them. It is of utmost importance to use moisture-resistant paints in your bathroom that can repel water caused by heat or steam from the bath.  Other than this, bubbles can appear if the waterproofing in your bathroom fails. 

Q5. Can I sand back and paint again over the bubbling wall?

A5. Sanding back the bubbling wall is not a good idea. You are simply applying new paint on the surface that is exposed to the issue and may end up bubbling again. First, you have to repair the cause behind the paint bubbling and then apply fresh paint once the problem is rectified.

Q6. Can a plumber investigate the bubbling issue due to a water leak?

A6. If the paint is bubbling on the wall in other parts of your home it can be because of a water leak. Whether the issue is because of leaky pipes depends on the way the pipes are installed. So, yes. You can hire a licensed plumber to inspect the issue and existing conditions. The plumber can figure out whether the water is leaking or not.  


You may decide to leave your damaged wall as it is or get it corrected. If you don’t treat the paint bubbling on wall water damage, it can result in structural issues. Even, the bubbling can expand. In the worse scenario, it can result in mold growth. Hence, we recommend addressing this problem immediately. Get professional aid right when you witness the first bubble on your wall.

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