Leak into ceiling with mold


Old 09-05-10, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Leak into ceiling with mold

So I noticed a dripping sound coming from a light fixture on my first floor. Then I notice a little bulge in the ceiling near that. I touched it with my finger and sure enough my finger goes right through. After tearing up some of the ceiling I notice that every time I flush the toilet upstairs water comes pouring out of the ceiling. It looks like it has been this way for a while because there is some nasty looking mold in the drywall. There is also a bit of mold on the horizontal 2x4s (ceiling joists?) in the ceiling.

So assuming I can fix the leak, what do I need to do about the mold? Is it safe for me to remove the drywall myself? Do I also need to replace the 2x4s or is scrubbing them and letting them dry out enough??? Can the mold spread even when it dries out and stays dry? I am in Colorado so the weather is dry year round. Thanks!

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Old 09-05-10, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Greece
Posts: 103
I would think that if you dont replace the drywall its a good idea to let it get totally dry first after fixing the leak ofcourse. Once its totally dry scrape off any damaged material (pealing paint etc) and then apply a mold-proof primer like this one:


Then you can put some putty, sand it to make flat, apply some more primer and then paint the whole wall - ceiling.
Old 09-05-10, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,842
That's a good size hole

You'll need to trim around the outside of the hole to make sure all the damaged drywall is removed and you have a decent edge to install the new drywall to.

If or where it isn't feasible to remove the drywall to the next framing member, you can insert some wood and screw it to the remaining drywall leaving 1/2 the wood exposed so you can screw the replacement drywall to it. You would then tape and finish the drywall and texture and paint to make it blend in.

Obviously you don't want to repair the ceiling until the leak is fixed and the ceiling cavity/joists are dry. Washing the area with a bleach/water solution usually does a good job of killing the mold. I don't know anything about the mold sealer mentioned above

More than likely most of the mold spores went with the drywall already removed. They probably aren't a concern for the majority of folks although those with respiratory issues should use more caution.
Old 09-23-10, 03:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Thanks for the responses! Just to update, I ended up tearing out a bunch of the drywall because a lot of it was nasty and I didn't want to try to match the existing texture. I replaced my toilet's cast iron flange with a plastic one, and replaced a good portion of the cast iron 4" drain pipe with a 4" pvc drain pipe. I reconnected the remaining cast iron drain to the new pvc drain using a no-hub coupler. I cleaned/glued the flange to the pvc drain and reinstalled the toilet with a new wax ring and no more leak. I also bleached the wood and plan to use some Kilz or the paint mentioned to really make it mold resistant. Now just to replace the drywall

I had a plumber give me a quote for the repair and they wanted $360 for the flange/drain repair. Ended up costing me about $50 and a couple hours of my time. If I did it again it would probably take me 45 minutes.

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