About two years ago, I had noticed there was a leak coming through the ceiling in my bathroom which is connected to my bedroom. My husband went up to the attic to see where the leak was coming from. While he was up there, he fell through the ceiling in our dining room! Undeterred, he thought he found the problem and tried to patch the leak that came through the roof. But every time it rains, it still leaks and I’m worried about mold. Any tips to fix the leak and the hole in my dining room ceiling?
First off, please tell your husband to remember this age-old-adage when working in an attic: WALK ON WOOD! I certainly hope the only thing he hurt was his pride!
Most leaks over bathrooms are caused by gaps in the flashing around the main drain-waste-vent pipe that exits the roof above the bathroom. My first recommendation would be to check the rubber gasket around the pipe flashing. These gaskets typically dry out and need to be replaced. In the alternative, you can seal any gaps around the pipe with asphalt roof cement.
Once the leak is fixed, you need not worry about mold. Mold needs moisture to survive and fixing the leak will eliminate that. To be extra sure nothing is left behind, spray the areas down with a one-third bleach, two-thirds water solution.
As for the hole, the best thing is to cut out the drywall and replace it. To do this, you may need to enlarge the hole to be square and so that you expose the ceiling joists you will need to nail it to. Once the patch is up, tape the seams with perforated fiberglass drywall tape (looks like netting) and then spackle it with at least three coats of spackle. Then sand, prime and paint.
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