How to Repair Drywall Ceiling Water Damage

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Water damaged drywall ceiling repair options with step by step instructions for replacing the damaged section and finishing the drywall.

Water from the leaky shower drain dripped onto the basement drywall ceiling causing a fair amount of water damage. What appeared to be a simple stain on the finished ceiling is actually a hole on the unfinished side of the drywall.

Drywall Ceiling Water Damage cause by Plumbing Leak

Drywall Ceiling Water Damage cause by Plumbing Leak

Drywall Ceiling Water Damage Caused by Plumbing Leak

Water from the leaky shower drain dripped from the shower drain PVC pipe U-bend onto the suspended drywall basement ceiling. The leak caused the drywall paper backing to delaminate and eroded the gypsum drywall material leaving a crater:

Drywall Ceiling Water Damage Caused by Shower Leak

Drywall Ceiling Water Damage Caused by Shower Leak

The basement ceiling is 14 feet high because the house sits on a hillside and has high basement walls. I used a 16 foot extension ladder with a ladder stabilizer to hold the ladder off the wall to better reach the water damaged drywall ceiling. The water stain doesn’t look that bad from this viewpoint, however upon closer inspection the drywall paper is delaminated with a sagging bubble in the center:

Drywall Ceiling Repair: Water Stain

Drywall Ceiling Repair: Water Stain

Drywall Ceiling Water Damage Repair Options

There are several methods to repair damaged drywall. The best option depends the extent of the damage (small or large area) and location (wall or ceiling).

Repair Option 1: Self-Adhesive Mesh Drywall Patch

Drywall patches are widely available at home improvement stores that consist of a thin metal mesh with a sticky backing. The metal mesh provides support for the drywall spackle. The patch is stuck over the hole, spackle, sand and paint. Self-adhesive metal patches work best on walls and small holes, but often sag when used on ceilings. I therefore chose not to use a metal repair patch.

Repair Option 2: Cut Out and Replace with New Drywall

The best way to repair the roughly 5″ by 5″ area of damaged drywall ceiling is to cut out the area and replace it with a new section of drywall by installing a wood reinforcement frame, tape the joints, apply joint compound, sand and paint. The most difficult part was working on the extension ladder to reach the high ceiling.

Repair Option 3: Install a Drywall Access Panel

The problem with Options 1 and 2 are if the leak were to happen again, you’ll be redoing the ceiling repairs. Depending on the nature of the leak, it may be necessary to cut an opening in the ceiling to fix the plumbing. In the 3 years since I made this repair, I’ve been introduced to the bauco drywall access panels. The bauco access panel solves both the repair and plumbing access problems. If I were to do this repair again, I’d use the bauco access panel.

bauco rondo Drywall Access Panel by Access Panel Solutions, Inc.

bauco rondo Drywall Access Panel by Access Panel Solutions, Inc.

How to Repair Drywall Ceiling Water Damage

Drywall Ceiling Repair Tools and Materials

You’ll save yourself a lot of time if you assemble the necessary tools and materials before starting the job. The items needed for this project are:

  1. Drywall Screw Setter – automatically sets the drywall screw the right depth every time. A 4-pack costs $5.
  2. Course Thread 1-1/4″ Drywall Screws
  3. Combination Square
  4. D. Pencil
  5. Utility Knife
  6. Cordless Drill/Driver
  7. Tape measure
  8. 12″ Drywall Taping Blade
  9. 6″ Drywall Taping Blade
  10. Drywall Jab Saw
  11. Drywall Sanding Sponge
  12. Roll of Self-Stick Fiberglass Drywall Tape. Cost is about $8.
  13. Drywall Joint Compound. A 1 gallon bucket cost about $6.
  14. 2ft x 2ft x 1/2in Drywall Repair Panel. Cost about $4 at Home Depot.
Water Damaged Drywall Ceiling Repair - Tools and Materials

Water Damaged Drywall Ceiling Repair – Tools and Materials

A large drop cloth is also needed to keep debris and dust off the floor.

Remove the Damaged Section of Drywall Ceiling

Before you cut out the damaged section of ceiling, know what’s on the other side of the drywall. Are there electrical wires, plumbing, gas lines, HVAC ducts, wood joists or metal support runners? I knew from looking into the ceiling crawlspace the center of the leak was close to the drywall suspended ceiling metal supports. If you can’t see what’s on the other side, cut a small inspection hole in the drywall with a utility knife and look inside with flashlight and small mirror.

I began the drywall repair by tapping drywall jab saw into the ceiling, knowing that I was inside the suspended drywall ceiling metal supports:

Drywall Ceiling Repair: Cut out the Water Damaged Area with Drywall Jab Saw

Drywall Ceiling Repair: Cut out the Water Damaged Area with Drywall Jab Saw

The cut is continued until I was well clear of the water damaged area. You might ask: “How do I know I’m making a straight cut?” because I’ve not marked cut lines on the ceiling with square. Right now it doesn’t matter – I’ll cut out the damaged area first and square up the hole later:

Water Damaged Drywall Ceiling Repair: 1st Cut with the Drywall Jab Saw

Water Damaged Drywall Ceiling Repair: 1st Cut with the Drywall Jab Saw

Knowing the leak was just inside the intersection of two suspended drywall ceiling metal supports, I made the second cut in the other direction:

Water Damaged Drywall Ceiling Repair - Second Cut with the Jab Saw

Water Damaged Drywall Ceiling Repair – Second Cut with the Jab Saw

The water damaged drywall ceiling section cut out with the jab saw. Water from the leaky shower drain dripped and splashed creating the hole. The problem with slow plumbing leaks is it takes time before the damage become apparent:

Water Damaged Section of Drywall Ceiling

Water Damaged Section of Drywall Ceiling

This repair is continued in How to Repair Drywall Ceiling Water Damage – Part 2.

Hope this helps,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2018   Reproduction strictly prohibited.


  1. Mike February 21, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    We recently had our bathroom ceiling repainted, we had not had any peeling problem over the shower, now it is flaking off. Can this be fixed by using another type of paint?

    • Bob Jackson February 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Paint requires a clean and dry surface, then allowed to fully cure before exposed to the steam & humidity from the shower. The peeling paint will have to be scraped off. What type of paint did you use? I prefer Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore premium interior latex paints. It’s expensive but I’ve never had a problem.

  2. Ralph May 5, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Hello Bob

    Nice artlcle !

    I recently had a leak in a small area of my family room and I wondering if that would automatically necessitate the need to change the drywall. I am worried about mold though there is no evidence of it being anywhere. All i see is some water staining. Can i just paint it over or do you recommend puncturing the ceiling drywall and looking for mold?


    • Bob Jackson May 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Ralph,
      Do you know what caused the leak and are you confident the leak is fixed? A slow leak may appear as a minor water stain on the ceiling while causing wood rot and mold. If you haven’t traced the leak source then, yes, drill a small hole in the ceiling and look around with a snake inspection camera for pipes, water trails, mold and wood rot:

      A quick & easy test is to paint the ceiling and if the water stain reappears, you now know the leak is still active and it’s time to open up the ceiling to find and repair the leak.

      • Ralph May 6, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

        Hi Bob

        Thanks for replying!

        Yes I am confident that the leak was stopped. There have been many rain storms, for example, since the leak was fixed and all has held up. The leak had occurred under a flat rubber roof.

        My question though please is how would I know if Mold is present after I patch things up? Would the ceiling just get discolored? Can mold live in the ceiling, for example, and not show itself anywhere?
        Anything you can recommend that can test air quality for mold?

        Thanks again,


        • Bob Jackson May 7, 2015 at 7:04 pm - Reply

          The only way to know if mold is present is to visually inspect the area above the drywall ceiling. Mold requires moisture or high humidity to grow. If the roof leak was fixed soon after the ceiling water stain was noticed there may be minimal or no mold.

          > Anything you can recommend that can test air quality for mold?
          The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mold website states:

          Who can test my home or clean, fix and remediate my home for mold?

          There are no established safe levels or regulatory standards for mold, so, although testing can be done, it may be of limited use in helping to understand the problem. Mold assessment is mainly done through visual inspection of areas where there have been moisture problems or water damage”


  3. Emily August 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob,
    We recently purchased our first home, and before we actually moved in, we went in & turned on the water line for the refrigerator and went back to our hotel. The next afternoon we came to drop some things off and found puddles of water all over the basement bathroom floor, which happens to be just under the kitchen/fridge area. After cleaning the initial mess of water and stopping the leak, there is obvious water damage to the walls in the downstairs bathroom, as well as a mildew smell from the kitchen sink area (which was not present before the disaster). We are very concerned about mold growth and impatiently waiting for the homeowners insurance company to call us back with someone to come out and inspect. Would you recommend tearing out the entire drywall portion of the bathroom wall where the damage is? Unfortunately it goes across about half of the wall. :( Any suggestions would be great!!

    • Bob Jackson August 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      The first priority is the dry out the basement wall.

      This is usually accomplished by cutting out an 18 inch high strip of drywall above the floor and running fans for several days. A portable dehumidifier in the basement can speed the drying process. See the Hidden Mold Contamination article on InspectAPedia for details about cutting test holes and mold inspection.

      Call your homeowner’s insurance company before cutting away a long strip of drywall to ensure you’re not giving up any policy rights or causing “unrelated” repair costs they may claim are your doing. I’m surprised your insurance didn’t send an adjuster out right away and arrange for a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO. The longer it stays wet the more extensive and expensive the repairs can be.

  4. joelle October 27, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Hi bob.

    Today my son open water in the bathroom upstairs and he could not stop it. He called me when it was all over and almost outside in the corridor and carpet . I stopped the water and clean it. The carpet is still wet in some places. Later on I realise water leaking downstairs on the ceiling . The bathroom is just upstairs. From what I see. I will have a stain there. What should I do. Remove the carpet? How To fix the ceiling? Let dry and just paint ?. Please advise. I recently move to this house. Really worried. Thank

    • Bob Jackson October 28, 2015 at 12:04 am - Reply

      Fortunately the overflow was clean water and you caught the problem right away. Pull the carpet and underlayment up so it and the subfloor can dry. A fan will speed drying. Wait at least one week for the ceiling to dry and assess the extent of the water damage. If the drywall ceiling isn’t soft, sagging or the drywall paper puckered and you only see water stains, then painting it should be sufficient.

  5. Nathan November 18, 2015 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob,

    My daughter found it fun to pour water out of the bathroom tub upstairs. It seeped through under the toilet, which obviously was not calked properly. Anyways, it’s now showing up on our downstairs ceiling and also poured through our air vent. Its covering a 2ft area. What should I do?

    • Bob Jackson November 20, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

      No a lot you can do but wait for the floor and ceiling to dry then paint over any water stains. A one-time, short duration and limited volume water leak isn’t likely cause any real damage.

  6. joon February 15, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Hello bob.. just recently my drian for washer was not put into wall drain so i full rinse cycle ended up on washroom floor witch seeped through the cieling downstairs. What would you recommend we do as of now? Cut holes to dry out cieling or just wait and paint?

  7. AJ Gopal April 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob- last night my bathroom flooded and it sits directly above my garage. We quickly fixed the leak and were able to mop up the floor. I also had a fan running of the night to dry the carpet area in our master bedroom. This morning when I went down to the garage the leaks have stopped but there are some water stains in the ceiling of the garage especially in area where the sheet rock was nailed/screwed in when the ceiling was being constructed. Apart from the stains all else looks good. How do I know if the garage ceiling needs to be replaced or not. Again nothing has come down [fallen] and the ceiling looks like its intact other than water stains. Cutting out areas would not be possible because most of the stains are in areas where the sheet rock is affixed to the wood above. Hopefully what I said makes sense. Thank you for your advice. Ajay

    • Bob Jackson April 5, 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

      > How do I know if the garage ceiling needs to be replaced or not?
      Wait a week or two then get on a step ladder and press against the drywall ceiling. If the drywall is rigid and not sagging or pulling loose then it’s probably OK. Brief, limited volume, one-time floods often just dampen the drywall but doesn’t cause any real damage.

      > Cutting out areas would not be possible because most of the stains
      > are in areas where the sheet rock is affixed to the wood above.
      Overall drywall is simple to replace. Simple doesn’t mean easy but it can be done. See Leaking Polybutylene Pipe Replacement for details.

  8. christina April 16, 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I have friend who has mold on all her shoes in her closet and on other things thorugh out her apartment she has called the office did a work order but they can not find the problem . this apartment complex has has alot water leaks i feel have not been took care of in the right way . help please .

    • Bob Jackson April 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      The roof and plumbing needs to be thoroughly checked for leaks. The apartment management often isn’t willing to thoroughly investigate because it leads to expensive repairs and they hope the residents won’t stand up for themselves. Check the terms of your lease for the proper method to document and file a complaint. Take photos and clearly explain the unhealthy conditions and urgency. Ask for a written reply explaining their plan and timeline to remedy the problem. Keep detailed records and notes.

      If the management isn’t acting in a timely manner to identify and fix the problem contact your local environmental health department to file a complaint. Your local TV station may have a consumer advocate which can be helpful through media exposure.

      Many examples in my area how difficult it can be to get the management to fix mold issues:
      * Mother says mold in apartment is making child sick
      * Clayton Co. apartment complex full of mold, residents say
      * DeKalb residents say they’re fed up with moldy units

  9. Deborah August 12, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I had a water stain on a downstairs ceiling (under the kids upstairs bathroom). A plumber came and cut a square of drywall out and checked the pipes, etc. They didn’t find any leaks and mentioned caulking the edge of the tub along the floor tile, which we did. Fast forward a couple of years and I now have light staining around the area where the square was cut and subsequently put back up. The stain is slightly yellowish. Does this sound like the result of a poor repair job, or do we still have some kind of very slow leak?

    • Bob Jackson August 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      The mistake was patching the ceiling a couple of years ago without identifying the cause of leak. If it’s necessary to have a hole in the drywall ceiling for a week or two to find the leak, so be it because slow leaks may appear only under certain conditions.

      > Does this sound like the result of a poor repair job…
      As you describe it nothing was repaired. Caulking the joint along the tub and tile floor was guesswork. It’d take a lot of water on the floor to stain the ceiling so I doubt that was ever the problem. Assuming you have children, you’d know if they splashed water out of the tub.

      I’d reopen the access hole in the drywall ceiling and look for leaks and dried water trails. If it’s still a mystery wrap a section of toilet paper tissue around the P-trap and water pipes, securing it a piece of tape. Toilet paper is an excellent tell-tale that will reveal the smallest leaks.

  10. Brad August 31, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Bob, we discovered a new water stain on our kitchen ceiling earlier this month. Directly above is a bathroom with a tile shower to the left of the stain, a toilet to the right.

    Once we noticed the stain, I was able to dig a fingernail into the drywall and noticed a 1/2″ length of drywall tape had separated from the ceiling in the stained area. I headed upstairs.

    The toilet has an access panel next to it and everything in that space looked dry and clean. Ditto for the shower wet wall. I removed an astonishing clog from the shower drain and took a “wait and see” approach for the past few weeks.

    The ceiling is and has been dry to the touch for 3 weeks, and the stain hasn’t grown in size, but it has darkened.

    Any thoughts on opening up that ceiling and looking further vs. painting it with Kilz and giving it another few months to watchful waiting?

    • Bob Jackson August 31, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Was water filling up the shower pan or backing up in the drain before you removed the clog?

      If water was filling the pan it may have leaked at pan and wall seam.

      If water was only backing up in the drain it probably leaked at the rubber gasket under the pan. Water normally shoots past the gasket but standing water has more time to wick it’s way through. The leak stops when the water drops below the gasket as it slowly drains past the clog. Now that you’ve removed the clog the drain is still leaking but not so much as to noticeably wet the ceiling. Eventually the leak will get worse so best replace the gasket to prevent greater problems down the road.

      • Brad September 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm - Reply

        Thank you for your reply.

        I believe the latter scenario is most likely. The shower pan never showed signs of a clog. Sadly, it is a tile shower so accessing the pan could be a challenge beyond my skill set.

        Last night, curiosity got the best of me and I drilled three small inspection holes in the ceiling.
        Hole #1 – 4″ right of the stain’s epicenter revealed a healthy amount of insulation and dry surfaces as far as the camera could reach.
        Hole #2 – 1″ right of epicenter, revealed a floor joist above that felt barely damp, but not bone dry. (I avoided the center because it’s on a tape line and didn’t want to risk the tape pulling back along the whole darn ceiling.)
        Hole #3 – 4″ left of epicenter, revealed more joist to the side of Hole #2 (nuts to my junky stud finder) but no dampness.

        This morning I stuck a paper towel in Hole 2 while my wife showered above. The towel came away barely damp after a 10-minute shower, so something small is finding its way to the floor joist.

        There is also a toilet in that bathroom that had to be vigorously plunged twice this season. I suppose it could have a blown wax ring but the state of the shower clog has me thinking it is the more likely culprit.

        Now that I’ve got holes in the ceiling, I’ll probably just call in a plumber and hope for the best.

  11. Rich September 1, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply


    I just read another apartment issue and would like some feedback on my problem. Early last Thursday we noticed a stain beginning to develop in the bathroom above the toilet and could hear water dripping in the ceiling above from the apartment above us. We attempted to get a hold of our emergency maintenance team with no response. Fast forward an hour later and the stain got worse and dripping began from our ceiling. Hours later the maintenance team was able to fix the problem upstairs by shutting off the water and claiming a supply line broke. An outside drywall guy came by, drilled 3 holes in the ceiling and said let this slow drip continue until I come back in order to let the drywall above dry out and I will come back and patch it when it dries. The gentleman came back today (1 week later) and simply patched the 3 holes he drilled and says they will come by and paint to finish. I was under the impression that because the leak lasted hours and created a large 2 ft x 2 ft stain that that entire piece of the ceiling was going to be replaced. Should we be concerned with how this is being handled?


    • Bob Jackson September 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      If the drywall isn’t sagging or the paper face peeling off then a patch & paint should suffice. A homeowner might opt to cut out and replace the section of drywall but apartment managers focus on managing costs.

  12. Marilyn September 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Dear Bob, Years ago (about 10), there was a pinhole is a copper pipe in the wall behind an upstairs toilet that eventually dripped long enough to ruin the dining room ceiling below it (homeowner’s claim). Had pipe repaired and ripped out a large portion of dining ceiling, checked for moisture, waited, then had it repaired. Note, please, the house is now only 19 years old. Since then, the “tape” used for the repair opened twice more (more repairs by same guy), then twice again (different guy). Now, in the SAME AREA (this is killing me!) I am seeing a bubble about 3.5″ long by 3/4-1″ wide. The bubble is NOT wet; it is dry and, if you tap it with your nail, you can hear it’s hallow. My handyman said I should open it about 1×1 feet and leave it open for a month to see if I get any water dripping (of course, leaving something plastic with maybe a paper towel on the DR table to protect it. Problem is the upstairs hall bath is never used (only twice a month that the housekeeper cleans it and on the occasional instance that someone uses the toilet – – just myself and hubby live there). What would you suggest? Both upstairs bathrooms have been completely remodeled over the last 5 years. I’m stumped!

    • Bob Jackson September 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Those small slow leaks can be the most aggravating to locate!

      See my reply to Ralph dated May 5, 2015 about drilling a small hole in the ceiling to insert a snake inspection camera. You might get lucky and find the leak right away or at least have a better idea of where to cut a larger access hole.

      If you decide to cut a 12×12 inch hole in the ceiling see my advice to Deborah dated Aug. 12, 2016 about using toilet tissue as tell-tale.

      I also use toilet tissue to check for leaks when assembling valves, hoses and traps. It’s sometimes hard to tell by feel if the pipe is just cold, or it’s cold because it’s wet. Toilet tissue will reveal the smallest drop of water. Best of all it becomes rigid after drying to catch those intermittent leaks.

  13. Cliff January 31, 2017 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Hey Bob, last year our whole roof was replaced. After the job was done we notice when it rained it was leaking around the air vent, the roofers came back out and fixed the leak but we have stains in the ceiling, the drywall is dry but stained now. What would you suggest?

  14. Laura May 21, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    After living here for 6 yrs.I saw a stain on my kitchen ceiling along lines where wall was taken down I think. Well didn’t do anything about it. Months later, live in Florida & no rain for months it rained. Now I had drips of water coming from ceiling. Had my brother patch the area on roof, one story home. Rained again & no drips but the L shaped stain got a little bit wider not much at all. He says wait a month then paint ceiling. 2’x2′ area not solid just L shape line. Should I worry about mold? Will mold appear on the area! I don’t have attic, at least can’t get to it. Also, when I bought the house 6 yes ago one bedroom has a bubble ceiling. Not wet but when we painted it it was like if we pushed hard on it would come down. There was a dish on the roof that we removed and patched roof. Bubble ceiling was there four a while I before I bought house. Still staying up there. Advice please thankyou, Laura

  15. Laura May 21, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    House was built in 1958. Hoping that the patch job he did will be good enough. And like I said about one bedroom…no mold or anything just a bit of a bubble. Thankyou again

    • Bob Jackson May 22, 2017 at 8:15 am - Reply

      If the roof leak was fixed right away then mold shouldn’t be a problem. It helps that attics are hot dry out quickly.

      The paper face of the drywall ceiling and/or popcorn ceiling texture may have delaminated at the wet spots on the ceiling. Hence the bubble you feel when pressing against it. It’s easy but messy to scrape off and repair. May have to paint the entire ceiling for color match between the old and new texture.

  16. Ed Decker August 1, 2017 at 11:20 am - Reply

    How do u install Sheetrock on a bathroom ceiling that already has tile walls?

  17. Tracy October 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    We found a roof leak during Hurrican Harvey, it was coming through the fire alarm in the guest room. They replaced the fire alarm, but I still see a water stain ring around the fire alarm, the builder said the painter will handle it. Our house is still under warranty, shouldn’t they cut out the damaged area and replace the sheetrock or just paint over it? It sounds like they just want to paint over it.

    • Bob Jackson October 2, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      If the leak was relatively small and brief such that the paper face of the drywall didn’t delaminate and the drywall feels solid when you tap or press on it then painting is all that needed. I had a similar problem with cracked rubber boot on my drain-waste vent (DWV) pipe. Water stain on the ceiling, check the condition of the attic-side drywall and found it was structurally sound. Fixed the rubber boot and painted the ceiling.

  18. Holly ScaR October 29, 2017 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    I purchased a home about 2 years ago and am in the process of fixing it up. I’m removing the popcorn ceilings. There was an old roof repair and my house didn’t have active leaks when I purchased. One of the rooms I’m scraping had a water leak that they painted over but the Sheetrock has about a 1/2 inch sag and it covers 4 sq ft. Should the Sheetrock be cut out and replaced?

  19. JoAnn January 9, 2018 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Mr. Bob Jackson, all of your replys, have been extremely helpful. Thank you for the information. I will use many if your repair suggestions.

  20. Mila March 2, 2018 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob, I had a minor leak that required me to cut a hole in the plaster of my ceiling (caused by driving rain, roof has been fixed). It’s slightly disfigured and there’s a spot where I also accidentally rubbed some of the plaster off. Can I just replanted it and paint once I’m sure everything is dry or do I need to replace the Sheetrock?

    • Bob Jackson March 3, 2018 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Shallow divots and craters in the drywall can be filled with joint compound and sanded smooth. Apply several thin coats and allow to dry between coats to build up the thickness.

  21. John March 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob, We had a toilet leaking above our finished basement ceiling. Toilet was leaking at the wax ring. Toilet is repaired. However there are still water stains on ceiling to repair and I am wondering if I need to cut open drywall and check for mold or should I just repaint? There are no signs of mold but plumber suggested we check for it. I hate to cut open ceiling if we don’t need to. Thanks for your advice!

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