Toilet overflow caused water to enter the ceiling cavity: How to remediate?
An issue every homeowner faces now and then I’m sure, but I’m considering dealing with it differently this time.
A toilet in a second-floor bathroom in my home overflowed (I’m guessing it became clogged and the flapper valve didn’t shut off appropriately… so I’ll be changing a flapper valve too) and led to water overflowing onto the bathroom floor and, because the floor penetrations were not sealed (😡), into the joist cavity space below.
This bathroom is above my kitchen, and we only realized there was a problem when water started to drip (gush, really) out from around a recessed light fixture in the kitchen ceiling.
So now we have a substantial amount of moisture in the joist cavity, at least several joist bays wide in an area at least 12-15 feet long (I can tell because the water is seeping through the drywall seam; see photo).
The whole assembly will eventually dry, but I am concerned about mold. I’m sure the best, most effective solution would be to tear down the entire kitchen ceiling and re-drywall, but suffice it to say I am not enthusiastic about that prospect; I’d rather spend a day having my teeth drilled than a day mudding drywall.
I’ve considered drilling holes in the drywall in each affected joist bay to try to get some added air flow and aid drying (simple spackling of small drywall holes is easy), or I suppose I could just do nothing and see what happens.
(One person I spoke with suggested turning the heat up in both the bathroom above and the kitchen below to try to aid drying; another person suggested the opposite, keeping the area cool to retard mold growth until the moisture dries.)
I’d be curious everyone’s thoughts here.
(I’m in a pretty moist part of Climate Zone 5A.)
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