It Came from Above

Ceiling Damage from a Leaking Toilet Above

Continued from Wax Ring Replacement Post:

The Drama unfolds.  As the World Turns and my wax ring replacement has stopped the Toilet from leaking, I can now proceed to fix the kitchen ceiling below. Again, not being a handyman, my friend John made some suggestions04-HolesDrilled .  First, he suggested I drill some holes into the brown spot to let some air get up into the ceiling and let the spot fully dry. So I did that. I took my handy piece-of-crap drill and made some holes into the brown spot.

I set up a fan so that I could blow air directly up into the holes and help evaporate any remaining moisture. I also sprayed some Lysol onto the spot to kill any mold or bacteria that might have started spawning there. After about 8 hours of the fan running, I removed the fan and let the area dry for a few more days on its own.

The next thing I did, was to spray a stain covering and mildew resistant paint called Kilz onto the spot.  I set up all a bunch of newspaper to catch any falling spray and put a thin layer of paint over the spot.  I used an oil-based spray paint in the odorless formula.  I sprayed on one thin coat, and let it dry.  An hour later, I sprayed on a second coat, and let it dry.  I did this about 4 times over a 4 hour period.  That left me with a clean white ceiling with a bunch of holes drilled in it.

05-PatchProductsNext thing I did was to patch the holes with a Spackling compound called DryDex. I like this product because it goes on pink and turns white as it drys. I layered it on over all the holes with a plastic putty knife and let it dry.

When the DryDex fully dryed overnight, I sanded it down with a foam sanding pad. Once the surface was smooth, I took a mini vacuum to the area to remove any miscellaneous dust from sanding the ceiling. I then put on a final coat of the Kilz spray paint and let that dry.

  06-CeilingPatchThe last step was to put on a coat of paint to match my ceiling paint. A nice eggshell white over the Kilz. I can now stand on the floor and enjoy the fact that what I thought was a major problem was actually relatively easy to fix. It took some time and a bunch of steps. The result is that I now love standing in my kitchen knowing I fixed something that I dreaded a few weeks earlier.  It didn’t cost that much money.  I think I paid less than 20 dollars for everything I needed to buy to fix the toilet and ceiling. 

Below I show some before and after pictures of the repair job I did.  There needs to be at least one more coat of paint on the patch to really clean it up.  Actually the whole kitchen ceiling really needs to be painted, so I may wait and do it all at once.


I’m going to be keeping an eye on the ceiling to make sure the toilet leaking above was from an old and inadequate wax ring rather than a cracked pipe.  So far, so good.  I’m very pleased with the result.

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