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I bought a foreclosure that had been vacant and winterized for more than a year. About ten hours after I turned the water back on, water started dripping from the ceiling in the kitchen. When I investigated I discovered that a supply pipe was leaking slightly, and a large body of water had pooled above the old tin ceiling. I shut off the water and opened the ceiling up a bit more to let out the water that had collected. About 5 gallons dripped out over the next several hours before the dripping stopped.

I fixed the pipe and cleaned up the mess. My question is whether I should now be concerned about mold growing inside the ceiling.

I don't think the pipe in question had been leaking previously because the kitchen has a drop ceiling (below the tin ceiling) and there was no sign of water damage on any of the tiles; I suspect the pipe probably froze and burst when the house was winterized, and the leaking didn't start until I turned the water back on.

I'm therefore hopeful that, given that the leak was active for less than a day, simply letting the ceiling dry out naturally (I removed the drop ceiling tiles to let more air circulate up there) will be enough to prevent any mold issues. Is that reasonable, or should I worry about mold?

If mold is a concern, what is the best way to address it at this early stage? Would spraying some bleach inside the ceiling and/or putting a moisture absorber up there do the trick?

  • If the pipe did freeze and burst, it required water in the pipe to do so. Basically, since you've already opened the ceiling up, you should be able to get a light in there and see mold or the absence of it. Mold that is dry will die/go dormant. You have to repair the pipe, so while in there, look for low points and where water may have been previously, this should help you answer the q. – noybman Jun 15 at 18:18
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Yes bleach or a mold killer .Will work not a long time leak and may have happened during cold weather. and mold has not happen ,dry out with fan and bleach and watch what happens

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