I caused my washer to leak over the weekend by not replacing the filter tight enough after removing it for cleaning. Lucky for me, I was home, noticed water building up in the washer pan, and was able to stop the leak and suck it up with a wet/dry vac. Unlucky for me, we still ended up with the pictured water damage in the kitchen ceiling below the washer.

I plan to pull out the washer and inspect the pan this weekend. I suspect is it cracked, or possibly -- since it was installed by the seller as one of the items required by our home inspector -- the drain may not actually be connected to anything?

But in the meantime, should I be worried about the resulting damage? It consists of the long stained line and the stained "splat", and several shorter stained lines outside the picture. I can't imagine that much water got in there, but I have no way to tell that without removing part of the ceiling. Should I be concerned about mold, or just apply a stain blocker, repaint and forget about it?

water damage on ceiling

  • 1
    This is really a matter of opinion (your tolerance for the possibility of mold, which is literally everywhere and rarely dangerous). I'd re-tape and paint, personally, and I wouldn't make things worse with the application of liquid cleaners.
    – isherwood
    Dec 11, 2019 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


One thing in your favor is you're not in a hot humid area and you have a better chance of the water from one-time leak to dry up without mold growing. The long stained line you're talking about is a drywall seam that has been damaged due to the water. You should think about peeling the tape off and re-taping it as it won't cure itself. Any areas that have water stains should be wiped down with vinegar as a precaution as it's a great mildew/mold killer and it will soak into the material and kill mold below the surface. After the repairs are finished, prime, repaint and hope for the best outcome. Good luck.

  • 1
    Clicking on the OPs profile, he indicates "Charlotte, NC". That's on the Southeastern US seaboard. It's usually pretty hot and humid there in the summer, and in general hotter and more humid than other places, even in the US.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 12, 2019 at 15:54
  • I would pull the tape while it is wet and then let everything dry out maybe a month or more. Then retape like jack says. +
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 12, 2019 at 15:59
  • @FreeMan Yes, but it's a recent leak and it's been in the 30's and 40's the last few weeks with low humidity..... plenty of time to dry out before summer.
    – JACK
    Dec 12, 2019 at 16:40
  • It dried up fairly quickly. I don't think much water got in there; I attribute the extent of the stains to the flatness of the ceiling. Not going to worry about mold at this point. Thanks all!
    – josh2112
    Dec 16, 2019 at 16:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.