Mold in bathroom


In a property I recently purchased, while peeling back one of the bathroom wallpaper, I found mold behind the wall paper.
I was going to knock down the walls in the bathrooms and redo the bath, but now I have stopped the work.
How do I find out how extensive the mold is, if it has spread outside of this bathroom wall to adjacent rooms, do I need to rip out other walls just to find out?
If mold is on the wall, that means it's also inside the wall, on the studs. Do the wood studs need to be replaced or can it be treated? Do I need to expose all affected studs to get them replaced or treated?
If I continue the work by ripping everything in the bathroom out, will this risk stirring up all the spores into the air?
I thought all I had to do is to spray Clorex to get it under control then proceed with the work, but the more I read the internet to get educated on this issue, the scarier I got and now I am thinking I need a level 4 bio hazzard team to come in to seal the bathroom. Where is the happy medium?
What should I do next, any idea?
Thanks,
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

There is a lot of hysteria about mold. The spores are everywhere, but don't settle in and grow unless conditions are right. If you wash the wall with good household cleaner and a little bleach, you probably will be fine. If the paint is intact, the mold/mildew was probably superficial and hasn't hurt your wall. We had mildew growing under the wallpaper in our bath, which was redone about two years ago. It was mostly along where the seams had been and hadn't caused the paper to peel off. When one showers and doesn't use exhaust fan, the ceiling and walls can be wet - I believe the moisture was just enough to get under the paper a little bit. The paste apparently is good "mildew food". Sooooo, if the wall is firm and the surface intact, don't worry about it.
If the mold/mildew is on the wall surface, it does not mean it has permeated the wall structure for pitty sakes.
Install a timer switch on the exhaust fan in the bath so's you can run it when you shower and not have to go back in to shut it off.
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Yes and no. The spores are already in the air. The moisture and food (paper and wallpaper glue) just give it a good breeding ground. You are already planning to strip the walls, so go ahead. A dehumidifier might be a good idea if you want an extra measure of protection. Take away moisture and food and you make it difficult for hte mold and mildew to get a foothold. Also a heatlamp on the area will kill the spores, assuming the mold is localized.

Why? We had mold and did the bleach thing. Paint and paper are in good condition. The mold came back in a few days. We need to cut back the paper and treat underneath.

Not necessarily. Since the op is redoing the bathroom, it is best to go ahead and knock out the walls as planned and see if it has spread to the studs. Don't worry about it until the walls are stripped clean to the studs and see what is there. Use the new mildew resistant drywall when redoing the walls.

Excellent advice.
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clipped

The mold came back where? Under the paper? The wall has primer on it? Dry when you papered? When I painted our master bath, I waited a couple of hours after the last shower to begin painting. My first few brush strokes on the ceiling, with alkyd paint, just slid across the ceiling with little of the paint going on the ceiling. It was still wet from the shower. Rather startling that there was that much moisture.

would seem to be a good sign there probably isn't a mildew problem inside the wallboard.

Here is a link to a U/Fla site with good information: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HE633
I have no clue how an insurance company in Florida would handle a claim if the OP's rental property is loaded with mildew. Has it ever been flooded or had other water damage? Insurance is a dirty word these days.
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On the surface
Under the paper? The wall has primer on it?

Not in the bathroom at all. 2 rooms away from the bathroom. Yes, it was primered. It was also months after we painted that we moved in.

Why? I have seen mold on studs when the drywall had nothing on it. Yes, it is probable that it is just on the surface, but until you go deeper you cannot say for certain.
Again, the OP is already planning to remove the wallboard. The basic question was not whether or not it was deep into the wall, but would he need any special precautions in removing it to prevent its spread. The answer is no, not really. He will find out when he does as he plans whether or not it has penetrated to the studs. If it has, then he can deal with it then. No use getting all worked up over possibilities.

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When I was doing it, I took the CDC info, used 10-1 water-clorox solution with plenty of contact time, insulated the wall with Styrofoam panels to come exactly to the edge of the studs, replaced the window with glass blocks, put in Greenboard, used 100% silicone to install tiles even with the glass blocks, and pressed the extra silicone from the edges of the tiles so that there was silicone between them instead of grout. The silicone doesn't encourage mold, and since it is not paintable, it also resists staining. Additionally, I have a 36" ceiling fan in there, and I wired a humidifier control to 'make' on humidity rise instead of fall, and that's what controls the bathroom exhaust fan. By the way, I've discussed these changes before, and the tile style Arctic Ice matches the white silicone very nicely. End result, no mold ever again. And that was the point of it all.

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Most important is to take a look at the exterior wall on the other side from the mold. Take a look if you can see where moisture might be getting in. Do what you can to direct water away from that wall.
This might mean extra soil to build up the ground so that water will drain way from the house. It might mean effective gutters on that side of the house. You might also be able to caulk and paint the siding to further prevent moisture infiltration. After all this is done, then it it worth it to gut the walls and bring in fans and heaters to dry out the framing bays. Then you can feel at least somewhat more confident the situation will not be repeated.
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Don't know where the OP is located, because Miami is not necessarily the place. If the wall is chilled in the winter, the moisture will accumulate. That's the reason for excellent insulating, or the wall will be a condensate site. And when humidity is above 55%, mold happens.

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I am in Miami Florida. Lots of rain here and hurricanes. But that wall is an interior wall and the moisture problem came from the shower not the exterior weather elements.
Thanks!
MC
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away. Dry is out as best as you can. Scrub with bleach if necessary. Use a vapor barrier on that wall and use oil based primer and top coat. In the worst case scenario you may have to remove and replace some framing.
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The molded wall is an interior wall separating the shower from the toilet. So it is definitely moisture from the shower side. I am riping that up anyways and redoing it all. The whole bath will be gutted but I just did not want to risk "ripping this out and spreading DEADLY molds all around and getting sick". If it's ok I will continue with demo.
MC
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A pint of Clorox in a total of a gallon of solution with water, spritz it with a Windex-style sprayer, give it plenty of contact time, and then remove it with cloths with the same mixture.
And stop worrying about Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, etc.

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wrote:

Go ahead and continue with the demo. I would suggest you quickly remove the debris from the house directly from the bathroom to the outside, baging it in the bathroom to prevent contaminated material from dropping on the floor somewhere else. If you come across mold on the studs it would be best to replace these studs rather than hope you have penetrated them enough with the bleach solution.
Mike D.

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wrote:

Thanks! I will continue ripping things apart. Hopefully the studs are ok.
MC
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On Mon, 19 Feb 2007 03:36:14 -0500, "MiamiCuse"
FYI, not a mold expert, just repeatin information I was told/heard.

Heard this was typical, since mold needs a high moisture, and behind wallpaper could get wet from humidity, and take a long time to dry out.

Mold spreads by spores, so if the mold is in more than one section, it's obvious their are air borne spores. Generally, unless you live in some type of sterile buble there are spores everywhere in a home. :D

Not true, mold needs food, and moisture, do you suggest there is water damage inside the walls?

You're not even sure if you have an issue.

Spores are already in the air, but it's understandable you want to know if more will be released. It's recommended you kill the mold before doing anything. Oh, for professional information, the EPA has some good info: http://www.epa.gov/mold/

Research. Disreguard any info from my post, and stick with the professionals like the EPA link above. You might have a politically correct problem, mildew. Mold can effect how your home sells later. hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Just thinking out loud....
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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