I am about to have a contractor start an extensive house
remodeling/expansion project but I don't want to have a white elephant
on my hands after it is done.
There had been strong musty oder in the basement and mold was
identified. I have just had the basement cleaned with a chlorine
dioxide based solution that is a reasonably strong biocide that breaks
down to salts. The basement smells 10x better now but overall the
house has a musty oder.
I am planning on having most of the exterior walls ripped out to get
rid of old cellulose insulation and pull out the old radiators - I
would suspect if there is mold elsewhere in the house its behind these
walls. I was thinking of having them first open up all the exterior
walls, remove the cellulose and see if we find mold in which case I
have it cleaned or maybe have some wood replaced if need be. Sound
Does anyone have experience or advice how I should advise my
contractor to proceed with the project since he wants his money and
doesn't have to live in the house once its done like I do with a new
baby on the way.
See the "King of the Hill" episode on mold removal. It does a good
job of debunking the current fad of "mold removal". Don't know how
you can find it, it just aired in reruns in my town.
On 8 Dec 2003 19:56:31 -0800, email@example.com (Steve) wrote:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve) wrote in message
It's a very serious problem. Get a reliable inspector to check it
out and give written report. If you try to sell the house and it's
found you will probably have to get it fixed at considerable expense.
Mold exists in every house. Making a huge over-priced renovation to get
rid of it will only require that you tell a future buyer about the problem
and throw up a red flag.
Finding a reliable inspector is virtually impossible since the money is
not in the inspections.
I agree with Grumpy, mold is a potentially serious problem.
But I think you're jumping off the deep end with the "rip off the walls"
approach to see if there's anything there.
Spend an evening GOOGLING for mold remediation, mold health,
mold inspection, and so forth.
You need to research this problem before spending another dime.
A few sites I've found informative:
The other point is that, although the basement has been cleaned
and smells better, has the original source of the moisture
down there been identified *and* corrected? If not, problems
are sure to recur.
My renovation already is calling for removing the walls as I am
putting in new framed windows and replacing the old wall radiators
already. I'm more interested in what I should do if/when I find mold
behind the walls as I'm pretty sure it's there from the musty oder in
Ohhhhhhh! You didn't say that...
You might as well remove the old insulation (whatever it is)
and maximize the insulation value with new. Talk to some
pro installers about what materials can be used: dense pack,
Note that if the house is wired with knob & tube, cellulose
may not be allowed.
Ask pointedly what the installer recommends for vapor barrier,
which could be put in while wall is open.
Mold needs moisture to grow , if its in the walls you have leaks. Start
looking for bath and kitchen water damage. You may not find anything in
the walls, except around windows and doors. Fix the leaks first if you
find mold. You are making a mess for yourself without defining the
Moisture meters are generally used to measure moisture content in wood or
other material. Hygrometers are used to measure moisture in the air.--
Dennis J Sunday
Home Inspection Systems
I just went thru a humongous mold problem in the basement of my home
built during the early 1930s (courtesy of idiot previous owners and
chronic seepage) that I had to get rid of as part of my basement
renovation, and the solution was pretty easy: If you find mold and other
damp, musty stuff anywhere, you have an ongoing moisture problem. Find
the source of the moisture, eliminate it, and then replace the rotted
stuff. For me, this meant ripping out lots of 2x4s and drywall, and then
a good bit of waterproofing measures.
email@example.com (Steve) wrote:
The problem with an insulated wall that is relatively air tight is that
once water gets in there it will sit there for a long time in the
insulation and provide any mold with the food it needs. I've had this
problem and the only way to solve it (after stopping the actual source) is
to replace the insulation and sheet rock.
well sounds like I'll find out if its there or not when we open up the
walls - glad to hear nothing more sinister to worry about - just take
the moldy stuff out, clean it up and you're good to go it sounds like
(once you fix the leak problems which I plan to do with a new roof and
siding on this rather old house).
I have never heard of anyone being happy removing radiators, that is a
stupid idea. Radiators are resold for BIG bucks, did your heating
contractor tell you that. I just paid 900 for 2- 4 foot ones. Geee,
its like the tile and slate roof scams. Each piece is sold for 10 to 30$
And the customer gets nada, just a 20 yr shingle job.
Plus radiators give the evenest heat. Is he giving you a -20 warranty
that you will be 75 if you need it without running your boiler to
210,or have constant waistful pump operation.
Lets see,contractor wants walls out, without using Moisture probes on a
calibrated Moisture meter. And remove radiators replace with someting
less. Your house was balanced for what you have, designed and set up
You need a 2nd 3rd and 4th opinion. I have seen a few 1 000,000 homes
firstname.lastname@example.org (m Ransley) wrote in message
actually they are convection radiators I believe, just a cover over
basically a baseboard radiator and are ugly as all h**l. It was my
idea to get rid of them and also to replace the cellulose insulation
with fiberglass and I wanted new windows as they are in bad shape...so
ripping the wall to the studs makes sense. If I can sell those
radiator covers for big money let me know because they just pop off
and I can take them out now. The radiators are in too many spots
where we are moving walls so we'd have to rip out some of the pipes
completely in any event and would need to replace or use alternative
heating anyway. but thanks for the comments...if they were those old
fashioned nice radiators I'd totally agree.
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