We had a furnace disaster that put four or five inches of hot water
into our basement. The place was filled with stored items. The water
was there for a day or two before being discovered. We cleaned up and
threw out a lot of wet stuff but some months have gone by and we have a
serious mold problem. We just had a specialist come in and we agreed
that he drywall has to be removed and the place cleaned up. For a clean
up,decontamination and sealing the walls we are looking at $23,000.
Does this seem out of sight?
We also realize we have to throw out most of what is left down there. I
have a large record collection and realize the cardboard jackets,though
looking fine,probably have to go. Are the vinyl records inside also a
lost cause,or can they be cleaned?
I don't know what the "decontamination and sealing the walls" is
supposed to be. You need to remove the wet drywall and insulation, and
dry everything out, then repair the damage. The mold will die out if
you can get it dry.
The LP's should be fine. Wash them with soap and warm water, rinse, and
rinse again with distilled (or deionized or reverse osmosis) water.
get a determination as to type of mold, most are harmless
Can you do any of the work yourself?
23k seems high but..........How big is the room? You probably only have to
remove the lower 1/2 of the drywall unless it's all soaked. (rather doubt it)
What's your weather & ventilation like?
The problem came from not drying the place out fast enough.
How high up the walls does the mold extend? Is it patchy or 100% covered with
If the mold is not the nasty kind, I would kill it with bleach solution, remove
effected drywall. Probably easiest to remove lower 4ft, leave framing exposed
for a a couple of days with fans & heaters.
Replace drywall using green board, use Thompson's water mix Set20 compund or
equal (it's faster than having to wait for the regular mud to dry).
Prime with Zinseer & paint with washable latex (add some paint fungicide)
Make sure your ventilation is good!
The record jackets might be ok don't be too quick to dump them, place them
somewhere with normal temp levels & low humidity. Records can be cleaned.
My friend had a record collection (300+) that got flooded out (sprinkler issue)
when we were kids. We got fans going & dried them all out. We were in SoCal.
Lost only a handful.
In the future never store anything (esp valuable items) directly on the floor,
pallets can be gotten for cheap (or free).
Consider a water alarm. I had a similar thing happen about 20 years ago but
stuff was on pallets & I heard the dripping before the water got too deep.
I don't think anyone on here can judge whether that is a fair price
without seeing the scope of the job. But...if the 23K were coming
out of *my* pocket, I would have *my* atty writing the contract, not
It would cover in detail the scope of work and standards of mtl
and workmanship. Stipulate contractor's insurance coverages.
Completion date with penalties. And a guarantee of mold remediation,
including after-completion mold testing. Mold still present
at "X" level, no payment.
State whether contractor is responsible for city permits/inspection
and completion to Code requirements.
23K is a lot of money if they are going to be there like 1 week
and just slap a pickup truck load of drywall on.
The basement is about 50 by 30. The estimator says the black mold on
the wallboard is the toxic type. I don't recall the scientific name.
The wallboard is black about a third of the way up. There is also mold
in a number of places around the basement.There are shelves of things
that were stored down there. He claims anything we want to keep has to
be cleaned and wood or paper items should just go. The previous owner
built a room in the basement and,rather than replace the walls,flooring
and,possibly studs,I would as soon tear it out and use the space for
other things. He says the cinder block,painted walls show water damage
and should be cleaned and have sealer,not waterproofing,sprayed on
them. He made a big deal out of the process of bagging and removing
everything so as not to spread the mold. The flood happened earlier
this year but I did not put in an insurance claim as I figured I would
collect for cleanup only and don't like to have a record as a
"problem". Now,with the mold,I have contacted the claims department and
am waiting to hear if they are going to send an adjuster. With the
amount of money involved,I may also spring for a service that does mold
and water damage inspections but not repairs.
Of course he did. He could tell just by looking at it, right?
Waterproofing IS sealer.
Of course, for 23 grand he's gonna put on quite a production!
If I wre you I'd rethink this whole thing, now that you already got the
insurance company involved and are willing to forgo the basement finish anyway.
I'd order a dumpster and get down there and simply tear out the sheetrock &
studs and Insulation. Dispose of anything that can retain moisture unless
you're really attached to it and can't bear to part with. Clean all the rest
that cleanable, bleachable, and disinfectant-able.
Once gutted and cleaned out, use a 10% bleach solution and warm water on all of
the walls, top to bottom, and the floor.
Then use fans to quickly dry out the space, and then run 1 or 2 de-humidifiers
for at least a week, or until they stop producing water.
Mold cannot grow without the proper enviroment. Moisture.
While I would not be certain that they told you true about the kind of
mold it is possible that it may be dangerous. I suspect you are going to
have a problem selling the house any time in the future if you don't have
the problem professionally corrected. The insurance company should help
you verify the first report.
Mold schmold. toxic schmoxic. no way I'd pay that kind of money. tear out
ventilate, maybe a little clorox solution. If the walls need sealing paint
on some of that concete sealer crap and your good to go.
Be equally weary of both the contractor trying to sell you mold control
and the Buba who tells you that it is nothing and just pretend that mold can
not be a serious threat. The truth is somewhere between.
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 12:45:56 GMT, Joseph Meehan
<snipped out long prelude>
The U.S. EPA has a website specifically on mold without the hype:
Here is the key quotation:
"There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the
indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control
They have extensive resources there that answer many of the questions
flying around this discussion.
Many people are sensitive to mold spores because of allergies. I'm sure
someone, somewhere has died from mold exposure. Likewise, I'm sure
someone, somewhere has died due to ragweed allergies or cat dander. The
current scare tactics being used to sell mold remediation services
overplay the dangers to the vast majority of the population so that the
lawyers and contractors can make a quick $$$. If mold were going to kill
the OP and his family, it would have done so already. There's probably
billions of spores floating around that they've breathed just by being
Not to say I'd be cavalier around it. I would wear a good respirator, some
rubber gloves, provide lots of veintillation, and remove all visible signs
of mold. Toss all that wet and moldy garbage. As someone else noted,
bleach is an excellent biocide. Very few organisms can survive when
sprayed with bleach.
There's a bunch of scare sites out there that say "bleach ineffective at
killing mold". They indicate this problem because it won't penetrate
"The study results confirm that denaturing the mold spores with a dilute
chlorine bleach solution appears to be the most effective and efficient
way to reduce mold allergen on hard surfaces."
As other posters have indicated, kill the surface mold and get rid of the
moisture problem. Mold can't grow in the wrong (i.e. dry) environment. If
you want to kill it deep into the surfaces, get one of the mold killing
agents sold for that purpose.
good luck. Let us know your progress.
Which is Bubba's way of saying "I'm full of shit".
" Livestock have died from eating moldy feed and fungal infections
can be fatal to humans, although this is rare. There is no specific mold
that creates a life threatening situation by its mere presence."
Counterbalanced by the observation that ANY mold is an allergen,
and adversely affects your air quality. It will make you sick,
in sufficient quantity, but it will drive you out of the house long
before it kills you.
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 12:04:22 -0500, " email@example.com"
Yes, I am saying that you are full of shit and a clueless asshole.
So what else is new?
Your own statement pasted below even proves mold can be fatal although
rare. So are you saying you cant read or what? I think Id like to know
if it was serious or not if it were in my home. You can die with your
livestock for all I care.
Standards are standards and they should be followed or else risk being
sued. As a businessman you are being very sensible in following them.
However, these standards vary from industry to industry and state to state.
With regards to mold many of these standards were created as a response to
the mold *panic* of the late eighties early nineties. There is very little
science to back them up.
As for your home being "warm, cozy and mold free," I take it you don't live
in Houston, TX, because you it'd have to be a plastic bubble in order to
make such a claim.
You need to hire two or three separate independent contractors:
1. Inspect and write cleanup plan (usually called a protocol)
2. Someone to do the clean-up
3. Someone to test and certify that the cleanup has been done.
Virtually all contractors that do cleanup and other parts (like 1 and 2)
are not ethical.
Your home owner's insurance should cover just about all of your expenses and
usually will pay the "restoration company" what ever their bill is minus
your deductible. Why is that not the way to go in your case? $23,000 in
not out of line--taking to someone that went through this process.
Nope. Homeowner policies are written today to specifically exclude mold
Because there's mold everywhere and hysteria is catching.
Mold is the latest in a long line of nonsense: asbestos, silicon breast
implants, global warming, carbohydrates.
Next year there will be something else to fear.
Paint over the shit and keep quite about it.
You forgot lead paint, and radon.
I agree with you about the hysteria thing. But you can't just paint
over the mold -- for one thing, the paint won't stick. You need to
remove as much mold as is reasonable, dry everything out (which might
mean opening up the walls and tearing out old insulation and drywall),
and seal the remaining mold with shellac or kilz, or paint with
mildewcide in it.
*Then* keep quiet about it.
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