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?
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.
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 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.
If the wall under the paper has paint on it, and the paint intact, that
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:
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.
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.
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
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
of grout. The silicone doesn't encourage mold, and since it is not
paintable, it also resists staining. Additionally, I have a 36"
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.
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.
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%,
In that case there is no downside to gutting the damaged area right
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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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