Some time back we had a bad roof leak in the rental house next door. We
spent a lot of money to different people trying to find the leak and they
never could so we finally had a roofing company replace the roof which
solved the problem. The tenant told me a couple days ago that there is mold
on the ceiling and she thinks the mold has caused her young child to have
continuous ear infections. I had a "Mold Remediator Specialist" come out to
look at it today. He gave me a price of $2,000 which includes sealing off
this room from the rest of the house, tearing out the ceiling, inspecting to
see how far the mold may have spread, using what he called a "Air Scrubber"
for 4 days, and washing down the walls, etc. His men will wear white suits
and masks and replace the ceiling when the job is completed. I feel he
knows what he's doing but I was taken aback at the $2,000 and the magnitude
of the job he plans to do for a couple small spots of mold on the ceiling.
Has anyone else faced this problem and how did you handle it. I want it
taken care of but I also want to make sure I'm handling it right before
dishing out the $2,000. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Mold is not something that you want to fool around with. Having said that,
have you tried to get rid of the mold on the ceiling with a solution of 1
part bleach and 2 parts water. From previous experience, I know the extremes
the people who specialize in Mold removal will go to. Among many other
things, I had two ceramic tile floors ripped up--no visible mold, just the
detection of moisture was the driver.
The tenants said they tried to remove the mold with bleach but it didn't
work. Your experience with having your tile floors ripped up is why it
bothers me to have the whole ceiling torn out when it may not be necessary.
I know there is mold and then there is the serious mold and this guy goes by
the visible mold which really doesn't tell us if its the serious one or not.
I just can't believe it is from a roof leak. Thanks for your response.
Dont just beleive the tennants you go in with a spray bottle with
bleach and see what happens. What room is the mold in , is the house
vented well. Look above where the mold is , unless its the bathroom.
Mold specialists have a captive fearfull market. What worries me is her
blaming health problems on your house. Litigation. Maybe your tennant
is to blame for excessive humidity and not venting the house. I
wouldnt rip out anything, Id find the cause and fix it.
It could be as simple as the ceiling isnt vented properly. or bad
flashing . You need someone to figure out the reason for the moisture,
and stop it first , or ripping things out wont cure anything. The
problem will still be there. No photos? Is it a Flat roof, pitched ,
attic above, is it vented and how much.
If it was/is an add on to the back of a house I suggest that you
look first at whether it is properly used and ventilated (aired
out). And/or the ventilation within the roof space above it?
It may just be condensation on a poorly insulated ceiling in a
cool/cold climate. How long has this been occurring? Did any
previous tenant have this problem; or yourselves if you lived
What about 'Life style'? Are there any other similar add-on dens
around that area that do, or do not, have a similar problem?
Have seen two identical housing units in the same row. One was a
mess with rotted walls; $10,000 repairs. The other was pristine.
Reason; life style of the tenants.
In the first one they would put potatoes and cabbage on to boil
in an open pot for a long time without even cracking open a
window or running a fan. In the second the fastidious home
occupier ventilated and cooked carefully. Her unit was perfect;
no peeling paint or anything.
Also recently it was reported in the local press, a tenant
claimed mouldy conditions in a rented unit and wanted to move!
The landlord found that they were drying clothes inside the house
without any ventilation to save the electrical cost of operating
Without jumping to any conclusions and before you spend serious
money, a couple of ideas anyway.
a couple of things to add to this, check if they're using any
humidifier, the stand-alone ones. see how many do they use and how
long they run it and how often do they refill it? seen ahouse where
they have like 6 of those and in a months time, the attic was a scene
from "WHEN MOLDS ATTACK"
check also if there is any vent scapping in the attic, hot air getting
exposed to cold air produces water, if this happens outside no
problem. if its happening inside an attic it would be like "WHEN MOLDS
ATTACK PART 2".
At the very least, I would get someone to replace the ceiling drywall. That
should be much less than $2000. At the same time, the repairman could remove
any wet insulation and let the space dry up for a few days before closing it
back. I've had this problem before, and that's exactly what I did. I
increased the thermostat and put a fan to speed things up. I didn't find any
visible mold on the structure, but the insulation was damp and the ceiling
was discoloured and brittle.
If it was in a basement, though, I might consider mold specialists.
I agree that it is nothing to mess with. You may also be required to
take certain action by local regulations.
I think I would consider removing a section of the ceiling or accessing
the area from above to determine the extent of the problem. It does look
like some part of the ceiling will need to be replaced, it is not possible
to tell without inspection.
The price may not be out of line, although I am not particularly
impressed with white suits. I wonder if I could get $4,000 if I wore my
white tux? I suspect they may do a one size fits all, replace the whole
ceiling thing when less might be fine. However it is not possible to tell
from here. Did they take a look at the problem from above?
A number of things come to mind.
Back when asbestos was the big scare, the Navy tried to remediate some
Tests were required to determin the existence and extent of asbestos
containing floor covering.
The testing company wanted big bucks and said they would wear moon
suits to collect samples.
This was to happen with families standing around and was rejected.
They took samples - a bit out of each of several tiles put in a
plastic baggie in coveralls.
We encapsulated the possibly asbestos containing material.
All that is to say neither asbestos or mold is to be messed with, but
moderation is possible.
The suggestions to look for causes from above and from lack of
ventilation or insulation are a start. My guess is that an attorney
would want a registerd letter stating that you are doing something
with a date should this become a legal matter.
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