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Old 04-10-2011, 06:17 PM   #1
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Mold resolution help needed


Hi all, thanks in advance for some help.

I'm in the middle of a bathroom renovation (Details here: Condo Master Bathroom Reno (demo, bathtub to shower conversion, flooring)) and have demoed to studs. I'm in a condo building.

Mold was a serious problem and one of the main reasons to rip out and rebuild.. ventilation is horrible/non existent in this building. If you have ideas, please help me here: No ventilation in bathroom, suggestions?

So, my issue is my neighbor's bathroom wall that backs up to mine. Here's the builder-grade construction layers from outward in. in the bathrooms:
- Ceramic tile
- Drywall
- 5/8" Firecode board
- Some insulation between units.

I took out the insulation, as it was overgrown with mold from my side and my neighbors. What remains, and you can see in pictures below, is mold growing on the back on my neighbor's fireboard... meaning they've probably got just as bad, if not a worse problem. The pink on the board is fiberglass that is stuck to the mold. It's black, thick, gross, disgusting...

I've got a dehumidifier running in there right now to dry out..see if that helps.. but clearly the problem is going to be on their side.

Here's my question (long winded, sorry ).. I'm rebuilding the right way. Water tight shower pan, redguard, CBU.. I don't want that mold ruining mine from the "backside." Obviously they have a problem, but I can't just rip out their wall.

Is there something I can cover that mold with to seal it from my side while my wall is open? Is there something I can treat the BACK of my firecode board with to seal it from MY end?

Is there some product/Zinsser/sealer/deadly lethal chemical I can use here to nuke or at least retard growth further?

If you need any clarification of location, pictures, set up, just holler below.

View of shared wall.. note the rust on the metal studs:
Mold resolution help needed-mold.jpg

Length view for more perspective:
Mold resolution help needed-mold1.jpg

Close up, also, view of stud cavity/depth.. will refill with some insulation:
Mold resolution help needed-mold2.jpg

Step back w/ cavity/depth:
Mold resolution help needed-mold3.jpg

BTW, the mold you see on their wall was covering all of mine on all sides of the tub surround... I'm disgusted.


Last edited by LeviDIY; 04-10-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
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Mold resolution help needed


LEVI, now Im afraid to do mine!!

I've heard things about treating mold, at one point I was told to use bleach. But then somebody told me that bleach still had water in it, so it wasn't good. Id Imagine, some good plastic/vapor barrier might slow it down.

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Old 04-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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Mold resolution help needed


Thanks Mikey.. and don't get worried... this is all GOOD in the end (gotta get dirty before its clean, right?) Was thinking that too.. the moisture stuck on *their* side is their problem anyway.

This was mentioned on some other threads after some digging around on mold issues, but wondering if anyone has had success using MicroBan BanClene, any feedback on it.. no where can I find that it's OK to spray directly onto Drywall.

http://www.baneclene.com/catalog/microban.html

I'm also assuming that I clean the surface mold first, spray this... then... a coat of primer on the back? Throw up some poly? As you can see, I'm open to ANY advice
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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Mold resolution help needed


I've got some Zinsser sealer leftover from another room - after a scrub, would this "seal" is from my side?
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Wow. I'm about to gut a bathroom too, now I'm afraid as well.

Have you shown this to the neighbors? What do they think, or let me guess, they don't care.

How about the condo association? Since between the two walls is "common" shouldn't they help out here?

Document everything you are doing. The problem with mold is the spores. They'll get everywhere in that bay and any moisture, from their side, will just help the problem. They really need to fix their water problem.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:00 PM   #6
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I'd be sure your neighbor knows he's also got a problem, unless your side created the problem for both. If the neighbor has a moisture problem, it doesn't matter what you do, the mold will thrive. Mold needs moisture. If the moisture continues, so does the mold. If you can get it dried out, and neighbor won't replace his drywall, then I'd clean as best I could with a dtergent. Completely dry out the wall. Then treat it with a fungicide. 10% bleach solution or whatever product you choose. Let that dry completely. Then coat it with a sealer. Apply 6 mil poly towards his side so that any new insulation is isolated from his mess and is towards your side. You should coat the studs while it is opened up. Mold won't live on rust, but lots of other nasty things will. Keep in mind that the metal studs will be isolated to his side by the poly and will continue to rust as long as they are damp.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
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You should coat the studs while it is opened up. Mold won't live on rust, but lots of other nasty things will. Keep in mind that the metal studs will be isolated to his side by the poly and will continue to rust as long as they are damp.
Thanks for the suggestions... the steps make sense.. just a clarifier: What would you coat the studs with?
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:14 PM   #8
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IMO and sorry. You are not going to resolve this without cutting out the other side of the wall and replacing it. Ditto all as to why it is there in the first place and if you do not resolve that it will be back.

BTW it looks like your tub surround leaked badly and am I guessing regular drywall only was behind it, in a bathroom? Where do you live where you can get away with that?

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Old 04-12-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
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IMO and sorry. You are not going to resolve this without cutting out the other side of the wall and replacing it. Ditto all as to why it is there in the first place and if you do not resolve that it will be back.
Sdsester - thank you, I know But I'm in a condo and that wall you are looking at is the back of my neighbor's shower.. so my question (and Maintenance6's response so far) is how to deal with the situation I'm stuck in

Quote:
BTW it looks like your tub surround leaked badly and am I guessing regular drywall only was behind it, in a bathroom? Where do you live where you can get away with that?
Oh did it ever leak.. yeah, the builder construction was 5/8" fireboard between units and then 1/2" drywall with tile on top.. who knows if the grout/tile was sealed (prob not). These buildings were built in 1979/1980 in Montgomery County, Maryland. I wish I knew all this before I bought (1st time buyer).
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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Only good solution is to show your neighbour the problem and persuade your neighbour to remodel his side to make things right...
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:03 PM   #11
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Condo board meeting time?!!! Clearly these sorts of problems are not those individual unit owners or their neighbors are expected to resolve? This is a major infrastructure issue. This is why you pay them, not to appease the maintenance person as to how best to cover them up!

If the whole place was constructed this way, which cannot possibly be code even in Maryland, you need to band together. It's everywhere if you and your neighbor are experiencing it and construction is typical.

Who approved such construction and inspected it in the first place. Not that this will help you.

I don't know how to help at this point. If this construction was common and above and below you are also baths of similar ilk?

One lesson learned I hope. Hire your own building inspector next time?

I hate to even mention this but you should probably consult an attorney soon. Did you buy this thing "as is" and which real estate agents on either side allowed you to do so? Was a potential mold problem this serious disclosed?

And you cannot coat those studs with anything, seal the wall up and expect them not to corrode further unless you gut the other side, just to start. Sorry.

- Steven

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Old 04-12-2011, 07:45 PM   #12
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Thanks Steven - I've been here 3 years in May, and it seems like there are still a good chunk of original owners around.. they HAVE to know about this, I wonder if they just don't want to deal? I never fancied myself getting involved in the HOA, but I feel like I'm going to show up at the next meeting and speak my piece.

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And you cannot coat those studs with anything, seal the wall up and expect them not to corrode further unless you gut the other side, just to start. Sorry.
I am trying to make do for now with what I have: so can you clarify this? I realize this is going to be an issue unless my neighbor clears up their problem (in actuality, this is going to be an issue always, as we can't VENT, so in another 5 years, I'll bet I gotta rip out again), so I'm just trying to CONTROL as best I can... so are you saying not to treat the metal studs in any way?
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #13
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Their wall, their mold, their decision.

I would not touch it. It is not your mold, it is your neighbor's mold. I would bring them over, show them what is growing behind their shower and let them make the decision and do the work. If you do anything to it and their tiles fall off the wall you will get blamed. After all, even though that wall may currently have the structural integrity of oatmeal, "they didn't have any problems until you messed with it".
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:16 AM   #14
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so are you saying not to treat the metal studs in any way?
No. If you must deal with this as best you can you might as well grind off the rust that is there and coat everything with a rust inhibiting primer if you can afford it. Just don't be to optimistic.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:24 AM   #15
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I agree with Blondesense's assessment. But there are some considerations. As it stands, you now have mold exposed in YOUR dwelling even though it may be your neighbor's. Until you get your condo association, an attorney, etc. involved, YOU are without a bathroom. As far as coating the studs, we use silver rustoleum, although color doesn't matter. I can't stress enough that if the moisture problem doesn't go away, neither will the mold. You can treat forever and as long as conditions are mold friendly, (damp, temperature correct, organic food source) the mold will never go away. Just to be clear, the suggestions I offered were just a way to isolate yourself from your neighbor's issue. Ultimately, complete removal of the drywall on both sides is the correct fix. Fortunately, it's not a large volume of mold. Unfortunately, it's in a miserable place to deal with ($$$).

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