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diy'er on LI 02-21-2012 07:33 PM

a fuzzy moldy mess

I discovered loose tiles on my shower wall and realized there must be water damage.... so we demo'ed the walls and found a giant "surprise".

Thanks to the morons who redid the shower and didn't put-up a vapor barrier, we have black mold on the plywood behind the wall studs (an exterior wall on the 2nd floor that butts upto the roofline of an extension), and a rusted air conditioning duct. The stud integrity is fine (no rot), although they do seem a bit discolored from either mold or just water stains. I dug beneath insulation in adjacent walls and everything is totally clean and dry... it was mercifully restricted to the shower area.

How extensive should our material removal be? We already tossed the insulation. We intend to remove the plywood and replace all of the exterior shingles/tar paper/flashing exc.

Do we need to replace the air conditioning duct? Do we need to treat or replace the studs? (If the wall studs do need replacement, I would hire a pro... I am paranoid about tampering with loadbearing walls!)

Is this too much of a hot mess for a DIY'er and should we instead call in the pros to remove the mold?

should I just give up and instead use that space as a place to age cheese?

thanks for your help.......

diy'er on LI 02-21-2012 07:48 PM

2 Attachment(s)
here are pics of the shower damage

Aggie67 02-21-2012 09:33 PM

The EPA puts out some really good information documents on mold and mold remediation. NYC has something similar. I'm going to refrain from making a recommendation for you, because there's just way too much litigation going on. But read the EPA's documents, particularly the one on mold remediation in schools and commercial buildings. They do a pretty good job of describing the basics, for a bunch of different contaminated substrates. You should note that the EPA recommends professional remediation for areas greater than 100 sf.

diy'er on LI 02-21-2012 09:52 PM

thanks.... I found those EPA pages when I did a forum search earlier this evening. They are fairly vague on what to specifically do in this scenario to clean it up. So vague, that I didn't feel comfy merely relying upon them and going for it alone.

I then looked up info on much more specific, but they too just fell short of saying what a person should do who has a smaller contamination on plywood. What I learned from them? Wipe it up, don't use something like a powerwasher which can spread spores, and don't use bleach. Didn't say really what I SHOULD do.

We're obviously far from 100 sq ft.... What's affected is 2 plywood panels (behind the air conditioning duct and the adjacent one with the big black stain).... maybe 10-15 sq ft at most?

Are there other webpages I have missed that give more specific guidance? Maybe it's the litigation which keeps people vague?

I dunno... if I can't get very specific info, I will hire a pro. I don't feel comfortable winging it and then covering it up with tile.

jaydevries 02-21-2012 10:26 PM

try one of these i like mold blaster myself

diy'er on LI 02-22-2012 02:23 PM

I'm not sure how well whose products might work on something porous?
It's ironic, because I discovered the tile problem in my shower while I was using tilex.

I definitely will remove the plywood and redo the exterior shingles/flashing. I'm really wondering what I should do about the wood studs. I've read pro's often resurface it... sanding off the discolored wood to reveal a fresh finish. I would probably do that manually, as to avoid kicking up spores.

princelake 02-22-2012 03:33 PM

you've already put millions of spores into the air removing the insulation with mold on it. i work for a restoration company and those are exactly the products we use on mold and they were great. the concrobium is a natural product and is not harmful to humans and its odourless. for that small job all you'd need is the spray bottle and spray the affected area until its moist and wet. and respray it if you like after it has dried. if you dont like the discoloring then get a wire brush and scrub it off and put a hepa filer in your shop vac to suck it up.

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