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Old 03-17-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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bathroom ceiling mildew/mold problems


Hi guys! I'm new to this forum, so I hope I'm not sounding dumb when I post this scenario and question. The problem I have found is that I have a lot of mold/mildew in my master bath. This was a known concern when we moved into this house, so figured we'd take it on. On to the problem...

The background.... In the master bath, which is small (12' x 3'6"), we uncovered some mold or mildew when we removed the existing masonite wall panels. We could smell it very strong. Originally, we attributed it largely to a poorly constructed, rotted out shower pan. After knocking out the existing tile where we suspected the smell to be coming from, the smell is still there. The entire room was encased with masonite lining every wall, including the ceiling, which we removed. I now believe the source to be coming from the ceiling. A rotted area was discovered after masonite was removed. The home is a single story brick ranch type dwelling (in the Southeast where humidity is typically high throughout the year and is much more intense in the summer). It has a metal roof (the house originally belonged to my grandparents, and was built in the 1950's). I think the source of mildew/mold is coming from the ceiling. At this point, I haven't been into the attic yet to assess the damage. My assumption is that the original damage occurred before the metal roof was put in place, approx. 10-15 yrs ago.

Here's the meat of the question.... I'm trying to eradicate the mildew/mold before it gets warm and gets worse. It appears that the mildew/mold has "eaten" through the ceiling from the attic level. It appears to be result of a previous roof leak that was never properly addressed and/or repaired. When I do get to go up in the attic (since I have not been up there yet), I expect to find mildewed areas of insulation and ceiling drywall. I expect to have to remove the entire room's worth of ceiling and insulation before reconstruction . Right now, I want to know if I could remove the existing ceiling drywall of the affected areas and place a temporary patch of drywall, wood or other material to get by until we are fully prepared to remodel the entire bathroom. The goal is to eradicate the mildew smell ASAP and then to proceed with the remodel project. Any help or advice appreciated! Thanks!!

Ryan

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Old 03-18-2011, 07:15 AM   #2
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bathroom ceiling mildew/mold problems


Sounds like you are on the right track. Investigate and remove. Be sure that you have good ventilation in your attic space. If you have an exhaust fan in the suspect bathroom, make sure it is properly discharging to the outside and NOT into the attic space. Remove anything that appears to have been wet at anytime. It's pretty tough to imagine that a 15 year old roof leak is continuing to cause a mold oder, unless it is being continually moistened and has stayed active. Testing for increased levels of moisture would be a good idea. As you renovate, scrub off any mold from structural pieces that can't be removed. Get them dried, treat them with a fungicide. Then seal them. Some trivial info: Mildew is a class of molds that mainly attack the leaves of living plants. What grows in houses are just molds of various other types. As you remove anything that has serious mold content, wear a good respirator and run an exhaust fan so you don't end up with a bunch of spores and mold debris all over your house.

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:32 PM   #3
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bathroom ceiling mildew/mold problems


Thanks for the info. Now that you mention it (and the fact that I haven't been in the attic yet to look at everything), it could easily be that the front bathroom fan may not be properly ventilated to the outside. The front bathroom is the only place where there is a working shower right now, as we just demolished the master bath shower. The house has a metal roof and I've looked on the top several times. There is no ventilation outflow from either bathroom that is evident on the roof. I assume that if the front bathroom were being ventilated into the attic, that would add fuel (moisture) to the fire for mildew and mold.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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bathroom ceiling mildew/mold problems


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Originally Posted by ditchdoc7893 View Post
Thanks for the info. Now that you mention it (and the fact that I haven't been in the attic yet to look at everything), it could easily be that the front bathroom fan may not be properly ventilated to the outside. The front bathroom is the only place where there is a working shower right now, as we just demolished the master bath shower. The house has a metal roof and I've looked on the top several times. There is no ventilation outflow from either bathroom that is evident on the roof. I assume that if the front bathroom were being ventilated into the attic, that would add fuel (moisture) to the fire for mildew and mold.
Absolutely!! It takes 60% humidity to support mold growth. That is easily achievable if a bathroom fan is pouring moisture into the wrong place.
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