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Shabadoo 08-08-2008 04:53 PM

Likelyhood of Mold
 
about 4 years ago my townhouse had a toilet overflow (no waste) in the 3rd floor bathroom. The water came through to my second floor half bath (I took out the drywall and insulation that day. A decent amount of water went further down to the drive under garage (above ground).

The ceiling must be a different material because it held up to the water and really show little sign of water. Probably a mistake, but I didn't remove the ceiling or insulation in the garage. I hadn't thought of it for a number of years. Now I'm looking to sell and wondering how likely it may be that mold would be present if I really can't see any sign of it on visual inspection. There doesn't appear to be any noticeable smell either.

Would not a 4 year time frame be long enough to know visually or smell if there were mold? Like I said the source of water was noticed right away all though I should have pulled the wet material. Did I get lucky or should I start cutting patches in the ceiling for inspection.

Sorry for the lengthy post.

Termite 08-08-2008 05:08 PM

It is hard to say for sure. If the area was wet once, and then dried out for good, I doubt that there is a very good environment for mold to continue to grow.

Although it isn't always the case, mold really likes areas that are moist or humid due to water infiltration or leaking pipes over time. Dry areas aren't very conducive to mold growth. If the ceiling stayed wet, it could have grown mold. Whether or not that mold is still going strong is another story.

Personally, I wouldn't start cutting holes unless required to do so. :whistling2:

ccarlisle 08-09-2008 08:59 AM

I would personally think that if you have no signs of water damage-related moulds after 4 years then there is a good chance that you have no problem. And I agree with kc, I wouldn't go looking for some if there are no signs and if there were proper steps taken at the time of the event to minimize the liklihood of mould starting a new colony.

I do like to know where people are from because building codes are different from one place to the other and it may well be that, where you are, with a drive-under garage, that the ceiling construction is different from your 2nd/3rd floor ceiling only because of fire codes. For example, up here we have to have a steel door between the built-in garage and the living quarters precisely to limit fires from spreading from the garage (where they can start) to the house. Now maybe you have a special membrane that does the same...it wouldn't surprise me if you did. Is your garage open or something? What do you mean by "drive-through" exactly? are you in Florida?

That construction requirement may have prevented the water from going right down to the garage. But you did the right thing by removing the drywall and insulation and letting it dry out. I would say you're OK, too.:)

The toilet overflowed from the (clean water) inlet I presume, not from the bowl (gray water) outlet. If it overflowed from the bowl, there might be a minor concern because this is a different category of water contamination which leads to different procedures to clean it up.:huh:

Shabadoo 08-11-2008 08:39 AM

Thank you for the replies.

The water did actually spill out of the bowl and the flapper did not close. There was no waste inside the bowl at the time. I live in new hampshire and it's a drive under 1 car garage attached to a three story row town house. Garage and entry way are the first floor (ground level). Second floor is kitchen, 1/2 bath and living room. Third floor is bedroom and bath where overflow started

Also while i did removed the drywall to the 2nd floor 1/2 bath that the water ran down into, there was still some water that continued on and ended out coming into the garage. I actually saw it seeping through the ceiling through some previously drilled holes (either ceiling hooks or a simliar instance might have happened before I owned the place since there are lot of little holes drilled close together).
The garage ceiling did not turn to junk (it is a little bowed but not terribly noticable by eye) and pull away like the bathroom drywall did so I never did pull it out of the garage. So when the garage ceiling dryed out it would have done so intact. The ceiling may be different material as it held up to the water and really doesn't show any water damage. I had an general house inspector go through in anticipation of selling the house and he commented how dry the garage looked.

Still it's been probably four years and I don't notice any smell to speak of.

ccarlisle 08-11-2008 09:00 AM

Oh, so you're closer than I thought! There I was thinking you had one of those open garage open on three sides, with a staicase leading up to the living quarters, like they have in the South...

It sounds like you're good to go. You might have a vapour barrier in the garage, some people put them in to keep their garages cool during the winter. Never know for sure. But that might have retareded the water a bit.

Maintenance 6 08-13-2008 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ccarlisle (Post 147209)
The toilet overflowed from the (clean water) inlet I presume, not from the bowl (gray water) outlet. If it overflowed from the bowl, there might be a minor concern because this is a different category of water contamination which leads to different procedures to clean it up.:huh:

Just as info, clean water that sets stagnant is classified as gray water after 7 days and black water after 10. By that time bacteria has had plenty of time to set up shop.

To the OP, If the area has not been rewetted since the original incident, I would not worry about it.

Sir MixAlot 08-13-2008 07:15 PM

Sounds like your garage ceiling is fine. Good Luck! :thumbsup:

Shabadoo 08-13-2008 08:40 PM

Thanks for all your replies, it is appreciated:)

ccarlisle 08-14-2008 08:24 AM

"Just as info, clean water that sets stagnant is classified as gray water after 7 days and black water after 10. By that time bacteria has had plenty of time to set up shop."
:eek:
We go by the IICRC manuals that we used in certification classes. Specifically, S500 2nd edition states that gray water can become black within 48 hours...we also use ASHRAE standards for levels of humidity within the home...

We're not just splitting hairs here; these are standards published by the industry. I don't know where 7 and 10 days comes from...and given the level of responsibilty and legal ramifications this has, I'm not about to change my authority.

When you get up in front of a judge after having been sued by a homeowner, you'd better have something solid to back you up - otherwise they'll have your ass in a sling. :yes:


Maintenance 6 08-14-2008 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ccarlisle (Post 148640)
"Just as info, clean water that sets stagnant is classified as gray water after 7 days and black water after 10. By that time bacteria has had plenty of time to set up shop."
:eek:
We go by the IICRC manuals that we used in certification classes. Specifically, S500 2nd edition states that gray water can become black within 48 hours...we also use ASHRAE standards for levels of humidity within the home...

We're not just splitting hairs here; these are standards published by the industry. I don't know where 7 and 10 days comes from...and given the level of responsibilty and legal ramifications this has, I'm not about to change my authority.

When you get up in front of a judge after having been sued by a homeowner, you'd better have something solid to back you up - otherwise they'll have your ass in a sling. :yes:

I agree with you in theory, however part of the problem is that no single authority has been given the nod by god or the government to set standards for mold remediation. A bunch of organizations have stuck their noses into it wishing to have that power. IICRC, U.S. EPA, NIH, ASHE, U.S. DHHS all have remediation and clean up standards in place as does FDA, OSHA and a host of others. Right or wrong most have different ideas and standards, some or most of which are not in agreement with others.

ccarlisle 08-14-2008 03:31 PM

Yup. I just go by what my insurance adjusters want and, since we both were trained by the same organization, it only makes sense to me that we read from the same book and be on the same page. When I want to be paid, I don't want some adjuster waiving arcane protocols from some non-juridictional location in my face! So, since we both use IICRC, and we use the same blue book for payments there is no worry.

I'm talikng more from the water damage perspective than I am for actual mould remediation - but I am also talking about the average job we see...

Maintenance 6 08-14-2008 03:47 PM

makes sense to me. Maybe things are different in Canada. Last I heard, only one state in the U.S. regulates mold remediation, and their standards don't match anyone elses. :confused1:


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