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Old 02-08-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Mold behind plaster


I posted this question on the general thread and apologise if it is not cool to post on multiple categories.

If a mod reads this I would like to delete the other thread.

My plaster is about an inch thick.

It has the drywall paper on the back side.

The house water heater broke and flooded the house up to the baseboards.

The plaster is not soft or ruined and the wood is completely dry in the walls.

If the mold is on the back side of the plaster sealed in the walls i do not understand why I would have to tear it out.

Again, no visible mold on the outside of the walls.

I did open up a bay in the kitchen to do install some new plumbing and there is very little mold on the paper but there is mold.

The wood looks like new with no stain from water or wood.

Any info appreciated.

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Old 02-08-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Mold behind plaster


Well it may look dry but mould needs about 70% relative humidity - or a given level of water around it - to thrive. You may think it's dry but as long as there's paper there for food and enough moisture somewhere (either in the air or in the plaster), the mould will be there and grow.

Now what constitutes "acceptable" as far as mould presence goes is up to you - but know that a lot of people don't live with it and have someone take it out. Some people are targets for sensitivity: young kids, and the elderly notably.

Some people - like in the deep South - are used to having some around the place, there's no way they can stop it anyhow...

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Old 02-08-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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Mold behind plaster


This damage occurred about 10 years ago and I just found it when I removed a pice to do some plumbing.

It is definitely dry, it was dry a week after the flooding.

I was questioning it being inside the walls and the mold being very light.

I do not want to spend thousands for just to appease fear.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:41 AM   #4
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Mold behind plaster


If you have already survived 10 years with it ,you most likely will survive for the long haul.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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Mold behind plaster


I was thinking about if I sell the house and a hot shot home inspector with a concealed space camera finds it and blows it out of proportion.

Or worse I sell and the new owner finds it a couple years later. Can they sue me?

Some of the things I read about mold are laughable and seems to be used as scare tactics. Hazmat DOT registered trucks to take the waist to the proper facility?

I sense there is a lot of snake oil being sold out there.

Why aren't people spitting up blood when they rake the leaves, or work in the garden.

I have seen walls in basements so thick with black mold I would wear a full suit with a hepa respirator.

I just do not see tearing the whole house apart for nothing.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:08 AM   #6
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Mold behind plaster


Sometimes it is blown out of proportion.

But, talk to people that have had health issues caused by mold. Some of them have been permanently harmed by it, and have law suits again the builder when it happens in a new home(for millions of dollars).

How much coverage is your insurance policy.

Your call on how lucky you feel.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:15 AM   #7
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Mold behind plaster


Well, it goes back again to what is 'an acceptable level' of mould in a house; there are, as I stated before, "acceptable" levels of mould - and let's face it moulds are everywhere - but what I would do as a water damage restorer is I would probe that area of plaster with my humidity gauge and establish whether there is sufficient moisture back there or not to support growth - or write it off as 'minor'.

That would give me an idea but if you say an accident happened 10 years ago, the results plus what you say would tell me there is probably no concern. And by the same token, if an inspector looked in there and saw mould, I dont think he's close you down because every house has mould...just depends on where, how much and what conditions still exist for it to thrive.

If he sees mould but the readings say 35% relative humidity at room temperature, then I don't think he'd beef. But of there were water on the floor and dark water spots on the plaster, then he might have cause to look.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:06 AM   #8
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Mold behind plaster


Thanks for the replies.

I think after I am done with everything I will have the air inside and outside monitored and tested.

Maybe a couple of times, a year apart or so.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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Mold behind plaster


Well, that's an option...I think I saw at Home Depot those individual mould testing kits for one-time applications...

But regular testing for moulds, both inside and outside and one room to another could run you more money that just ripping it all out. Mould testing and identification can run $250 a test and if you do that twice a year for two years to establish that the mould hasn't spread, well you must have a tree that grows $50 bills.

LOL
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:54 AM   #10
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Mold behind plaster


Good point.

If I was to remove it I would wainscot.

The thickness would be a nightmare to match with drywall.

The cost for that on a 2002 sq ft house would be ?? a lot more.

$250 is not bad.

Any recommendations?
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:13 PM   #11
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Mold behind plaster


Okay so take this is my opinion but also know I worked for a Water/Mold/Fire Damage Restoration contractor.

If a new homeowner can prove your KNEW about the mold and you did not tell them they CAN sue you. Now each state is different but know around MA and NH you are supposed to fully disclose that information.

Mold testing is run like this. They bring in a machine, take air tests in the affected area, in the room where the affected area is, in other areas of the house and outside. They then compare them all and see what the difference is between the affected area and the rest of the areas. They can also do what are called swab tests or tape tests is which they apply a special tape to the wall and then they use a microscope to determined the mold type and amount.

If you found mold sealed in the wall and you have lived with it for 10 years and nothing happened then you are probably fine. Personally I have allergies and so does my wife so I would rip it out. Also please note just because its dry does NOT mean it cant hurt your. When mold dries it may not grow anymore but it can then become air born as spores and that is when you will start having issues. Once you open a wall with mold in it you let the spores out and they can contaminate your house.

As I said these are my opinion but good luck
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:09 PM   #12
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Mold behind plaster


Good info;

I am aware dry mold can kill if inhaled. I worked with a man that lost his wife to black mold.

They went to sell their house and she swept the mould off the walls in the basement.

Ever since then I have been aware of exposure and know it is not a joke.

I would disclose everything about the flooding to new owners and would get the test to make sure if I rent or as evidence for the future owner.

IMHO if it is in the wall there should be no positive pressure unless the top plate has been drilled.

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