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Old 04-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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Mold Removal: DIY or Call A Professional?


Hello all,

First time posting, long time small scale DIY'er.

Planning on removing mold for my father's bathroom. He owns a co-op and has never had an interest in remodeling and prefers to cover up problems. The co-cop was built in the 50's, he moved in around 20 years ago and going by the decor; it had one previous owner.

I have encouraged him over the years to upgrade the kitchen and etc, though unfortunately he has no desire and doesn't perceive it to be a hazard. I normally don't stick my nose into his way of living but this mold problem is a concern of mine. He's in his early 60's and I know this can present a health risk.


The location of the mold is around the bathtub, the space between the tub and wall tile. The original grout has been wearing over time and 20 years ago he covered it up with what appears to be a silicone caulk. The poor caulk job is now tearing away and mold has been falling out when the bath tub or shower is used.

I have done a bit of research and would like to tackle this myself as he hates to spend money. It looks like we need a no-sand grout, a grout saw, an edged razor tool, bleach (maybe in gel form); as well as goggles and a face mask for protection.

Below is a photo of an area. It's pretty much like this all around the tub. Any advice is so very appreciated.

Thanks for reading.
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Last edited by MeriNYC; 04-17-2013 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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Mold Removal: DIY or Call A Professional?


I think you can tackle this one yourself.
I'd ditch the grout tool for now. Take your razor knife and score the top of the silicone caulk down towards the tub (be carefull not to slip and scratch the tub or cut yourself). Next you'll need to try and get the old caulk/grout out of that area, with a 5-1 painters tool or metal putty knife.
Then post another pic.

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Old 04-17-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
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Mold Removal: DIY or Call A Professional?


could be several things going on.
First of all, you want to stay with a quality silicone caulk between the tub and tile.
Dig out the old and replace. Different types of materials will expand and contract differently. Silicone is the best or cheapest way to deal with that area.

You really do not want grout between the tub and tile, and they sell tubes of really nice silicone grout for that area.

you can use a tool to dig out the loose grout, and then add new. Then seal it to prevent water penetration.

Mold is created by moisture, if you kill the water source you kill the mold.
With this ancient tile job, is most likely water getting behind the tile and the mold is growing out from there.
How to actually stop the water from getting in behind the tile, you have to wonder how much rot is in the wood behind the tiles.
Pretty much anything you do is a band aide over a shotgun wound.

But removing the old silicone and redo grout you think needs to be done and then a quality grout sealer may prolong it for awhile.
The roots of the mold is behind the tiles and growing out.
For what it is worth, last year I spent a few hundred bucks for a mold inspection on a house. There was mold in several places, their report was, 98% of mold is not a serious health issue, We had serious mold in the shower area and they reported it sucks but was not going to make you sick.
It actually takes some other conditions to create a mold that will make you sick.

Mold is a fungus, think of it as a living plant with roots. It is growing in the walls and doing so well that it is expanding and growing outwards to where you can see it.
I can not count how many bathroom remodels I have done over the years, the mold is in the walls and growing out .
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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Mold Removal: DIY or Call A Professional?


A picture from further out would help. From that close-up picture, I can't really tell what's going on....doesn't look like a big problem.
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