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Old 06-27-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
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Moldy Lath Strip Bundles

I'm doing a bathroom remodel job. I installed a 5 ft. tub in an alcove, and needed to pack out the studs so that my cement board would overlap the flange on the tub. I usually use wood lath strips. However, this time around, EVERYWHERE I went to buy these, they were moldy. Home Depot, Lowes, and my local lumber yard all sold a bundle of 50 four-foot lath strips for around $12.50, but each store's entire stock was moldy! The lath strips weren't wet, but they had black spots all over them, and if you looked real closely, you could see tiny little black sprouts that you could wipe away with your finger. After wiping them away, the wood was still stained black. See attached pic. Any idea why this is so?

Anyway, I ended up just ripping down a few 2x4s with my table saw because I didn't feel comfortable introducing mold into somebody else's house (even though another contractor at the lumber yard said to just install the moldy ones and not to worry about it).

I'm assuming I did the right thing by not installing the moldy lath strips. What do you think? What would you have done?
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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Asked to talk to the manager and suggested he cut them up and toss them.


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Old 06-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
Mold!! Let's kill it!
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That is poor materials management or manufacturing. Since they are a low buck, low profit item, they might never have been properly dried from the start. Or they were allowed to get wet during transit. I think you handled it right. Most likely, they'd have never been an issue since they'd be concealed, but if the customer had seen you putting some moldy materials into the job, what would they think? You have to protect your reputation. Secondly, if the customer has an indoor air quality problem down the road, they'll have to look elsewhere for a source. Again protecting yourself from a problem.
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