Repairing interior wall cavity with mold, what would you do? (Pics included)
Hi, I recently discovered a roof leak by way if finding mold on a ground floor wall. Water was leaking down 3 stories behind the water barrier and then found a route inside at a bathroom vent. Hopefully the water leak is now gone but a few more rainstorms will verify that.
I have removed the moldy and stained drywall and insulation, and have the room contained and sealed.
I am stepping through my remediation plan but since I now have pictures I thought would share and ask with my grateful thanks in advance if anyone sees anything that deserves special attention.
A few things I am worried about, one is some of the wood studs have some level of water damage, the completely rotted wood I have removed, for the most part the studs seem fine but have a minor amount of rot around a few edges, should they be replace entirely or just cleaned of mold?
Another trick will be the ductwork at the top turns up and goes up one more floor directly in front of the path of the leak, so that will be an obstacle to deal with that is new for me as I am sure I have to remove the ductwork to get at the molded section of the second floor.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. here are a few pics attached, I have more as well.
Hi, I found out a bit more detail which represents another wrinkle.
Just above the mold in the second picture is a piece of attached wood, which is fairly mold free. This piece supports a hydro meter attached outside the house. The worst mold appears below this piece of wood. There is mold above it as well but not nearly as much as you see in the picture. Am thinking that there are 2 entry points for water, one from the leaking roof which runs down the wall and another where the hydro meter is secured through the exterior wall to the wood. Either that or this is the spot where the water has settled.
Any thoughts on this? I will be calling the local hydro utility to see about taking a look at the meter.
Thanks for any input based on what you see. Not looking for definitive advice, just trying to pick the brain from anyone who has seen similiar. Hoping to pick up a few creative thoughts along the way that will help. Adding another pic that shows this better.
First thing would be to vacuum the area thoroughly. Then clean up with a 10% bleach/water solution. All the mold remediation wannabes will soon chime in to say that bleach won't kill mold, but that's BS. Lots of other things will kill it too, such as quaternaries and phenols, but bleach is easy to get and is effective. Let it dry and see what you have. The pictures are a little confusing as it looks like some of the whiter stuff is drywall dirt and not mold. You biggest challenge will be cleaning in hidden areas like behind the duct. And hidden areas MUST be cleaned. Anything that has rotted should be replaced. Period. Wood that is stained, but still solid, needs to be sealed. Kilz or Zinnser works. They even make specialty sealers for this, but it's a bit of overkill. Any other porous materials, like drywall need to be thrown away. You've had a long term leak with plenty of re-wetting. That means that mold has set up shop in these areas big time. You've already opened the area, so you've got high concentrations of mold spores floating everywhere, but for any further work, use a HEPA vac to clean up. You'll probably need to open up everything back to the sources of the leaks. Any insulation needs to go, as you'll never get it clean, even if it is dry. If anyone in your home suffers from any chronic respiratory illness or is undergoing cancer treatment or has any immune deficiency, then you need to get them away from this and get a pro in handle it. You may want to contact your insurance carrier and let them handle the repairs. Any material such as drywall needs to be cut back at least 12" beyond the end of the visible damage.
We have had no issues with any respiratory problems or any other health issues now or for the time that this has occurred so I am thinking we are good but obviously want it fixed up. Thanks again for your concern as we are very closely monitoring every little sneeze, etc.. just in case. But none of the symptoms have happened (no children, no elderly, no one immune compromised, no cancer treatment, etc..)
One of my next steps is to rent a HEPA vaccuum cleaner and get that done and then get the mold removed.
The duct area, as you say, will be the most challenging part. I am going to try to use Concrobium and their fogging application to see how that works for the hard to reach areas. If that works great, if not then I will have to remove the ductwork so I can get access to the hidden areas.
Most of the wood is, as you say, stained but solid, so I will get some of the products you mention. There are a few pieces though that I think have to come out (beyond the completely rotted ones already removed and disposed of).
Sounds like you have a plan. Molds have been around since before people and live in a greater variety of conditions. Getting them out of places where they don't belong is not rocket science. Common household molds need three things to thrive. Organic food, temperatures in the 40-110 degree range and moisture above 60%. The first two are almost impossible to control. That leaves the third. If the moisture problem is eliminated, then you should not have an issue. You just need to be thorough in your clean up. Even dead mold carcasses can be an allergen for some folks.
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