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TheITloveswood 09-06-2011 08:20 PM

Does mold grow on or in uncured caulk ?
I will try to keep this concise.
First, the background and steps taken so far:
A few weeks ago, I discovered my front load laundry washing machine had a failed inlet valve that slowly leaked and soaked through the vinyl plank flooring and into the particle board underlayment,. swellling it. Also, the instability of the high speed washer had cracked a floor joist underneath (but that's another project.)
1. Installed plumbing and electrical connections in garage and moved W/D to nice, solid, concrete floor. (Also fixed washer with $13 part.)
2. Ripped up ruined vinyl plank and particle board underlayment....found mold in soaked underlayment in laundry closet and adjoining pantry, sooooooooo.....
3. Removed the 1/4 round and baseboards. Ripped up and cut out all wet particle board plus another 3 inches all way around, (less than 30 sq. ft.)
4. Damage to plywood subfloor was minimal, but scrubbed plywood subfloor underneath and adjoining wall structural (sill?) boards thoroughly with 50% bleach/water solution three times. Dried with fans for about a week. Also cut out affected sheetrock near floor.
5. Tested plywood subfloor throroughly for firmness, then coated with Zinser's shellac based primer. (Also primed structural wall sill (?) boards after inspecting for wood damage.)
6. Installed 3/4 BC plywood underlayment, leaving 1/4 inch expansion gap at walls as instructed at plywood manufacturer's site. Repaired sheetrock and repainted.
7. This is where I diverged into what most will probably say is over-engineering, if not earlier.:whistling2: I hated the idea of a gap between my underlayment and the wall, so I determined to lay a bead of flexible caulk between the underlayment and the bottom of the sheetrock, with some of it laying into the gap to provide some waterproofing (in the event we or a future occupant decides to again use that closet as a laundry connection.)
I'm experienced (or thought I was) with caulk, so I forged ahead.
I had two tubes of brown, exterior-use, weatherproofing caulk, one by DAP and one by GE.
I applied the DAP, and although it was a little thin, it went on smoothly but ran out quickly.
I opened the GE Windows, Siding, and Doors caulk and laid it in and finished the caulking.
A few hours later, the DAP had cured but the GE had not.:huh:
Now, several days later, the GE has *still* not cured.:eek::mad: After researching at several forums, I have concluded that this tube must have been expired or a bad batch to begin with.:wallbash: So, now I know to check the exp. date AND to test a small amount for curing BEFORE using on project.

So, my question is.......
Should I :
a) cut out about 2" of sheetrock above the new underlayment and clean out the gooey mess that is the uncured caulk, and then repair and repaint my sheetrock, (Uuuuuuuggghh, at least another 3 days on my schedule):(
b) leave it exposed and wait it out for the caulk to cure:sleep1: (Be advised, the gap is small, and air movement behind it is nil. I can keep a fan on it, but .......????)
c) apply my Roberts moisture barrier sheets and relay the vinyl plank and watch closely for any signs of mold....?

What I tried to research and could not find on the Web is, does mold grow in or on exterior type caulk that is uncured? I know that the caulk is designed to resist mold and mildew, but I don't know if that is effective if it does not cure.

Any help or advice is appreciated. As an IT, my internet research skills are good, but I do not find where anyone has asked this question before. (Perhaps it is because it is a stupid question? ) :stupid:

Bud Cline 09-06-2011 08:27 PM

You should research; "The Cause(s) of Stomach Ulcers".

Then apply your findings to your projects, present and future.:)

TheITloveswood 09-06-2011 08:37 PM

Okay, thanks......I think.
Medically speaking, ulcers are now known to be caused by bacteria and only aggravated by stress.

If you're saying I'm worrying too much, could you be more specific?

Did I worry too much about the gap in the first place, or
Am I worrying too much about the uncured caulk now, or

Thanks again.....I think.:huh:

"D@mmit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!" :laughing:

Bud Cline 09-06-2011 08:42 PM

I just don't see the problem but if I have misunderstood something so be it. I'm not reading all of that again.:)

I just wouldn't worry about it. Does the wall eventually get baseboard?:)

TheITloveswood 09-07-2011 12:00 AM

Baseboard, yes.
Yes, sir, it will, and quarter round. (The baseboards took a beating over the last 27 years, so while things were drying out I sanded them down, restained and clear-coated them.)

I don't mean to sound as if I'm over analyzing, but the mold that I found, I think was what was causing my wife and my headaches and allergies. I would go to work, and all would clear up; come home, and my eyes were burning, headaches, etc. Never experienced it before.

So when I found the mold, even in that small an area, I became intent to never let it happen again.

Thanks for your input, and for your patience with my long post.

Maintenance 6 09-07-2011 06:49 AM

You've removed the damaged material. You've treated what couldn't be removed and sealed it. (By the way, next time use 10% bleach, not 50/50. It isn't safe) You've removed any potential for future water issues by moving the washer to another location. I'd say the caulk was expired before you put it in there. It's already in there and will get covered by other materials. Removing it won't be worth the hassle. There aren't many organics in caulk to support mold growth. What grows on the caulk in your bathroom is living on soap scum (lots of fat in soap) and embedded dirt (skin particles, dandruff, etc.). Mold needs a nice organic food source like wood or drywall paper. I believe you will make yourself a lot of un-necessary work by trying to remove it.

rusty baker 09-07-2011 08:50 AM

IMHO, that poll is a waste of space.

TheITloveswood 09-07-2011 08:53 AM

Sorry if it does not have a link to my posted question in which I provided details of my situation.
Did you read my post, or do they not appear together?
Sorry, I'm new to the forum.:eek:

oh'mike 09-07-2011 09:02 AM

That post was way to long to read--can you get the situation down to a couple of sentences?

Bud Cline 09-07-2011 09:53 AM


I didn't even see the pole until now. :eek:

TheITloveswood 09-08-2011 12:50 AM

Does mold grow in or on exterior type caulk that is uncured?
I guess I should have put the red question nearer the top.
I'm a little verbose after 2 a.m.ish. and since usually the advisors are asking the questioner for more details, I thought I should be thorough in describing the environment and what had been done thus far.
Three weeks labor is not easily summarized by a novice DIYer, as I am.
I'll try to keep my posts (and my projects) shorter in the future.

oh'mike 09-08-2011 05:28 AM


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