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Old 10-30-2017, 07:42 PM   #1
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Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Hi there,

I live in a 1950s era home that has an unfinished basement in which a previous owner framed in a room several years ago. They finished the room with that old wood paneling and painted it over white. It also had layers of carpet that I ripped out a few years back.

Two of the walls of the room are against the exterior, which is concrete block. Recently I noticed that some of the wood paneling that's against the exterior wall is starting to ripple/wrinkle (see attached pictures). If you're wondering, the unpainted part of the paneling is where the old carpet ended before I ripped it out.

We had a very hot summer here and due to a renovation at the house, the A/C was off for a couple weeks during that time. It was likely very humid in that room and I did notice a file cabinet beside that wall had some signs of mold on it.

Having now moved everything back out, I'm wondering if it was condensation that's caused this problem. There was no actual water coming in or signs or leaking, but I'm concerned about what's behind the paneling. The room has a very musty/moldy smell to it. I don't know if the previous owner put any insulation behind there.

So I'm wondering what to do? Do I need to rip off a full section of wall to see what's behind there first? I'm hesitant to get a mold remediation company in unless I know what's even behind there. Can I DIY this or is best to get an expert in? What am I looking at in terms of cost?

What could be causing the moisture getting in? Could it be a crack in the foundation?

Any and all help is appreciated.

H
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Tough to say. Definitely could be a condensation issue, but you canít rule out bulk moisture until you open up the wall.
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:48 PM   #3
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


I would do a little pulling and have a look, the paneling has to go it is not fixable anyway.
A good mask and throw away coveralls are never a bad idea. If it looks really bad. stop and get help.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:13 PM   #4
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Take it off.
Take a picture and post it here.?
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:49 AM   #5
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


As Neal stated - the paneling isn't salvageable, so no reason not to tear it off, evaluate and remedy the cause. If you want to go back with paneling it shouldn't be a big deal to match it with the other walls since it gets painted.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:35 AM   #6
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


This is often confusing because of the fine line between condensation and non condensation temperatures. This is a classic situation of the lower temperature becoming dew point temperature being closer to the floor.

Rip the paneling out, take care of the mold problem, paint/finish the block how ever you like and be happy without anything on the walls but good fresh drier air.

To check the DP temperature using the silver cup method most any container is sufficient but just not as much fun as some.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:07 AM   #7
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


That is definitely water damage. You just need to determine if it is condensation or a water leak. Looks like more water than condensation to me.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Thanks everyone for the advice. Will pull off some of the paneling soon (with mask, goggles and throwaway clothing) and report back with pictures.

The paneling is very old anyway and we won't miss it if it has to go completely. I like SeniorSitizen's idea of maybe just leaving the block with no paneling over top.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:37 PM   #9
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Quote:
Originally Posted by handeman View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. Will pull off some of the paneling soon (with mask, goggles and throwaway clothing) and report back with pictures.

The paneling is very old anyway and we won't miss it if it has to go completely. I like SeniorSitizen's idea of maybe just leaving the block with no paneling over top.
You will find a water problem. Pay attention to where nails are rusty and where they are still like new.
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:09 PM   #10
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Hi all,

I finally got around to pulling off this paneling today - see pictures here (https://imgur.com/a/hDpBj). Had to use Imgur since the photos weren't rotating properly in the forum attachments.

No obvious signs of water damage or mold that I can see. Do I need to pull out the insulation to see behind that?

A lot of the nails seem pretty rusted, but I'd say they're slightly less rusty near the top.

Suggestions for next steps?

- H
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


I don't think you should have the vapor barrier on the inside. Walls should dry to inside. See this building science article.

https://buildingscience.com/document...ding-basements
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:32 AM   #12
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Thanks.

So you'd recommend ripping out the full exterior paneling, vapor barrier and insulation? Just leave the concrete block exposed?

Would I need to do anything else to prevent moisture/condensation?
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:06 PM   #13
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Re: Wrinkled wood paneling + possible mold issue?


Two problems. Vapor barrier on wrong side. You lost hvac during the summer and basement became humid.

Your basic wall seems salvageable. I would remove all paneling and remove the vapor barriers. Plastic and slash the Kraft paper to allow drying. If the studs are in good shape, leave them. Wait a season to see if you have water intrusion or if this was caused by wrong vapor barrier. Fix water problems if found and refinish basement if you want one.
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