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Old 12-12-2016, 01:12 AM   #1
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Mold while renovating bathroom


I think I see some mold while renovating my bathroom. Attached are some pictures. Can you tell me if this is a cause for concern? What's the best way to get rid of the mold?
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Mold while renovating bathroom-img_4137.jpg   Mold while renovating bathroom-img_4138.jpg   Mold while renovating bathroom-img_4139.jpg  
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:12 AM   #2
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


The presence of mold is always concerning.

The only sure solution to prevent/eliminate mold is to stop water/moisture ingress. Personally, I'd replace what appears to be standard drywall with greenboard or some other type of moisture resistant drywall/wall board.

A less laborious and usually effective treatment is to apply a 10% sodium carbonate* solution (aka "washing soda" for laundry, "pH up" for pools, etc). You can also buy a pre-mixed version - "Mold Control" is one brand - from the paint section at the big box stores. The sodium carbonate solution kills the mold just as effectively as bleach, but because it soaks into the drywall and isn't broken down by the atmosphere it will prevent the return of mold should the drywall get dampened again. It won't prevent mold if the drywall is continuously damp, but if that is happening you got bigger problems to worry about.

* - Sodium carbonate is NOT the same as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda); it is a stronger alkali.
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:26 AM   #3
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


I'd remove that drywall and toss it. Any cleaning you do will not get rid of the mold on the inside. Removing the old drywall will allow you to see what is causing the mold.
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:24 AM   #4
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


Hi Sam and welcome to the forum.
In addition to the above advice which is good I'd do something about that hole in the floor. It looks like a slab on grade home and if there is exposed soil in that opening it is a source of moisture into that hidden space. I don't see many slab on grade homes here in Maine, but they must have a recommended closure for that. Once closed I would also seal that concrete.

As a note, all of the wood on the left should look like the wood on the right, it doesn't and that is another indication of moisture issues.

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Old 12-12-2016, 07:45 AM   #5
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


Is that an outside wall?
Could be lots of things causing the issue.
Post a picture outside of the home in that area, no close ups needed.
Once that sheetrocks off, post a picture of that area again.
Looking for things (depending on on your location) such as lack of insulation, wrong insulation, lack of a vapor barrier, someone just used strapping flat against the wall, grade to high outside, no gutters, mulch piled up against the foundation, ect.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


As said already, remove the drywall and replace with concrete board (not the cement+saw dust board). If possible, opening a small vent hole on the side wall would help with moisture problem. Moisture is also coming in from the plumb hole in the slab and you can't block that off.
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


It is not that bad. In the past 10 years everyone has got so paranoid about mold.

How many years has the tub been there. You got some condensation or a little water got behind the tile of caulking.
Spray some bleach, wipe clean with a light scrubbing. Spray the bleach again and leave it.
24 hours later it will be gone.

Again not a big job to cut out the drywall to look behind it. But don't expect to find anything. Its not that bad.
Patch with 1/2" material you have. Drywall, plywood etc...

Also no good way to cover the hole in the floor and all I have seen are like yours.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


Although I agree that hole shouldn't be filled with concrete I do believe it needs to be filled with something inert and covered or at least just covered. It isn't like that is going to be a frequent service location so covering the top with plastic and sealing it to the concrete would block the moisture from below. Same principle as a plastic barrier over a crawlspace.

Sam, you should provide a location so we can judge climate and whether that wall is an exterior wall.

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Old 12-12-2016, 12:47 PM   #9
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Re: Mold while renovating bathroom


Just a tip. I spray kilz on mold and let it dry if I'm changing out Sheetrock. Then try to pull the sheet out in as big a piece of Sheetrock I can at a time. Just keeps the dry mold spores from getting into the air. It's simple and it works well. I'd change it out it was me. People are going a little crazy over it but mold has been here a lot longer than we have. If it's gone it can't come back to haunt you later
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