Remodeling with Mold - To Live with it or Not

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by chefwong, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. chefwong

    chefwong Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    District of Columbia
    A continuation of this thread here....

    So I got a couple of contractors in today - still awaiting visits from plumbers to come up with their proposed solution on checkvalve, etc to combat sewer backflow

    They say pics speak more than 1000% words so here goes some as well.
    To summarize, I got sewage backflow, did NOT go high, however, I suspect it seeped into the flooring and water was hanging out ....growing mold.
    The studs are clear, sheetrock does show mold and there are areas of sheetrock stuck between my stair landing / stringer that I need to remove in order to Properly remove the sheetrock. Shininga light shows mold on the stringers.

    I have cut up at 2 feet of sheetrock to see how bad the mold was.

    Contractor A: proposes that the bottom be cut and replaced with Durock. As well as doing tiling *which tiling is their thing*, as well as misc odds/ends.
    Contractor B: proposed to DO nothing to a degree. I did have him quote me on another master bathroom and he's fairly intelligent, knows Kerdi, Ditra, etc.
    However, in looking at my basement, he's got a very Green Mindset (eco friendly) and told me unless the mold presents a problem, he does not see a reason to rip up my flooring, etc. I liked Contractor B from our discussion on the master bathroom, but am very perplexed by his *eco green* response on leave the backup sewer mold alone if it does not present a problem to you.

    Okay. On to the pics. Spray Jim's special brew on all the studs.
    On the 1st pic, that is mold fuzz on the floor. In the latter, you can see the studs are fairly clean (won't say that about the sheerock I removed)

    Not sure what to do about insulation. Just remove it at a certain height or REMOVE all 8-9' of it (fearing mold spores)

    I think stairs/ landing, will need to be replaced.
    I was thinking 4' of sheetrock I would cut (replacing the lower 4'). However, per contractor A, he would do Durock and then spackle ontop the Durock to make it paint grade.

    Redo the wood flooring and go with tile.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Jan 14, 2009
    Remove the poly vapor barriers- they're not your friend! Where it wont' be covered by wallboard, add an interior side air barrier that's vapor-open or semi-open such as housewrap. (IIRC Typar is about 10 perms, which would be preferable to Tyvek's 30+ perms.) That will raise the amount of winter moisture accumulation somewhat, but it will enhance the overall drying capacity. As long as you don't have convection loops of room air coming in contact with the cold edge of the studs they won't accumulate mold/rot levels of moisture during the winter season, and it'll dry quickly in warmer weather, and it'll dry from bulk-water incursions much quicker too.

    Cut away any of the insulation within a foot of where the mold obvious, and you've pretty much taken care of that part of it. Yanking it all out could even create problems where there was none before.

    Any wood that's in contact with concrete (particularly the floors, but also the walls) do better with some sort of capillary break to keep it from wicking in moisture from the concrete, but any wood not moldy or rotting already is probably going to be good for another century. Foamy sill gasket is good enough.
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I concur with the points laid out above by nelrossen.

    While I don't panic at the sight of some surface mold in the corner of a tub wall or on the sink caulking, when you find mold within the structure cause by water getting where it should not be, THAT can not be ignored!
  5. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Oct 7, 2005
    It on the other hand, would make a great room for unwanted visitors.
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