Author Topic: Mold in the bathroom  (Read 3958 times)

FastStache

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Mold in the bathroom
« on: June 13, 2014, 08:46:29 PM »
Does anyone have any experience dealing with mold in their bathroom. The mold was black and contained in about a 1 foot by 1 foot area in two spots. The mold was found underneath old wallpaper from the previous owners.

Do I need to hire a professional for this?

Cwadda

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 09:12:24 PM »
Hello,

I work for a company that specializes in occupational safety and health for building materials. Most mold in small amounts will not be harmful to humans. It affects people differently, like an allergic reaction. There's one type of mold, Stachybotrys, that produces myotoxins. However, that mold is uncommon and usually isn't found in bathrooms. If you think there is an illness in your home related to mold, see a doctor immediately. Mold sampling is very expensive, so as long as it's not causing health effects, it probably isn't necessary to test.

That said, it should still be removed. Mold cannot grow without water and a food source (wood, sheetrock, etc). You must stop the cause of the mold to stop the mold from growing. There could be a leaking pipe or crack somewhere. You need to do some investigating. Talk to the previous homeowners about that room and if plumbing maintenance occurred. Try to find any maintenance records. You can also conduct a more thorough physical investigation about the area (tearing up more wallpaper and seeing if there are any water damage paths). Unfortunately, if there are water problems that you cannot find or fix yourself, you will need to hire a plumber to take a look and make fixes. Hopefully there isn't anything too major going on. If it's just that one room and that little area, it doesn't sound like there's a lot of water damage going on.

For cleaning, the general rule is that if the material is porous (absorbs water), then it needs to be thrown out. Nonporous materials can be cleaned with 1 part bleach 9 parts water. Never mix bleach with ammonia. It is best to use a respirator (not a dust mask) and rubber gloves when handling the moldy material.

Identify the water source --> Repair the source --> Do any cleaning/replacing


FastStache

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 09:31:11 PM »
Hello,

I work for a company that specializes in occupational safety and health for building materials. Most mold in small amounts will not be harmful to humans. It affects people differently, like an allergic reaction. There's one type of mold, Stachybotrys, that produces myotoxins. However, that mold is uncommon and usually isn't found in bathrooms. If you think there is an illness in your home related to mold, see a doctor immediately. Mold sampling is very expensive, so as long as it's not causing health effects, it probably isn't necessary to test.

That said, it should still be removed. Mold cannot grow without water and a food source (wood, sheetrock, etc). You must stop the cause of the mold to stop the mold from growing. There could be a leaking pipe or crack somewhere. You need to do some investigating. Talk to the previous homeowners about that room and if plumbing maintenance occurred. Try to find any maintenance records. You can also conduct a more thorough physical investigation about the area (tearing up more wallpaper and seeing if there are any water damage paths). Unfortunately, if there are water problems that you cannot find or fix yourself, you will need to hire a plumber to take a look and make fixes. Hopefully there isn't anything too major going on. If it's just that one room and that little area, it doesn't sound like there's a lot of water damage going on.

For cleaning, the general rule is that if the material is porous (absorbs water), then it needs to be thrown out. Nonporous materials can be cleaned with 1 part bleach 9 parts water. Never mix bleach with ammonia. It is best to use a respirator (not a dust mask) and rubber gloves when handling the moldy material.

Identify the water source --> Repair the source --> Do any cleaning/replacing

Could the small amount of mold be due to the the bathroom having poor ventilation and the wall paper trapping moisture?

Cwadda

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 09:41:03 PM »
Hello,

I work for a company that specializes in occupational safety and health for building materials. Most mold in small amounts will not be harmful to humans. It affects people differently, like an allergic reaction. There's one type of mold, Stachybotrys, that produces myotoxins. However, that mold is uncommon and usually isn't found in bathrooms. If you think there is an illness in your home related to mold, see a doctor immediately. Mold sampling is very expensive, so as long as it's not causing health effects, it probably isn't necessary to test.

That said, it should still be removed. Mold cannot grow without water and a food source (wood, sheetrock, etc). You must stop the cause of the mold to stop the mold from growing. There could be a leaking pipe or crack somewhere. You need to do some investigating. Talk to the previous homeowners about that room and if plumbing maintenance occurred. Try to find any maintenance records. You can also conduct a more thorough physical investigation about the area (tearing up more wallpaper and seeing if there are any water damage paths). Unfortunately, if there are water problems that you cannot find or fix yourself, you will need to hire a plumber to take a look and make fixes. Hopefully there isn't anything too major going on. If it's just that one room and that little area, it doesn't sound like there's a lot of water damage going on.

For cleaning, the general rule is that if the material is porous (absorbs water), then it needs to be thrown out. Nonporous materials can be cleaned with 1 part bleach 9 parts water. Never mix bleach with ammonia. It is best to use a respirator (not a dust mask) and rubber gloves when handling the moldy material.

Identify the water source --> Repair the source --> Do any cleaning/replacing

Could the small amount of mold be due to the the bathroom having poor ventilation and the wall paper trapping moisture?

Yes. For example, you have no air ventilation duct in the bathroom. When you take a shower, the steam beads up and accumulates on the walls. It gets trapped in old wallpaper. This could certainly be a cause. How long has the mold been there?

FastStache

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 09:52:18 PM »
Hello,

I work for a company that specializes in occupational safety and health for building materials. Most mold in small amounts will not be harmful to humans. It affects people differently, like an allergic reaction. There's one type of mold, Stachybotrys, that produces myotoxins. However, that mold is uncommon and usually isn't found in bathrooms. If you think there is an illness in your home related to mold, see a doctor immediately. Mold sampling is very expensive, so as long as it's not causing health effects, it probably isn't necessary to test.

That said, it should still be removed. Mold cannot grow without water and a food source (wood, sheetrock, etc). You must stop the cause of the mold to stop the mold from growing. There could be a leaking pipe or crack somewhere. You need to do some investigating. Talk to the previous homeowners about that room and if plumbing maintenance occurred. Try to find any maintenance records. You can also conduct a more thorough physical investigation about the area (tearing up more wallpaper and seeing if there are any water damage paths). Unfortunately, if there are water problems that you cannot find or fix yourself, you will need to hire a plumber to take a look and make fixes. Hopefully there isn't anything too major going on. If it's just that one room and that little area, it doesn't sound like there's a lot of water damage going on.

For cleaning, the general rule is that if the material is porous (absorbs water), then it needs to be thrown out. Nonporous materials can be cleaned with 1 part bleach 9 parts water. Never mix bleach with ammonia. It is best to use a respirator (not a dust mask) and rubber gloves when handling the moldy material.

Identify the water source --> Repair the source --> Do any cleaning/replacing

Could the small amount of mold be due to the the bathroom having poor ventilation and the wall paper trapping moisture?

Yes. For example, you have no air ventilation duct in the bathroom. When you take a shower, the steam beads up and accumulates on the walls. It gets trapped in old wallpaper. This could certainly be a cause. How long has the mold been there?

I'm not sure as I am in the process of getting set up to move in. This house is 30 years old and this wallpaper might be just as old.

Cwadda

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 10:27:09 PM »
It would probably be worth a call to the previous owner to see if anything major was going on in there.

greaper007

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 11:10:15 PM »
I'm with the others.    See if there's a source of water intrusion behind the walls.   Maybe leaky pipes or even the roof.    Put in an exhaust fan (and use it) if you don't already have one, timer switches work great.    Then just hit the walls with plain old bleach to kill the mold, prime, paint and be on your way.

If you can't find a glaring source of water intrusion, with old wall paper I'd imagine that condensation from the ceiling was just working its way into a loose spot in the paper and creating the spot on the wall.

Greg

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 09:56:55 AM »
In addition to ventilation, you may have voids in the wall missing insulation that can exacerbate this problem, if the mold is anywhere near an outside wall or the tub.  It's very common to find huge voids around tubs for instance.  Hot moist air will condense when it meets a cooler wall area, or something like a metal pipe or toilet tank.

FastStache

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 02:51:15 PM »
To be super safe, and I have the funds to do so easily is to remove all the drywall, which would allow me to see if there is any moisture issues from water intrusion and dispose of the moldy drywall and any moldy insulation if need be.

The mold is above the toilet and across the front wall of the toilet. It is at least a foot from the tub and not near the ground. One side is completely away from any pipes.

Will I find insulation if the bathroom is completely on interior walls?

Greg

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Re: Mold in the bathroom
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 09:02:33 AM »
If the wall is an interior wall you're unlikely to find insulation.  Could this be caused by "poor aim" over the years?