Author Topic: I Removed some drywall and I need advice  (Read 7075 times)

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« on: February 10, 2016, 10:03:04 AM »
We had a closet with damaged drywall, so we thought this would be a good time to learn how to drywall.  My husband started removing the drywall from the closet, exposing the studs and insulation (outside wall).  It looks to us like there was fire damage.  How bad is this?  Our plan was to remove the damaged drywall and just replace it with new drywall.  Can we still do that? 

House history:  It was built in 1950, remodeled in 2009, I bought it in 2010.  I certainly haven't had a fire in the house since I bought it. 

soupcxan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 11:20:08 AM »
Is that fire damage or mold?

Nate R

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI (Bay View)
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 11:23:41 AM »
Hard to say from that pic, it's kinda blurry, etc.

And we don't know the structural role those parts play without a larger picture.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2002
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 11:43:02 AM »
Yep, just cover it up with new drywall and go.
Possible could have left the old drywall in place and covered right over it.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2016, 01:19:39 PM »
Thanks for the opinions. 

We are in Portland, so I guess it could be mold.  I assumed fire damage because of 1)the way that the black was on the surface of the wood, but not where the wood had broken away and 2) the way the insulation was damaged.  I'm at work, so I can't take another look and see if it looks like mold just yet.

If it is mold, is there a chance that covering it up will transfer damage to the drywall?  Should I put some kind of desiccant in there or something? 

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1813
  • Age: 39
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2016, 01:39:47 PM »
Molds can be bad.  Like get it tested and be sure what you are dealing with.  If it is mold could there be an active moisture source?  I had a roommate who was sick in bed for over a month because of mold. 

ohana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
    • An Ocean Lover in Maine
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 02:10:39 PM »
Can you tell by the smell?  Burned wood smells like smoke.  Mold smells like . . . mold.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 02:52:12 PM »
Well, it doesn't smell great.  sigh.  The closet is in a spare bedroom, so we don't ever use it.  I guess this means we're not going to get this job finished this weekend.  :(

sisto

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 948
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 03:29:09 PM »
Bleach the crap out of it and let it dry first. Also check to make sure there is no dry rot on the studs. After it dries out, put up the new drywall.

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2016, 04:31:19 AM »
Doubt it's anything but mold. The paper facing on the insulation looks a little too healthy to have been in a fire. If you have mold, you have a leak into the wall cavity, and some pretty big issues to address. Whatever you do, DON'T just throw some bleach at it, then cover it up. Find out why it's moldy, and correct that problem first.

Jacana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Location: Back in the DMV :(
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2016, 05:35:46 AM »
+1 to not just covering it up. The drywall you removed, how was it damaged? Did it look stained or did it have holes or something? Is this the uppermost floor? Have you checked the ceiling/attic above? Was anything soft, and did any of the drywall look grey instead of white?

Our first sign of an ice dam was soft stained drywall on an outer wall. When we removed it, the drywall was greyish and the insulation looked pretty similar (black areas, smelly, kind of falling apart). Our wood was noticeably damp,, but we caught it before the mold got to it. If that is mold, it's been going on for a while. I don't know if Portland ever gets ice dams but you could also have a leaky roof, siding damage, or a plumbing leak.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2016, 08:19:38 AM »
The wood looks obviously like charred wood to me. I don't see where others are seeing mold. I would poke at the wood underneath the charring to make sure it is solid and if so, cover right over it with new drywall.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2016, 09:46:44 AM »
Rotten studs look a LOT like charred wood. It makes some sense, both processes oxidize the cellulose. I had studs that looked exactly like that behind a shower enclosure we removed. No evidence of fire, all rot.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 10:08:07 AM »
+1 to not just covering it up. The drywall you removed, how was it damaged? Did it look stained or did it have holes or something? Is this the uppermost floor? Have you checked the ceiling/attic above? Was anything soft, and did any of the drywall look grey instead of white?

Our first sign of an ice dam was soft stained drywall on an outer wall. When we removed it, the drywall was greyish and the insulation looked pretty similar (black areas, smelly, kind of falling apart). Our wood was noticeably damp,, but we caught it before the mold got to it. If that is mold, it's been going on for a while. I don't know if Portland ever gets ice dams but you could also have a leaky roof, siding damage, or a plumbing leak.

It really makes a lot of sense for it to be mold.  I feel like such an idiot for not making the connection.  When I first moved in and explored the house I noticed the closet was damp.  We took a look at the roof and the flashing was missing a couple nails.  We got it secured and the closet dried out.  I thought the problem was solved and forgot about it. 

I'm going to go take a look up in the attic.  I'm really dreading what it will look like. 

Nate R

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI (Bay View)
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2016, 11:01:51 AM »

I'm going to go take a look up in the attic.  I'm really dreading what it will look like.

Possible the attic is OK, could be that the moisture really pooled in the wall. Hard to say for sure until you get up there.
As someone mentioned in another thread for another purpose, I believe dry ice spraying can be used to remove mold if there's a ton of it in the attic.

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2016, 04:04:45 PM »
The wood looks obviously like charred wood to me. I don't see where others are seeing mold. I would poke at the wood underneath the charring to make sure it is solid and if so, cover right over it with new drywall.

You must look deeper, Grasshopper.

 As mentioned, mold can create some pretty realistic "char". The bigger clue is the paper faced insulation, and the wood above the top plate of the wall. The paper has a decorative pattern on it. In the left stud bay you can see where the paper was stuck tight to the back of the sheetrock, preventing it from enjoying a wetting and drying cycle. The paper that is folded away from the back of the rock either failed to get moist, or had the ability to dry out between events (rain storms, ice dams) The other clue is the clean wood above the top plate. It would either be charred or smoke damaged if the top plates had burned to that extent. Finally, fire spread is somewhat unsuccessful in a closed, insulated stud cavity. The cavity is filled with a fire resistant material, glass wool, and is sealed off from any source of air. There would be a lot more damage to the insulation, if the top plates were charred to that extent in a fire, since the face of the top plates were covered by a fire rated material, sheetrock, they would be the last surface area to burn.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2016, 04:36:25 PM »
There would be a lot more damage to the insulation...

I'm now convinced I was wrong. I should have paid more attention to the insulation. Thanks for pointing that out.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2016, 11:08:21 AM »
I'm convinced it's mold too.  We removed the insulation for a better look and...  it looks like everything is damaged.  This is so much bigger than I thought it would be. 

We called some guys that specialize in fixing mold damage to come and take a look.  But it's a whole week until they can even look, let alone start fixing it.  I can't stop thinking/worrying about it.  We're keeping the closet door closed, but the smell has spread to the room.  That door is also closed, but I'm worried we're just steeping ourselves in mold. 

The good news is that I forgot what the roof looks like above that closet.  It's disjointed, so there is no attic space above the closet.  The ceiling of the closet is the roof, so all the damage is confined to one floor. 

I'm attaching some better (or more depressing) pictures.
(first picture is the outside wall, second picture is the ceiling)

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2229
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2016, 01:17:09 PM »
First, don't panic, it really isn't too bad. I have done jobs like this where the entire side of a two story home was starting to collapse, and the headers above the windows were the consistency of potting soil. If you are a competent DIYer, it's a fairly simple process of removing and replacing individual studs and plates, one piece at a time. I would take a pump sprayer and soak everything with bleach, at this point, then decide how you are going to proceed. Genuine "mold remediation" contactors can lead you down one hell of a wallet draining rabbit hole, so decide how far you want to go with that before you get talked into a huge expense there. If you can, find a local carpenter/handyman who can tackle this, by the hour, and see what they think of doing the work, if you need assistance. Good luck.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2016, 01:23:25 PM »
I would also invest in a large amount of Concrobium, which is a mold inhibitor available at Lowe's and Home Depot. We had some moldy wooden molding that we sprayed it on before putting it back on. It works like a charm on wood, and it's not that expensive. For the wood that's not that damaged, I would spray that on it. But it looks like some of the wood might need to be replaced.

Here's a link to it at Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Concrobium-32-oz-Mold-Control-025326/100654126
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 01:25:40 PM by justajane »

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2016, 10:23:35 AM »
OK.  I think we're going to try this.  We've got a long weekend planned working on this closet.  I've been oscillating back and forth between "we can do this" and utter despair.  Right now, I'm pretty firmly on the optimistic side.  We'll see how long that lasts. 

Jacana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Location: Back in the DMV :(
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2016, 10:30:15 AM »
Good luck! And wear the right kind of tight fitting face masks (N95 if I remember correctly).

Blueeyes7767

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2016, 12:55:11 AM »
Doubt it's anything but mold. The paper facing on the insulation looks a little too healthy to have been in a fire. If you have mold, you have a leak into the wall cavity, and some pretty big issues to address. Whatever you do, DON'T just throw some bleach at it, then cover it up. Find out why it's moldy, and correct that problem first.
I agree.  Do not just mask the problem.  In the Pacific Northwest we get a lot of rain.  Find the water problem first and fix it.  Then bleach the mold.  Black mold is extremely toxic and can cause serious health problems for you and your family. 

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6177
  • Location: BC
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2016, 01:44:24 AM »
I echo the "no need to panic" comment above.  This really is not that uncommon and although not minor, is not severe either.

Sequence

1) Identify where the water is coming from and stop that.  Looks like maybe from outside, under the siding and running down the wall?  Do you have poor flashing on the roof / downspout or a poorly caulked window above?    Sometimes you can't tell, or it has been fixed already and is now dry.

2)  Solid wood with surface discoloration does not need to be removed, just bleach it / moldicide it and let it dry. you can kill the surface mold this way.  It will stay stained.  That's ok.  Looks like you may have damaged wood in spots that needs to be removed.  Push a screwdriver into it to check.   One piece at a time for replacement, keep header supported, etc.   

3)  You can't kill mold on paper, drywall or insulation as it is too porous.  Discard and put in fresh (just in case you kept that insulation you just took out -- toss it).

good luck!

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2016, 10:54:34 AM »
Thanks for all the responses and support. 

We had a long day yesterday.  We still had some demolition to do.  Originally we were just going to replace two walls (out of 5), but we decided to see what it looked like behind the rest of the drywall, just in case the mold was more extensive than we thought.  We found  a little more mold, but mostly the rest was clean.  The construction was a bit bizarre.  It looked like this closet was an addition and whoever made it just grabbed whatever junk wood was available. 

We bleached the wood, sanded off what we could, and then used Concrobium on it.  We've made a plan as to what we'll keep and what needs to go.  We bought all the wood and hardware we need. 

Today we start replacing wood.  Dealing with this might be the best Valentine's Day present my husband has ever given me.  :)  (Not that he's not thoughtful, this was just really weighing on me). 

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2016, 11:57:02 PM »
Whew!  We just finished installing our corner beads for the drywall.  It was a long weekend and a couple of long nights, but ever step the closet looks better.  It's definitely not a professional job, but I'm hoping once the texture, paint, and trim are on there it won't be an obvious difference.  We certainly learned a lot doing this!  Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. 

I feel so much better just being to this stage.  The structural stuff is all done, now it's just icing the cake.  :D

As an aside:  While we had all the drywall out of the closet and were working on replacing the moldy wood it was raining pretty hard all day long.  The inside of the closet was completely dry.  It was good confirmation that we had indeed taken care of the leak. 

ETA:  The drywall was such a pain.  None of the corners were completely square, so we were cutting trapezoids and parallelograms in the drywall.  sheesh! 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 11:59:39 PM by AllieVaulter »

Jacana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Location: Back in the DMV :(
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2016, 05:51:55 AM »
Good job, glad it went well!

Misstachio

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2016, 12:51:44 PM »
Looks great! Good thing you caught it before there was any more damage.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2016, 02:25:03 PM »
Closets are a great place to practice your drywall or plaster skills because the stakes are pretty low. I have a closet right underneath the chimney that keeps on getting water damage, and I'm becoming a pro at fixing plaster!

Longwaytogo

  • Guest
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2016, 06:17:18 PM »
Closets are a great place to practice your drywall or plaster skills because the stakes are pretty low. I have a closet right underneath the chimney that keeps on getting water damage, and I'm becoming a pro at fixing plaster!

Yeah we always put the rookies in the closets for practice at work. If they get the hang of it then we let them into the big rooms...

Then inevitably at lunch or the end of the day someone will say, "big day on the job site today, the new guys both came out of the closet"....yeah we keep it classy on construction sites

Nice job not panicking and doing the DIY  AllieVaulter!!

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2016, 01:45:00 AM »
Ugh... I hated drywall too.  I'd never wish it on anyone. Looks like you guys did a fantastic job though!  Now the real mess of texture comes in...

It's amazing how much weight comes off your shoulders when you just dig into a project instead of sitting there worrying about it.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2016, 03:25:44 PM »
Closets are a great place to practice your drywall or plaster skills because the stakes are pretty low. I have a closet right underneath the chimney that keeps on getting water damage, and I'm becoming a pro at fixing plaster!

Yeah we always put the rookies in the closets for practice at work. If they get the hang of it then we let them into the big rooms...

Then inevitably at lunch or the end of the day someone will say, "big day on the job site today, the new guys both came out of the closet"....yeah we keep it classy on construction sites

Nice job not panicking and doing the DIY  AllieVaulter!!

We were making plenty of jokes about screwing as we screwed in the drywall on Valentine's Day.  ;)

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: I Removed some drywall and I need advice
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2016, 03:29:36 PM »
Ugh... I hated drywall too.  I'd never wish it on anyone. Looks like you guys did a fantastic job though!  Now the real mess of texture comes in...

It's amazing how much weight comes off your shoulders when you just dig into a project instead of sitting there worrying about it.

Absolutely.  I was having trouble sleeping because my mind would not let go of the whole mess.  After we started working I had no problems sleeping, but part of that is probably exhaustion.  Now I'm feeling relaxed enough about the whole situation I have to be careful not to let it get put on the back burner.  It's less urgent, so we'll probably keep the work to the weekends instead of staying up working until midnight after work.