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Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?

 
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
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Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


Mold is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Some mold is toxic and on rare occasions can kill people with susceptibility to the toxins in dangerous molds. There are mold remediation companies that make their living stressing the importance of testing all mold found and using hazmat techniques to remove any and all mold. This leads to a lot of the information being blurred, from erring on the side of caution, to being downright paranoid about it and a lot of misinformation being spread on the subject.

Side Note: One HO told me that I should use only Kilz because they heard that it molecularly bonds with mold unlike any other primer or paint (where do they get this stuff?)

Now I do a lot of bathrooms, and 90% of the time with the old 4" tile over sheetrock method, water has gotten through and caused mold growth. Homeowners always tend to have a mini freakout about the presence of mold, however I usually try to calm them down. I tell them:

1. If you're concerned, you can order a test and either pay big money for fast results or wait 2 weeks for a test kit's results to come in. They rarely if ever request a test.

2. The vast majority of mold in homes is not the toxic super deadly kind that you hear horror stories about. Mold is like dust, it's pretty much everywhere and there's no stopping it blowing in through your doors and windows. It is also all over the material your home was built with, and it only grows when water comes into contact with it.

3. We can clean the studs with a bleach solution and then seal the wood with a little spray kilz.

Now I've done #3 on all of my jobs, but I was wondering if that's even necessary? It just feels like a "feel-good" measure and that there's really no way to get 100% of the mold seeing as how it just blows into the house every time you open the door no matter what you do. Mold is everywhere. It was on the wood the day the house was built, and when the water got to it, it started to grow.

And since mold goes dormant when no moisture is present, and using the materials we use today (Denshield + sealant on all joints and screwheads) and urethane grout should ensure that the space remains dry for the next 30-50 years. No moisture = no new growth and no significant release of spores seeing as how it's sealed behind a waterproof shower enclosure / subfloor + flooring.

So my question is this: in your opinions is it really necessary to bleach the mold and/or seal it with an oil-based primer before going back with the new materials? I know it can't hurt to seal it up, but is it necessary?

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


Not sure if it's necessary but I have read multiple times as well as had a remediation company tell me that bleach isn't the best choice for killing mold. It works ok but there are better, less offensive products out there. Tea tree oil is one I have heard of as well as vinegar. I think we are trained that bleach smells like "clean" so that's what is the go to product when you see mold/mildew.

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


Yeah. I just always figured that mold spores are going to remain no matter what I use. Even if I treat all of the exposed wood, I'll be bringing spores in with me unless I hermetically seal the room.

I understand that there is some seriously dangerous mold out there, and if it's discovered, then a remediation company is the right call, but I also get the feeling that some of the advice from remediation companies could be biased to get them the work on harmless mold too.

Kind of like a lot of remodelers will push more expensive products on customers when they don't want it just to make more money. The contractor will be biased to try and give them the best, like any salesmen trying to upsell.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


I've heard lots of mold remediation companies say that bleach won't kill mold and a google search usually shows more of the same. Personally, I don't know of anything that bleach won't kill. In customers homes I will use bleach for a small area although I prefer to use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in my house as it's less toxic.

I will usually do two, separate, 15 minute soakings with a bleach and water solution.

For professional opinions I will refer you to...
http://accessscience.com/studycenter...uestionID=4918


Something tells me the CDC knows what they're talking about.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


Whups, the CDC link didn't post.

Here it is. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/protect.asp
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


I have done a lot of mold remediation on jobs in the past. From the research I have done bleach isn't the best product for mold. I was refered to www.jondon.com by fellow contractor. If you take a look in the chemical section, there are a lot of anti microbial mold and bacteria treatments that are reasonabally priced. I hope that helps you out!
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


And I want to add that all the products I install are not susceptible to mold with the exception of mastic, however I only use mastic on areas that are not subject to an abundance of water such as a kitchen backsplash. I also use urethane grout which is waterproof (or at least enough to keep the mastic dry on a backsplash anyways)
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


I don't think I've ever hear that bleach won't kill mold, but that when bleach touches mold, the spores will release (like a reaction). This releases the mold pollen?? into the air for you to breath, which in turn can make you sick.

I know they make a spray that can kill mold and cover it up. Can't remember what its called. I saw it at a home show one time.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:01 AM   #9
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


I think its called kills.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:17 AM   #10
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


http://www.kilz.com
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


I use oxyclean for killing the mold on interiors, and creating a barrier to mold growth. Typically, it's a scrub, then fog (0.5% solution, and don't get it in your eyes. Foggers can be rented at Homedepot, etc)). It isn't as noxious as bleach. I do encapsulation (a good idea, but not always necessary) with Zinsser Shieldz. Kilz isn't very good for encapsulation, but it is cheap.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:42 PM   #12
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


http://www.advancedmoldinspectors.co...emediation.htm

Kilz doesn't have antimicrobial properties, so you may as well skip it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #13
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:01 AM   #14
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Re: Mold On Studs Or Subfloor, Is Sealing Really Required?


I've been in homes where after walking through the house you come back outside and get light headed. There is a time and place for serious mold abatement, but unfortunately it usually has to be your call. I've found a good third party testing that charges me about three hundred dollars to do two air checks. On a bathroom remodel I probably would not worry about it unless it was severe.

I was working on homes that had been vacant for a while and those ones made me nervous.


I went to school with a girl whose family had black mold in their home. They has to move out for months. They had spores growing in their nasal cavity and have to go every so many months to the doctor and have the spores removed.

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