P71
P71 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/16/08 9:30 p.m.

Help!

We found mold in our house today and we need a contractor! Are any of you one? Have one you can recommend (we're in Kelso, WA)?

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
6/16/08 9:53 p.m.

I am. But the 6000 mile commute each day is going to be a little rough on your budget.

A few more details...How much, where is it located, what color, strong smell, etc.

Don't over react. It's generally not too hard to deal with (although there are LOTS of sheisters out there who will tell you otherwise)

Duke
Duke Dork
6/16/08 10:13 p.m.

I was just going to say that. I'm an architect, and I'm here to tell you, unless you run a pulmonary hospital, mold does not mean instant death.

The mold is less of an issue than solving the underlying problem of water getting into your house and causing it. Don't panic to get the mold 100% cleaned up instantly. Concentrate on locating the source of the water - busted pipe? Roof leak? Bad flashing? Rising damp?

Where is the mold appearing, and what changed recently before it appeared?

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
6/16/08 10:18 p.m.

depends.. I am damn allergic to the stuff and bought a new house because I was so deathly afraid of buying a house I couldn't live in.

Due to water leaks @ my In laws I can't sleep there anymore, when we go on visits..

Not such a bad thing I think...

P71
P71 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/16/08 11:18 p.m.

The house was built in 1996. We bought it in 2006 and the Inspection only stated very minor mold in the attic due to a broken attic fan.

The house has LP siding on it that has some damage on the West and South sides (which we knew about and got money from the seller's for). We started taking the siding off in order to install new OSB and Hardi-plank and found mold on 75% of the inside surfaces.

Apparently the attic doesn't even have a fan (meaning our Inspector was an idiot) and is where the mold is growing from.

A mold specialist person is coming tomorrow (I think). I wasn't even here today to deal with any of this, it was my first day at my new job!

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/17/08 5:55 a.m.

Make sure the sofit vents are clear, free of obstructions, you have gable vents or a ridge vent and if necessary a fan. Usually convection is enough to keep mold away if you have good air flow.

I'm not a contractor, but my house was built 102 years before yours, LOTS of home experiences.

Good luck with the new job.

Dan

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
6/17/08 9:18 p.m.

You still haven't given us much info, but your problem isn't in the attic. It's not the soffit vents, it's not the fan.

You have a condensation problem, and an ineffective vapor barrier.

This one is normally pretty hard to fix, but since you were already tearing off the siding, carry on. That's what the fix would be.

The only difference is you now need to a) kill the mold, b) dry out the wall before recovering (properly- use a moisture meter), and c) install a proper vapor barrier along with the siding replacement work you were already doing.

It should add about 10% to the cost of what you were doing to do it right. But it will add A LOT more time (to properly dry things out)

BTW- I don't trust "mold specialist persons". They over-inflate the scope of the work and play on people's fears. They also make a HECK of a lot of money.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
6/17/08 10:51 p.m.
SVreX wrote: BTW- I don't trust "mold specialist persons". They over-inflate the scope of the work and play on people's fears. They also make a HECK of a lot of money.

Amen.

P71
P71 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/17/08 11:54 p.m.

Thanks! I'll keep you all updated.

The person from today used a moisture-meter and confirmed wetness and mold nearly everywhere. Apparently the house was built "wet".

More info later.

Jack
Jack SuperDork
6/18/08 9:58 a.m.

P71,

PM/email me and we can chat. I'm down in Covington, WA and have dealt with Mold in a rental we owned.

I'm not a contractor, but I'm an engineer in construction.

Jack

aircooled
aircooled Dork
6/18/08 10:23 a.m.
P71 wrote: .....A mold specialist person is coming tomorrow (I think)....

Hey may also find some Asbestos! Because, clearly an Asbestos coated pipe with a think layer of paint on it is a deadly hazard that must be removed (by smashing it a releasing the Asbestos apparently).

The mold "scare" has many similarities.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
6/18/08 3:58 p.m.

Mold covers a pretty wide swath of issues as well. Mold in WA state is a different issue than in AZ. If you have mold there, it is a surprise and probably bad news. Mold in the Pacific Northwest is probably more common. The issue is moisture getting where you don't want it. You have to fix the problem before you can get rid of the mold.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
6/18/08 6:29 p.m.
P71 wrote: Thanks! I'll keep you all updated. The person from today used a moisture-meter and confirmed wetness and mold nearly everywhere. Apparently the house was built "wet". More info later.

We knew there was moisture. If there was no moisture, there would be no mold.

His moisture meter wasn't necessary at this point (except for establishing a baseline). He's trying to impress you. Be careful.

Being "built wet" would still not be a problem if there was proper ventilation and vapor barriers. The wall would have dried out if it could have breathed properly.

Like I said before, your problem is ventilation and effective vapor barriers.

Jack
Jack SuperDork
6/19/08 9:42 a.m.
SVreX wrote:
P71 wrote: Thanks! I'll keep you all updated. The person from today used a moisture-meter and confirmed wetness and mold nearly everywhere. Apparently the house was built "wet". More info later.
We knew there was moisture. If there was no moisture, there would be no mold. His moisture meter wasn't necessary at this point (except for establishing a baseline). He's trying to impress you. Be careful. Being "built wet" would still not be a problem if there was proper ventilation and vapor barriers. The wall would have dried out if it could have breathed properly. Like I said before, your problem is ventilation and effective vapor barriers.

SVreX hit the nail on the head. It's a simple formula. Stop the entry of water and provide enough ventilation and mold won't grow. The spores will always be there, they are everywhere, but if you take away the conditions they need to grow, you will be fine.

Jack

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