Do I have mold in my house?

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Old 05-12-16, 05:23 PM
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Do I have mold in my house?

Is there an easy way to tell if I have mold in my house? In 2006 a relative, who fell in my shower, pushed on the faucet to get up. The faucet fell off, and hundreds of gallons of water dripped into the kitchen below. The ceiling in the kitchen was removed, and replaced. Every few months I notice hairline cracks in the new drywall, as well as bowing. When I get in the shower I can push on the tile, and feel the wall getting pressed. The bathroom also does not have a fan, so daily showers humidify the air.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 05:49 PM
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Th answer is yes! There are mold spores in every cubic centimeter of air we breathe. So it would be no surprise to find mold somewhere. Your bigger problems are more rated to things getting wet and expanding, since drywall and wood swell when they absorb moisture. You are right to be concerned about fixing anything that got wet and has swollen, popping your drywall screws no doubt... but it sounds like you may have also bought into the hype about mold being toxic.

Let me try and find an awesome link I saw a while back regarding mold... I've got to bookmark this, it's one of my favorites. Finally found someone that is knowledgable yet still has some common sense.

http://www.forensic-applications.com/moulds/habits.html
 
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Old 05-12-16, 06:13 PM
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Got the perfect storm for mold to grow, even without the wall issue your going to have mold with no exhaust vent.
If you can push on the wall that tells me it's likely an older home with sheet rock under the tiles that always fails over time.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 06:20 PM
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It is older, built 1987 by Pulte.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 06:28 PM
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No clue who that is, but if it's sheet rock it was done wrong.
If a wall can flex then no way is tile or the grout going to hold up.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 06:41 PM
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Not sure what's back there.
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Old 05-12-16, 06:53 PM
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Prior to 1999, when the tile industry finally disavowed green board showers, it was common to put tile over green board (water resistant gypsum). It was pretty much the norm since cement board had not really caught on and the tile industry had not adopted it as a standard like it is now. So it would not be surprising... in fact I would expect there to be green board behind the tile. Its amazing it lasted this long.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 07:02 PM
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I guess you're leading me to the remodeling route.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 07:04 PM
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It's definitely time for it, yes.
 
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Old 05-12-16, 07:12 PM
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What would you do to the bathroom? Is there anything still salvageable (cabs., tub)?
 
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Old 05-12-16, 07:32 PM
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I would just assume based on what you have told us (spongy walls that move) that the only thing that needs replaced is the areas with drywall (or greenboard) behind the tile in the shower, and anything else you might find along the way. For all we know the shower pan and doors could be reused unless you are wanting an excuse to get new ones or if they are so worn that it doesnt make sense to salvage them. No need to remove cabinets... the demo would be very limited and could end at the edge of the tile unless you need to go farther for some reason. I wouldn't even mess with the tile above the tub if it's in good shape. It doesn't get wet like inside the shower. If you want to retile so that it all matches, then the drywall behind the tub should go.

If you want to look in walls, you can now get telescoping cameras with lights at a fairly decent price. By making a small hole on the back side of a wall you could look in. Or a big hole minus the camera. LOL
 
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Old 05-12-16, 07:46 PM
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Was the flood reported to an insurance company immediately in 2006? Insurance companies usually cover one-time catastrophic floods but not something that has leaked over a period of time.

If the repairs were originally performed by a contractor, and the insurance paid, the contractor might still be liable for negligence or poor workmanship. I don't get involved in water damage restoration, but it needs to be done right the first time and that's why they charge a fortune.

Some restoration companies get carried away in drying out a home, in this case maybe they didn't go far enough.
 
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Old 05-13-16, 06:35 AM
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X that was a good link on the mold,I to have bookmarked it.
 
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Old 05-13-16, 01:07 PM
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In 2006, insurance did not pay because the shower did not have safety grab bars. Rather they sent a company to my house. All the company did was put a bucket in the kitchen to catch any water still dripping, replaced damaged drywall, and replaced pipe behind shower.
When the relative fell, the pressure of his weight on the faucet caused the pipe behind to snap. So instead of water going to showerhead, it went through walls into the kitchen.
 
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Old 05-13-16, 02:09 PM
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You don't usually get mold on walls from a one time leak like that. Floors maybe, if it got under carpet and the carpet stayed wet, for example. Water goes straight down, things dry out. Once RH is below about 55%, mold can't survive. So I highly doubt any permanent damage was done to those walls. A one time leak is different than a slow steady leak over a period of time... the longer things stay wet, the more likely mold will have time to grow.

The tile on top of the drywall is a separate unrelated issue. If it is getting spongy, it's because tile and grout are not completely waterproof, and drywall was not the best substrate. 30 years of showers have taken their toll and the tile and drywall have probably got to go.
 
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Old 05-13-16, 06:45 PM
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Usually where you get bad mold is behind the walls and in showers that is usually where the shower valve connects to the shower head. Probably when the shower was broken at the valve water went not only downstairs but up the wall behind the shower. It could be that your builder didn't use anything special and just used regular drywall as many do unfortunately cut corners for a higher profit margin. I suggest as the others have already suggested to use cement board and then use tile or a vinyl tub surround and perhaps change the pan too at the same time.
 
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Old 05-13-16, 11:57 PM
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I agree that the document that X linked to was an interesting read but the majority of the links within don't work. I think they are supposed to be pictures of the various molds.
 
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