Mold on second story subfloor

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Old 08-27-17, 05:12 PM
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Mold on second story subfloor

Hello, all,

We have a toilet closet on the second story of our residence on a plywood subfloor. I had decided to replace the toilet and as I was looking around the old one I noticed a pool of water near the inlet, and the vinyl was loose. As I tore it up, I was greeted by a wet subfloor and some black mold. The plywood floor only appears to be wet, but not rotten, so I don't think the leak was going on for too long but I haven't yet seen what's going on near the sewer connection. Assuming the damage isn't too bad, how do I proceed? I'm thinking I'll air it out and dry it, but I'm unsure of what other mitigation steps I should perform. Thanks in advance for any advice.

-Chris
 
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Old 08-27-17, 06:05 PM
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I would remove the toilet and replace the subfloor. This decision becomes easier if you remember that that's your feces that's been soaking into the subfloor. Bad wax seal under the toilet... likely from it rocking on its bolts.
 
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Old 08-27-17, 10:05 PM
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In the meantime, get a spray bottle and fill it with a bleach and water mixture...1 part bleach to 4 parts water. Spray the mixture on the mold and allow it to sit. Repeat several times before scrubbing it. I had a similar problem in my basement bathroom and the mixture cleaned it up nicely. One concern is what is happening below your subfloor. Make sure that you buy a wax seal with a rubber funnel when you replace the toliet.
 
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Old 08-28-17, 10:04 AM
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Toilet is removed and wood is treated. Pulling off the baseboards tonight. Any gotchas I should be aware of when removing the subfloor? I have not done that before.
 
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Old 08-28-17, 10:33 AM
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Its possible that only the underlayment is rotten and wet. The underlayment is a thin layer on top of the subfloor. If so, remove the underlayment first, and only remove the subfloor if it is bad too.

Cut as close as you can to the walls, but if you use a sawzall, watch out for wiring, ductwork, sewer, etc. Don't cut too deep, don't cut into joists. Slicing it into 12x12 pieces with a skilsaw makes it easy to remove. Set your blade depth to cut through only the subfloor.

If you remove the subfloor, you will likely need to add blocking around the edge of one of your walls. It will give the subfloor something to nail to on the wall where the joists are parallel to the wall.

You also need to determine where you will stop. Pick a joist and cut down the middle of it. Use a cheap carbide blade, cut through nails, wear goggles / glasses / gloves.
 
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Old 08-29-17, 10:34 AM
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Thanks for the advice! There is no underlayment to speak of. The water got under the vinyl and soaked into the chipboard. It appears to be moist but not rotten.

I think a circular saw is the better way to go when cutting this out...I have no idea what's underneath.
 
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Old 08-29-17, 01:02 PM
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Sheet vinyl is usually placed on top of 1/4" plywood underlayment. While this is standard procedures, your may not have this layer. If it does, it may be the only thing that needs to be removed. If you have a floor register in there, pull it and measure how thick the floor is and how many layers are present.
 
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