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black death mold

kliffy's picture

i recently discovered that i have serious water damage issues in my bathroom - in fairbanks, alaska. the wet floor isn't nearly as worrisome for me, though, as the section of wall behind the tub surround that is apparently infested with black death mold (as identified for me by my friend who turned me on to this website). the funny thing is, the mold only seems to exist behind a section of the tub surround where a piece of green sheetrock had been used. the green sheetrock was not used for any of the rest of the surround area, and i have good reason to believe it was installed during a remodel that included the installation of the surround. ( the house was completely remodeled before i bought it.) the green sheetrock was wet and rotten, but none of the other regular sheetrock behind the surround is wet.

it appears that my primary source of water damage is long term condensation under my toilet tank and leakage from my shower.

i am installing sliding doors for the shower and i have been advised that plumbing hot water thru a mixing valve to my toilet will stop the condensation issue there.

but the mystery of how the mold could be limited to the area where the green sheetrock was hung is the nagging question that caused me to stay up late and write this.

thanks for any help you can provide.



(post #62334, reply #1 of 9)

Maybe there was something in this area that prevented evaporation through the wall.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #62334, reply #2 of 9)

is it possible that there was a cool draft or air comeing up to that lower section contributing to the factor of mold growth...

(post #62334, reply #3 of 9)

Noone has ever died from black mold and hardly anyone gets sick from it.  Just clean it out and use Clorox and repair the area.

(post #62334, reply #4 of 9)

You're right on the mortality and the bleach, but it would be a good idea for Kliffie to stop the souce of moisture.


Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell'em "Certainly, I can!"  Then get busy and find out how to do it.  T. Roosevelt

I'm sorry, I thought you wanted it done the right way.

(post #62334, reply #5 of 9)

I have tried the mixer valve for the toilet and could not get it to work right. I ended up using a thermostactic valve for a shower to get the "warm" water to the tank. I installed it inside the vanity for easy adjustment and access. Somthing like the Kohler K-404-K, just don't use the volume control.

(post #62334, reply #6 of 9)

Its only "black death mold" if you have to dig through a pile of bodies to get to it {G}

Some people are sensistive to some molds. There are thousands of "black molds;" few cause problems.

Remove the drywall with mold on it (following the suggestions at the EPA website and the NYC site: and redo the shower.

Keep the water away from the mold's food source (for mold just about anything) and you'll be fine.

EPA: "Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced."

BTW, most of the "expert sites" have stopped recommending using bleach for mold clean up, and now recommend "detergent."

I have been told that it is because breathing droplets of sprayed bleach can be nmore hazardous than breathing mold.

I recommend scrubbing with automatic dishwashing detergent dissolved in very hot water for heavy duty cleaning. It has TSP, a good cleaner, and is relatively easy to rinse (especially compared with bleach.

"It is as hard for the good to suspect evil, as it is for the bad to suspect good."

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator, writer (106-43 BCE)

======================================== "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." Reinhold Niebuhr: 'The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness' ========================================

(post #62334, reply #7 of 9)

I tend to be overly careful, but I'd wear a dust mask when fooling with that mold; if nothing else, you may be allergic to it. Maybe the green drwall has some chemical in it that the mold likes?

I locked myself out of my rented house once and had someone boost me onto the roof to climb in through a window. The shingles had moss or something on them and where I scraped my arms I got hives.

(post #62334, reply #8 of 9)

I agree that if the framing is structurally sound still, you just need to clean the surfaces with clorine and then treat with borates, look for Timbor products via Google.

But the reaason it got wet could be because SRT should not be used in shower area, Green is MR - moisture resistant not waterproof. The right way to do tile here is to line the walls with tarpaper and then cement board for backing the tile. Comtinue to use porous sheetrock and you will continue to repeat the curse.


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Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #62334, reply #9 of 9)

I tend to agree with Dan. Since the green board is moisture resistant, it may retard the movement of water vapor and thus stay wetter longer and promote mold growth. Without wetness, there will be no significant mold growth.

As Piffin says, rebuild everything correctly to remedy all leaks.

Is it very humid there in the summer? Perhaps a good (Panasonic), properly-ducted bath fan is needed to reduce humidity levels in your bathroom. I don't imagine there's much call for central AC in Alaska. If the air in the bathroom is dry, the toilet won't sweat so much. I like to put a timer on bath fans to encourage folks to use them.

But, I must say, all this common-sense advice is so 20th-Century. Couldn't you just get your insurance company to condemn the house because of all this deadly fungus? You could have a brand-spanking new home and we could all pay higher premiums next year!

Al Mollitor, Sharon MA