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Mold, Rot, and Remodeling

Check out these “before” shots from my personal house that I remodeled last year. I had no idea that I was about to find a HUGE mold issue in this house until we started on the demo. The photos aren’t in good order, but you can generally see what’s going on. As best as I can understand there was a long-term leak at the soap dish in the master bath tub that probably went many years undetected. The tile was adhered directly to drywall (not sure if it was “moisture resistant” greenboard) and the paper on the drywall really molded up. One of the photos shows my Leatherman knife sunk 3″ into the stud. My crew had to basically reframe that entire exterior wall on the house. The rot made it all the way through to the exterior siding. There’s a few take home tips from this experience. One, never underestimate the damage from a “minor” water leak. Our houses today are very unforgiving and we must build with water intrusion as our #1 enemy for durability. Two, never use a paper faced drywall for a tile backer. There are tons of great cement based or fiberglass faced tile backers out there. Green board is not an acceptable tile backer. Lastly, mold is not your friend and always take steps to remediate any mold you find during a remodel. There are some fantastic remediation product at the home centers these days but if there’s any rot it’s gotta be replaced altogether. -Matt Risinger