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How Water Turns to Mold

Updated on June 19, 2013
A bottom plate rotted out from water penetration.
A bottom plate rotted out from water penetration. | Source
The backside of removed drywall.
The backside of removed drywall. | Source

This is what happens when you go to perform a simple plaster and painting project because of some MINOR water damage. Upon initial inspection of this project, the wall paper was pealing and some surface mold was visible. The leak on the roof had long since been repaired and it was assumed that the mold could be cleaned off and the drywall simply primed, plastered where necessary, and painted. The rotted sill plate that you see above was only discovered from the removal of the baseboard at the corner of the door. The water had been leaking down the framing cavity where it would sit on the sill plate and work its way onto other parts of the framing. The sill plate has taken a great deal of water damage. However, this is not the major issue with this area. The water has also penetrated the subfoor that is supposed to be under the sill plate so the area that the door is sitting on has a 1 1/2 inch structural bearing; not enough to support a 6 foot wide french door. On top of all of this, the granite tile is cracked on the edges where the door has dropped and the rim joist where the door is bearing is completely rotten and needs to be replaced. All of this from a leak that was less than 1/2 inch thick and 12 inches wide.

Incurred Costs

The initial painting and plastering project was a $500 project. This covered removal of the surface mold, painting and priming, and some re-texturing of the walls and ceiling. The project now has turned into the following: Removal of all the drywall on the door wall, replacement of the rotted framing, replacement of the moldy insulation, replacement of the rotted double door, fixing the cracked tile, and bringing everything to a finished state. The new total is $5,230.

Remember this as you start to see signs of water damage. These are usually signs of much larger problems that are happening and have been happening for some time. It is also important to protect your health and the health of your family by addressing mold issues immediately. If your current contractor cannot or will not solve the problem, find someone who can and is willing to investigate the issues further. These people were completely blindsided by this issue, but had no choice but to fix it. Had it been addressed 5 years ago when they first started noticing water stains, the costs would have been minimized substantially and there would not have been the severe mold problem that currently existed prior to the removal of the drywall and insulation.

More hidden mold.
More hidden mold. | Source


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    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Water is one of the most damaging forces on earth. After all, it carved out the Grand Canyon. I have found that, as far as my home is concerned, there rarely is such a thing as MINOR water damage!