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DIY’er - redoing baseboards found black mold

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Lastanl

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hi everyone, new to this forum and new to diy. Just bought a condo and started to do some remodeling... unfortunately found black mold behind the baseboards. It is considered a basement unit so the floor is concrete. I was planning on putting new baseboard and new vinyl flooring but now ran into this issue. I’ve attached a few picture for reference. Any advice would be extremely helpful.
 

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joecaption

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You have some big issues going on there!
Likely most of the issue causing this is on the outside.
If a HOA is involved they need to be advised.
All this should have been picked up on a home inspection, since the mold was above the baseboards.
Any repairs will be useless unless the outside issues are addressed.
 

havasu

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Get the mold tested immediately to determine if that is the deadly mold.
 

Bob Reynolds

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The first thing that I would do, is cut all of the drywall out from the bottom of the wall up to a distance of about 5 inches. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES. That will allow you to see what is going on. If the mold is contained in just that area, then it can be treated and you can put a baseboard back on without having to replace the drywall. That would be your best scenario.

If you cut the drywall and the mold has spread past the 5 inch area, then you will need to cut the drywall from the bottom up to a level about 8 inches above where the mold stops. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES. The area will need to be dried out and treated.

It is important that you determine the source of the mold. Is it from an outside wall leaking in? It is a broken water or sewer pipe? Is it coming from the HVAC system? Did an appliance overflow? It's got to be one of those. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES. You must stop the intrusion and not just cover it back up.

This could be your problem. It could be your HOA's problem. It's going to depend upon the size of your condo project and if the water is coming from inside or outside of your unit. Generally the bigger the development--the more likely the HOA will have the responsibility for the repairs. On the other hand, the smaller the development--the more likely you will be on the hook for the repairs.

The reason you must take lots of pictures is because insurance might become involved here and you will need to be able to prove what has happened. Without the proper proof the insurance company could deny the claim.
 
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Lastanl

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thank you, Bob. Your input is highly appreciated and noted. I will start by cutting out 5inch segments and check behind the drywall. the current drywall is very firm where the trouble area are so i believe it might be just on the surface area of the 3-4inch baseboards. finger crossed as I am not that handy as I just started picking up on DIYs here and there. Hopefully it is, also I was recommended by a friend to possibly paint the entire floor of my condo with drylock -- is that something I should seriously consider?
 

Lastanl

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You have some big issues going on there!
Likely most of the issue causing this is on the outside.
If a HOA is involved they need to be advised.
All this should have been picked up on a home inspection, since the mold was above the baseboards.
Any repairs will be useless unless the outside issues are addressed.
Hi Joe, The mold didn't became apparent until after I removed the baseboard. I will try per advice from Bob to see if it's behind the wall or not and raise awareness to the HOA if the underlying issue is beyond the surface of the drywall
 

Bob Reynolds

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thank you, Bob. Your input is highly appreciated and noted. I will start by cutting out 5inch segments and check behind the drywall. the current drywall is very firm where the trouble area are so i believe it might be just on the surface area of the 3-4inch baseboards. finger crossed as I am not that handy as I just started picking up on DIYs here and there. Hopefully it is, also I was recommended by a friend to possibly paint the entire floor of my condo with drylock -- is that something I should seriously consider?
I believe painting the floor is a separate issue.

I would figure out what's causing this first.

You probably should also get a moisture meter and see what your readings are. I use this one which is $34 on Amazon: Amazon.com

This will allow you to pinpoint where the excessive moisture is.
 

tomtheelder2020

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I disagree with getting the mold tested. I did a lot of research on this about 10 years ago when a pest control inspection found a small amount of mold in my mother's house. A mold species that affects my health may have no affect on you - and vice versa. The bottom line is that ALL mold should be treated the same - remove the mold and repair the cause so it does not recur. Since knowing the species will not change the actions you take, all the testing does is add an expense and create a record that might depress your home's value. Don't rely on bleach or something else to kill the mold and then cover it up - spoors are likely to survive.
 

Bob Reynolds

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Tom is 100% spot on. I deal with mold on a regular basis. All the reports tell you is that you have different types of mold and compare the inside readings to the outside readings. They don't tell you if it is dangerous or if you should leave your home. It's a $500 expense that really is not necessary in many cases. The key is to get rid of mold by eliminating the source and stop the mold from coming back. Sometimes I will order a test to make sure that we have gotten rid of all of the mold.

That does not mean you should ignore it or sweep it under the rug. Mold can be a serious issue. I have gone into many homes with a strong mold odor and I have always advised the occupants to leave the premises until the mold issue is dealt with. You do not want to be breathing mold. It can be dangerous.

I don't have mold testing equipment. But if I can smell it when I walk in the door, then it is usually a big problem. On the other hand, if it is in a closet or small room, then I want to seal off that closet or small room so that it does not spread though out the house. That way the occupants do not need to move out.

Most people don't realize that mold spores will get into the HVAC system and spread those spores thoughout the dwelling. Then you breath this contaminated air as your home gets more and more contaminated.

The OP will be able to determine how much of a problem he has when he removes the bottom 5 inches of the drywall. Wear a mask and bag what you remove as you go along.
 
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