dry rot and mold

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by starrider, May 14, 2006.

  1. May 14, 2006 #1

    starrider

    starrider

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    Hello guys...This is my first thread here. Here's the problem. I just aquired a new old 80 year old house. I feel it's like an old car given a quick cheap paint job...

    I bought it as is and relied on the seller's termite report...big mistake...as i have reason to suspect there is more work than indicated.

    If i leave and come back after a few days ....i have to open the windows in one part of the house to eliviate the smell...

    Looking for someone you can trust to fix it is my concern...Two thirds of the house is covered in stucco...and the rest old wood siding.

    I figure i have to get another termite inspection...and then decide whether to let the termite co. do the work or find a contractor to do it.

    So one question is which would do a more thorough job?

    ps...the interior looks great as most of it has been sheet rocked.

    Thanks in advance for your replies...Starrider
     
  2. May 15, 2006 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Been away for a while but I would still check in,As for the new guy? Welcome aboard... the answer to your question...hmmmm.
    My opinion as all of you know is to get a qualified home inspection from a good inspector. Do some research , ask your local chamber of commerce or check out the orginazation I belong to at www.Ashi.org for your nearest unbiased opinion. inspector.You can also check for a good contractor from the chamber or BBB. (remember they are not un-biased at this point ,they want the job.)You should get a couple of questions ready for the inspectors to guage what they are like,my opinion is stay away from the bigger companies. Local boy's are best, and find someone with an antiquehome background.;)
    Good luck in you quest.....
    InspectorD
     
  3. May 15, 2006 #3

    starrider

    starrider

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    Thanks InspectorD!.....i appreciate your reply...and will look for another inspector.

    Yes another inspector...before i signed on the dotted line...my agent assisted me in getting an inspection who went through the house in about an hour...wrote up some document showing he had inspected said property.

    This was done at the same time of the standard walk through...And although i wanted to visit and inspect the premises while it was still in escrow...my agent advise me not too. I can't help but wonder if he wanted to make sure i wouldn't change my mind if i had a closer look?

    However after moving in ... my new next store neighbor showed me a one 2x8 joist in the ceiling that was rotted near were it meets a wall. This was remedied by sistering a section of 2x8.

    Another thing that was not mention in any reports was that the foundation was crumbling...I have gone through about 8 quarts of cement patching the foundation.

    None of the above things were mention on any report of any kind...

    However i think the old house is really a beautiful house...and unique for the neighborhood...Right now ...all i want to do is need to make it right...I have straightened out the electrical...It is a 1920s house with the old nob and tube wiring...

    Your advice appreciated...thanks Starrider
     
  4. May 15, 2006 #4

    asbestos

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    Sounds like your real estate agent is about as honest as. . . Well not honest at all. Gather up all your records and try and fill in any details you can.
     
  5. May 15, 2006 #5

    starrider

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    Yes a hefty commission ...will do it. It's been two years now since the sale. One thing that sticks to mind is when the home inspector was done with his inspection and was leaving...the seller's agent commented to him..."i owe you one."

    With regard to the smell i wrote about earlier...my wife recalls the windows were open at the time of the signing...and the heater was turn way up...hence no smells or any sort.
     
  6. May 15, 2006 #6

    woodworkingmenace

    woodworkingmenace

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    WHOA! Big question mark on THAT one! Window up while heater on...hmmm

    A buddy of mine had a VA loan approved, "supposively" a home inspection...but, was some kind of assesment.. So much termite damage that he was screwed from the word GO!

    He couldnt do a thing about it, because he "signed off" on it, with out even knowing it... So, no one is really honest when they want to make a buck.

    Oh, about those contractors at the BBB... my Buddy was contacted by them, (he is an independent contractors for LOWES), and they were willing to list him if he paid 600 bucks a year to get "one the list"... They didnt investigate him, or anything, just wanted him to pay for an upfront listing, so that they would "promote" him... I laughed when he told me that one... Since your supposed to think that the BBB is looking out for your interest. I would never use them, knowing what I know now. I would get people who live around the neighborhood and see who THEY use! (Of course, you get some that are so picky that they hate everything that anyone would do, and cant be satisfied with a 100 car funeral either)...

    Crumbling foundation? Lots of water damage there...Could be a sandstone block foundation or other soft rock, maybe cinderblock instead of concrete blocks?

    Wet foundation will bring in mold. Termites. Also, if your floor joists are the type that "go into the foundation", as some old constructions are, then your in real trouble...

    Get some Diazanon Plus from your local hardware store, (concentrate, and makes 60 gallons), and whip up a batch of it, and pour around your foundation for the termites... Yep, it WILL kill just about any critter around, and even those not around if it gets in the food chain! So, watch it. (I personally used it, and kept those varmits away for about 5 years now, time for another treatment). Oh, if you have fruit trees, or vegetable garden, dont do it then, highly toxic...(they say you can, but, when I read that it kills just about every bug known to man, it aint goin in my tomatoes!).

    Dehumidify the basement with a dehumidifer running all the time, to forstall any further decay of the foundation. (It will dry out some of it, wicking the moisture from the rocks).

    Make sure you dont have your washer and dryer in the basement, to further put moisture down there... (I have that problem now, but will soon be remedied).

    Make sure all ground is sloped away from your foundation. All gutters and downspouts are cleaned. French drains operating properly. Cracks and crevesis are sealed and grouted.

    Also, get some air down there, forced air if neccesary, (hope you have a window in the basement?). Or, just turn on the blower to the furnace and keep the vents open, so that you will force air to dry the place out. The dryer it is, the better it is. Termites need moisture, (its why they make those little mud trails up the walls, to keep moisture in at all times).

    Ok, my two cents for what its worth, and a wee bit extra for the collection plate...

    Jesse
     
  7. May 16, 2006 #7

    starrider

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    Thanks Jesse...

    The joist is a ceiling joist that hold up the second floor. The house is about one mile from the ocean ...so there is a lot of moisture in the air. As far as drainage from the foundation...the top soil comes up to the stucco on the outside...me thinks...i better get a shovel and dig to see what is going on...
     
  8. May 17, 2006 #8

    starrider

    starrider

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    Another question.......

    On a 4x4 post which is part of the (outside) railing on the balcony...it looks a little eaten with rot in one place...since it is not significant as far as important support purposes.....I was wondering if i could brush in in Jasco and later come back and fill in with 'fix-all'...bondo like plaster???

    Thanks again Starrider
     
  9. May 18, 2006 #9

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Give the post a good kick first...Then you know if it will support any lean against loads that come up. You know...like that really large relative that stops by to admire your yard while all their weight is on the railing.
    Then if it holds up, yes a little bondo works fine .
    For a little while.;)
    Keep tabs on the deck connections to the house also since there is so much rot going on.
    Don't forget to get that unbiased opinion. :D
     
  10. May 18, 2006 #10

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    Now I would never advocate violence.
    This home inspector is a crook, both real estate agents are probably theves also. I guess since it was 2 years ago you may be SOL but I would think about talking to a lawyer. You very well may be entitled to compensation. I am a firm beliver in hassling people like this. One reason people act like that is because they can. A nasty :mad: :mad: letter from an agressive:mad: even ruthless lawyer may give them pause, and give you $$$
    As far as a fix. You need to look systemicaly at this house. it sounds like it is a fundemental problem. a good contractor or good building inspector (with cert ICBO) can help find out exactly what is and has happened.
     
  11. May 18, 2006 #11

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    I would look into various things before dumping Love Canal levels of Diazonon around the house. you may want to talk to a good bug guy
     
  12. May 18, 2006 #12

    starrider

    starrider

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    Thanks for Asbestos for your reply again.....

    This thought has crossed my mind...we'll get another inspection first to see what the real extent of repairs needed...this would be good for an atorney to have as well as getting the place fixed...
     
  13. May 19, 2006 #13

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    :) remember you can always fix it. given of course enough time and money. sometimes big problems have simple answers.
     
  14. May 20, 2006 #14

    starrider

    starrider

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    Asbestos.....
    Yes time and money...In this city...ALL the houses were build in the 1920s to 50s. And real estate comes at a premium price here...Most of all the houses here are in a constant state of repair...being a harbor city.

    Why did i buy here?...the OL wanted to live here. So i am going to fix it....

    Another question:...What materials are less prone to termite...and dry rot???
    Inotherwords are there plywood...2x4 studs...that are chemically treated...

    If the stucco has to be torned off to replace the rot...i would wanted wood materials that would be more impervious to damage...

    I know in some cases people have just demolished a building to rebuild a new one...lol. I am not in a position to to that...

    So my thought is if i were a boat builder...what kinds of wood could be use to better withstand the moisture and rot?

    Thanks your replies appreciated...Starrider
     
  15. May 21, 2006 #15

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    there are some compounds that you can treat wood with ahead of time. I think 'timbor' is one. google that. Treated wood is used in HI where they have super agrresive termites. Don't know what the codes say about that here.
     
  16. May 27, 2006 #16

    starrider

    starrider

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    Another question.....i was thinking of calling a 'mold/house' inspector. He would inspect the house for mold and also do a house inspection.....

    However after talking to another realtor...she advised me NOT to call the men in "white coats" to do the mold inspection but rather just get another termite inspection first and if after the termite guys thought mold was present ...then call the mold specialist.

    I asked why???.....in so many words i gather she was telling me that if i got a mold inspection specialist...it would put a stigma on the house should i want to sell it in the future...( i think that was what she was saying)...

    However she then went on to say that she knew of someone who had a dead cat that rotted under her house...that cause that person to become very ill.

    My wife thinks i am just nick picking...

    Your input appreciated thanks again...Starrider
     
  17. May 28, 2006 #17

    starrider

    starrider

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    Hi Guys...

    Another question...

    Is there a way to find out if a property has had a 'mold' issue in the past?
    As the new owner to the above mention property...no mention of mold was mention.....As you know disclosure disclosure disclosure is important.

    Thanks Starrider
     
  18. May 29, 2006 #18

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    That is why your agent was not sure you should get the test. you test for mold and it comes back positive. you have to disclose. you don't test and you can say "I don't know"
     
  19. May 29, 2006 #19

    starrider

    starrider

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    Thanks Asbestos and Everyone.....really appreciate your input/responses...

    Starrider
     
  20. May 29, 2006 #20

    starrider

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    Another question.....On one wall where there is a water leak comming inside thus causing the floor to have a black stain creeping out an inch and running along the floor board...on the hardwood floor(inside).

    This is the room where the smell is quite strong!

    My question is while i am waiting for repairs...would it be ok to hit that black stain with bleach? I know this might only be a temporary solution...as i have learned from all of you that the water leaks have to be eliminated...or the problem will just come back...

    Also was thinking perhaps of brushing on some Jasco...however i have heard that Jasco... according to the building code...can only be used outside as it is very toxic...i assume?

    Back to the wall leaking water...Not sure where the water is comming from?...could be from the roof...from rain water running down the side boards and seeping inside on to the floor....or it could be from the deck that is attached outside to the wall...if the flashing along the wall is not adequate?

    Again your advice appreciated...Starrider
     

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