Hidden mold behind bathroom tile: this document gives advice on how to find, test for, remove & prevent mold in marble tiled bathrooms, including mold found on bath tiles, moldy tile grout, moldy caulk, and hidden bathroom mold.
We describe an inspection procedure that helps recognize when there may be serious water, rot, or mold damage hidden behind ceramic or marble bathroom tile.
We discuss how to decide when invasive or destructive methods are actually justified.
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Following a major mold remediation project and after all mold demolition and cleaning had been completed (or so we thought), we inspected the bathroom shown in the photographs below. The bathroom floor and walls were covered with marble tiles and we all thought that it was unlikely that the surfaces behind that material had gotten wet even though we knew that water had been on the bathroom floor.
A peep below the cast iron heating baseboard told a different story however. The tile had not been installed to floor level - the heating baseboard had been mounted on drywall. We could see a half-inch of black and green mold in a little gap below the baseboard.
The question was, is this trivial or do we need to destroy the marble to inspect and clean a large mold reservoir. The owner was a builder who was not intimidated by hammering off and replacing marble tiles. We would have carefully removed some tiles to inspect for water damage but the builder went to work with a hammer and a vengeance.
The photographs show that considerable areas of the wall cavity had indeed become wet, wetting wall insulation as well as drywall, leading to a large area of moldy drywall and moldy wall insulation. The mold was a mix of Stachybotrys chartarum and Aspergillus sp.
How much of a health risk would this mold have been to future building occupants? Perhaps not much as there was probably little air movement through the marble-covered surfaces. But the possibility of a growing mold problem associated with a large inoculated area of building cavity mold led the builder to demolish, clean, and repair these areas before the rest of the building restoration was completed.
Watch out: in most circumstances it is not necessary to test mold to identify the genera species. That information will not change how mold should be removed or prevented in buildings. But on occasion, such as for medical reasons or for control of a larger, costly mold remediation project, there are reasons (MOLD TEST REASONS) to identify mold on surfaces or in building air or dust.
Continue reading at MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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