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Old 08-12-2018, 07:15 PM   #1
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Black mold spot found during carpet removal!

Hi everyone,

We bought a 2003 Holiday Rambler - Class C - 31’. No visible leaks or signs of water damage - until we took the carpet up. Seems there was a leak at some point under the shower. The area is mostly dry by now, but left behind is a big patch of black mold that starts where it pooled and extends across the floor in a small strip where it meets the wall. The main patch is about a foot wide by a foot long. The part where it ran along the wall is another 3 feet. SEE PHOTOS.

1. How do I fix this properly? I do not have the money to hire someone. We sprayed the mold with some type of mold killer and tea tree oil. 2. What is the best way to remove the wood without damaging pipes or wires underneath? 3. Do I need to take the wall apart?

Not even sure what else to ask.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:41 PM   #2
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Is the black area of the wood sound? If so and the wood is dry and the mold has been killed I'd leave it alone.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:54 PM   #3
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If the floor is "mostly dry" then you still have a Petri dish for mold growth.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:38 AM   #4
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Best thing for mold is to spray with straight bleach. I would spray it several times over a couple of days. Try to get a view of the underside to see if it is just on the surface. You cold even use something like a worm inflator or turkey baster syringe and get up under the wall with bleach.

If the wood is still intact, I would make sure everything is dry and the leak has been fixed. Once it's dry, use some sealer and paint over the mold to prevent air contamination. Repair the carpet and enjoy the RV.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:40 AM   #5
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Soft Wood

The wood is soft where it meets the wall, which is what makes me think it is inside the wall, maybe by a few inches. Getting bleach into that area should do the trick, I think, but most research I’ve done says to cut that area out of the RV, and fit a new piece of wood into it. I would mostly be concerned with cutting through the wood too far and damaging wires or pipes underneath. Secondly, the water had come from a pipe under the shower, which is behind where you see the plug hanging down. In order to get ALL the wood out that has mold, I’d have to take that wall apart. I really don’t want to have to do that. Perhaps bleaching that area under the shower would work, but I think I’ve got to cut out that wood you see in the photos.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:50 AM   #6
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Bleach kills the mold. However, dead mold spores, if they get airborne, are still bad for you. So if you are going to kill the mold with bleach it is also important to encapsulate it with something like paint or seal it behind a well sealed wall. Best to remove it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:10 AM   #7
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With the carpet out, see if the area gets wet when it rains, when you take a shower, when you wash the exterior. If yes, then first step is fix the leak.

Once you are satisfied that the leak doesn't exist, then if the wood is solid, I would leave it alone. Bleach it to kill anything live. Let it air dry for days.

Prime it with Zinser (spelling wrong) quality wood primer as a barrier.

If the wood is at all flimsy, then cut it out and replace. This need makes the job a much bigger job so only if it's really necessary. From your pics, I doubt this is needed. Certainly use some caution where wires / pipes are. Take note on where supports are that are needed to support the replacement board. For example, make the cut on the middle of a support so the support will keep both the old good flooring and the new good flooring suspended. Sometimes that means you end up replacing more flooring than what is soft. Inspect what's below to note where wires / pipes / supports are underneath.

I use a "Fein" blade (reciprocating saw) to get into tight spots where a circular saw / jig saw can't reach. If you use a circular saw, set blade depth to the thickness of the old flooring to minimize cutting something lower. Sometimes, I cut just shy of all the way through, and use the Fein blade to finish the cut as it has more control.

Hard to give you any more tips because every situation is unique. Ideally try to keep the old panel so you can use that as a template for the new wood. Replace with same thickness wood so you don't have to worry about transitioning for floor coverings.

Glue / screw the new wood into place. Use construction adhesive especially on the edges to weathertight the connection from old to new wood. Smear some across the joints too.

Put new floor covering in.

Enjoy.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Best thing for mold is to spray with straight bleach. I would spray it several times over a couple of days. Try to get a view of the underside to see if it is just on the surface. You cold even use something like a worm inflator or turkey baster syringe and get up under the wall with bleach.

If the wood is still intact, I would make sure everything is dry and the leak has been fixed. Once it's dry, use some sealer and paint over the mold to prevent air contamination. Repair the carpet and enjoy the RV.

I don't even want to know....
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:25 AM   #9
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You can drill a small hole to see how thick the wood flooring is. I suggest cutting it out. The actual mold and damage is usually far more than what you see on the surface.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:42 PM   #10
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Cutting that section out will be problematic. The problem would be, trying to support a small piece of replacement wood, since you most likely won't catch enough framing in that area to support the edges.

As I suggested, I would bleach it, dry it out and paint it. Drill a couple 3/8" holes in the wood, and then use some foam insulation. Inject it into the holes you drilled and let it fill the subfloor, reinforcing the wood. Once the foam has dried, take a piece of sheet metal from Home Depot (maybe 2' x 2') and slip it under the wall, into the corners, as far as you can and then screw it to the floor in several places. The sheet metal and foam will reinforce the soft spot. Cover it up with carpet and forget about it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:39 PM   #11
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Yup, What DSD said.
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