new home construction (mold)!!!

Arceneaux83July 13, 2012

My wife and I are having our first home built and everything thing has been going smoothly until this week. It started Friday, our home had walls with siding up before the roof was put on. Well it rained Sunday and it was enough to put about 1-3 in. of water in some spots upstairs. Monday the roof was put on and shingled with the water still on the floor. We checked the house everyday to see if anything had been done about the water but nothing. Thursday, the water is down (soaked into the wood) and now we're noticing what we think is mold. Not in just a few spots everywhere! We can't tell if its a serious problem or not. As far as the floor goes we are requesting that it be replaced. Please tell me what you think. I could only upload one picture

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More Pics.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Not a big deal at all. Once it's dried in, it will be fine. ALL houses constructed everywhere have a bit of mold on the framing until it's dried in and dried up.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:56PM
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First of all, I also don't think it's a big deal because it'll go away after it's dried in (maybe you can kill the mold with bleach before).

But, that's a LOT of mold for a short rain event. I had some wood framing out in the elements for more than 6 months and while the wood got a grey patina (like a wood fence), it for sure didn't grow mold like that...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:16PM
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I agree with the above posts in that there is a lot of mold but it isn't a big deal. A conscientious builder would probably at least clean it for you. The floor is designed to be wet but with a lot of standing water, my builder would usually dry it in some manner.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 4:13AM
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Bleach won't kill the mold. Use peroxide instead. Can be bought at a pool supply place.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:49AM
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"Bleach won't kill the mold. Use peroxide instead. Can be bought at a pool supply place."

Neither ill penetrate into the wood enough to do any good.

Every house is built outside in the weather until they are dried in.

they just about always get rained on.

It is not an issue worth worrying about.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Ditto what everyone else said, also they 'can't' replace the floors. All of the walls are 'on' the floor!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:24AM
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Glad I found this post.

I was walking through our build today and noticed mold on lots of the studs. It's not like the photo above...more like a light green hue and not raised.

So...there is nothing I can do for my peace of mind? How do you get rid of it? How does it just 'go away' with the house drying out? I thought that once mold got a stronghold, not much could be done?

Will it only go away if heat is applied? We live in very cold Alaska so there's not going to be any heat soon. We are shelled in and will do some things this winter but I don't think heat will be soon since we can't do the heat until we do the electrical/plumbing & sheetrock.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Heat isn't the issue with molds... moisture is. The very cold will likely put it into a dormant state too, but mostly if you get a nice dry winter (too cold to be moist), that will also stop it in its tracks (until it gets wet).

Mold/mildew is a part of nature. There are all kinds of things living all kinds of places...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Thanks, kirkhall.

So...if it's going to stay in the wood in some form, how do we protect ourselves and keep it from growing once it's covered with a vapor barrier & sheetrock? I hate the thought of mold spores lurking - just waiting for the chance to pop.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:34PM
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melaska - Make sure the framing is dried out before you sheetrock.

If you have to, bring in a heater after the outside sheathing is on and warm it up and dry it out.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Thanks, lazygardens...

Will it be ok if it's dry but the mold still shows? If bleach or peroxide don't work, what would you use? Does the visible mold have to be gone before we can cover it up?


    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:01AM
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I'd remove the visible mold just because. and then spray with a borax solution (inhibits mold growth--this will help keep those spores at bay you are worried about. bleach kills what is there, but you already will have taken care of that with the cold/dry winter. You want something that has lasting inhibitory power).

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Thanks, use bleach to remove the visible mold before spraying with the borax? What solution of bleach should I use? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:40AM
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Water and Spic n Span/TSP is safer for you than bleach for removing the surface mold unless you are trying to make the wood lighter in color.

Alternatively, you can use borax in water to do the job in one step and dry the wood with fans to leave a borax residue. Mist the mold with water before removing it to prevent spreading spores.

Wear an N95 or N100 rated particulate mask like the Moldex 2730N100 series, eye protection, rubber gloves and protective clothing.

I am curious why the contractor is not willing to take responsibility for enclosing a house with standing water in it. Regardless of the degree of damage that resulted there is no excuse for this irresponsible action.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:01AM
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we are in the same boat with the mold and, now that our window sills are not installed yet we have water pouring into the house and all the drywall is up. i'm terrified to know what's going on behind the drywall. we had water coming in beneath the walk-out basement doors yesterday and,with all this rain, i'm sure it's continuing to come in. the mold really concerns me even though i heard the same thing (that once the house is sealed up and dry it will go away). i plan to do a mold test once the exterior doors are installed and the window sills are in place. mold isn't something to mess around with as it can cause neurological damage. let's hope neither of our houses will have issues.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 5:51PM
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I don't have window sills installed yet either but the flashing prevents water intrusion at my house.

I thought the sill is cosmetic and water is taken care of by flashing ?!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:35PM
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"we have water pouring into the house and all the drywall is up."

Someone has really screwed up.

Drywall does not go up untill the house is 'dried in.'



And if you really want mold and mildew to take off, heat the place with some torpedo heaters.

Between the warmth and the huge moisture injection form the heaters you can get mold to grow all over the framing.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Thu, May 2, 13 at 13:52

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Respond immediately to building leaks and floods. This means within 24-48 hours all of the critical steps need to be taken if you want to maximize the chance of avoiding a costly mold cleanup project.

home restoration

Here is a link that might be useful: Rainbow International Monterey

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Very glad to have found this post. We are building a new timber frame house and the basement ceiling is complete - the exposed joists are Douglas Fir, and the ceiling is pine board. This was done as soon as the basement was completed, and then a layer of plywood was nailed overtop of the pine. When you look up from the basement you see exposed Fir beams and a pine ceiling.

Last weekend we had torrential rain (about 60 mm) and the entire basement ceiling was soaked through and dripping. We discovered yesterday that now where the Fir beams meet the pine, there is mold growing (!) and it's spreading over the pine! This mold has grown (and some of it already fuzzy) in one week.

The house is not yet closed in (no roof and still walls missing in some places, as this timber frame is taking a while to install). But what should we do about the mold right now? I'm worried it will destroy the pine in the ceiling as it's not something we can cover over with sheet rock once the house is closed up and dried out.

Our current plan is to:
a) wash visible mold with bleach or borax (I don't want bleach stains on the contrasting red Douglas fir)

b) seal up basement somewhat by sheeting stairway and window openings with plywood and running a commercial dehumidifier. This may not work well since the basement floor is not yet poured and it's still crushed stone.

I've read that the mold problem will take care of itself once the drying process is complete, but I don't want it to leave unsightly marks on my ceiling in the meantime! Help!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 8:45AM
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Just stick with the borax solution. You don't HAVE to use bleach.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 8:36PM
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threeapples - I was just curios if mold end up going away after the house was dried out? I'm in the process of new construction as well and it rained a little. though the sheathing and windows are all installed, it just sub-flooring got wet because the roof was not installed in one area. I see a little black spots of mold but was not sure if it is ok.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:20PM
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We had mold growing in our crawlspace due to inadequate perimeter drains and no vapor barrier on our new construction. We have engineered floor joists which made it a nightmare, but we were advised to do the following and it worked.

1) Do not use torpedo heaters - adds heat and moisture, which mold loves.

2) Do not spray wood down with bleach. It will not work long term and if it is warm and humid, adding more moisture does not help the wood.

3) Mold will go dormant in cooler temperatures and under 70% humidity. Install dehumidifers and keep at 65% for a couple weeks.

3) Keep checking the mold. Once it has turned powdery (this means it has gone dormant and withdrawn from the wood grain), vacuum it up with a hepa vacuum. (We wore those masks with the pink mold cartridges by 3M, tyvek paint suits and goggles.)

4) Apply Fiberlock Shockwave (fungicide and cleaner) in a pesticide sprayer (wear mask with organic vapor cartridges and goggles). Spray down the boards with a dilution of shockwave according to instructions. Spray walls, boards, everything.

5) Lay down vapor barrier - wrap up sides of walls, overlap seams 2 feet Keep space ventilated and dry (crawlspace vents with fans and dehumidifiers).

6) It was optional to apply Fiberlocks IAQ 6100, but it is very expensive, so we tried our luck without applying it. It is a clear mold inhibiting coating. We were told to never use the tinted or white because it immediately sets off new buyers that there is a mold problem.

We also installed new perimeter drains to keep the water out.

Following this advice has worked and we were able to save alot of money. I'm assuming the same thing would work in an above ground setting. Whatever you do, don't install insulation or drywall until the boards are dried out.

If you have a crawlspace mold issue, we received wonderful advice from and went with a system out of SC called Atmox. It has been working now for a year and we have no signs of mold. My husband installed the whole system and we used a dehumidifier from Lowes. It saved alot of money, made sense and is working.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiberlock Shockwave

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 12:53PM
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