Advice? Mold damage from incorrectly installed windows

mkeisterJanuary 21, 2006

Hi Y'all. I posted on the windows forum too. Wasn't sure the best place to post! We need advice on mold damage due to a contractor's negligence.

We had a few windows replaced in the fall, and recently started smelling mold from the windows. We noticed that the interior wood trim had pulled away from the window, and teh smell was coming from there. We called our contractor, and the next day it rained and water was coming into our house! Long story short, the contractor came out, said that the caulk on teh outside of the house had cracked all teh way around the window and that the caulk was low quality. He started pulling insulation out of teh window, and it was soaking wet - like a sopping wet sponge in our walls! He said he removed the wet insulation, and we'd let it dry out for a couple days. It really smells moldy, and we can see some wood that has black-colored mold on it. We're pretty unhappy.

So, to what extent would you go to determine the amount of mold damage and correct it? Do we take down drywall to see the inside of our walls? What is the limit to what the contractor is responsible for fixing? Is it reasonable to expect the moldy area to dry out and die?

Thanks for your advice!


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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Here's a link to an article I found when I Googled "mold damage". Unfortunately, you have a long, difficult row to hoe. And it appears that speed is the big key in stopping mold. The articles I read said even a week is a long time to get a handle on mold growth. What a bummer.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Correcting mold damage

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 9:40AM
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You need to get all wet junk out of the walls- pronto. The spore colonies will double every 24 hours I am told. Some of these molds can produce toxins that cause you harm. This guy should be held responsible for the clean up of all wet building material and the cost to fix the window leaks. YOu may want professional help and direction with this issue.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 11:41PM
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The walls have to be opened all the way done to the studs. A mold company will have to be called.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 12:38PM
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The above posters are correct.

I would first contact an attorney. The expense you are about to incur is extreme and it is highly unlikely that your contractor is just going to pay it. Make sure that you don't lose your right to file a lawsuit by making a mistake - only an attorney in your state can make sure that you proceed in the best possible way in case the matter ends up in court. It should only cost an hour of an attorney's time to get an outline of what steps you need to take.

As far as correcting the problem, you will need to call a mold remediator. There are many, many bad mold companies out there, so beware. Based upon my own experience and what I have learned from others who have also lived this kind of nightmare - you will need to remove all of the siding/stucco/brick/whatever, remove and reinstall the windows (correctly), remove and replace moldy or rotted studs (unless a structural engineer deems them sound), remove and replace drywall, subfloor, etc. until all of the damaged materials are gone. You may need to have your HVAC ducts cleaned as well.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY! If you even call your insurance company they will report that your house has mold and you may lose your coverage. A house black listed by mold can have problems being sold because the buyers cannot obtain insurance on that property (CLUE databases track problems by address, not necessarily the owner).

You have a long, uphill battle ahead of you. I urge you not to just cover it up and sell without disclosure. You could end up getting sued.

Here is a website of someone who recently went through a situation much like yours:

Here is a link that might be useful: Correction of moldy/rotted new house

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 6:12PM
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