Insulation help , Mold Questions , Long post !


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Old 07-30-14, 02:09 PM
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Insulation help , Mold Questions , Long post !

It's a long post but i prefer to list any info or conditions possible as well as my skill level .

Hi guy's my name is Mike & i recently retired from Roofers/Waterproofers union where i was made Journeyman back in 1984 , i also hold a card in architectural sheet metal & am a licensed heavy equipment operator where i operated cranes , skytraks & lull trucks & most ariel lifting devices & im here now for help , im also a fair carpenter & can do light electrical & plumbing .

My questions are regarding mold growth inside EXTERIOR walls stemming from condensation , any condensation in the walls would have been caused by heating the home via electric space heaters , the prior owner used them because Bob Villa's stupid self convinced him that running them saves money , for 5 yrs i know of the prior owner never used the HVAC system & relied soley on big space heaters .

He told me that the interior sides of the exterior walls would frequently be damp & sometimes have condensation build up behind wall hanging items such as pictures , he also told me the interior side of the walls would be cold to the touch in winter months , the windows are double payne type & would also collect condensation in the winter .

I recently bought the home & while i was prepping the home for exterior paint last week i noticed 2 spots of mold bleeding thru the paint , the spots are located about in the middle ( Height ) of the exterior wall of the home , all exterior walls are not insulated & are wood clapboard siding , the attic is insulated with approx 2 inches of closed cell insulation , the attic is vented via metal ridge vent , can vents , soffit vents ( Not plugged with insulation ) & 2 gable vents , i also found a spot of mold bleeding thru another exterior wall behind where the kitchen counter used to be , this spot is on the inside of an exterior wall & one more spot on the ceiling very near the corner of wall & ceiling .

I plan on reselling the home after renovations are done & had planned on having blown insulation installed in all exterior walls , but now that ive seen mold im worried about the added insulation allowing the mold to grow further so cellulose type is out , would a closed or open cell expandable type insulation kill off any mold allready present within the exterior walls by eleminating it's water source ? , or would the mold continue to grow even after the application of the foam ?.

I truly do not want to rip into any wall if i dont have to but at the same time my conscience wont allow me to cover up a problem that could very well become a nightmare for the new home owners , mold is a tricky subject & certian types can make people i'll or lead to death so im hoping having a closed cell foam sprayed into the exterior wall cavities will correct the situation of new mold growth , and kill off any current mold .

Whats your thoughts guys ? Is there a certian type or brand insulation that will kill any mold allready within the walls ? Im leaning twords thinking the install of a good closed cell foam will both KILL & prevent active & future mold growth , if not any suggestions how to proceed without tearing out all the interior sides of the plaster & lath walls , im only looking at about $15,000 profit after renovations so a big interior demo will kill the budget, keep in mind i prefer to sell a healthy home & not cover up problems , especially mold so if i have to break even with zero profit i will but im hoping the closed cell foam will correct the problem.

Thanks for any help you can offer .
 
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Old 07-30-14, 02:40 PM
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Mold is a difficult field to find an expert who would stick his/her neck out to offer a solution over the internet. I'm certainly not a pro on the topic, so consider my discussion for what it is, opinion.

First we had a while back a pro who had worked the Katrina disaster (he may still be here) and his comments were all homes had to be stripped to the bone, power washed, then treated to encapsulate the mold. The mold isn't just in side the cavities, it is inside the wood and must be sealed in place.

For your problem, you are now responsible for any mold related health problems or financial losses down the road unless you can provide documentation that the problem was fixed by qualified professionals (that shifts the liability to them and off of you). I have never heard of a product you are asking about, a foam that would guarantee no mold issues down the road.

I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but the mic is still open so let's see if any of the pros have any better solutions.

PS, have you looked inside any of the walls to see if your speculation is really that bad?

Bud
 
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Old 07-30-14, 04:39 PM
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I haven't opened up the walls mainly because of the beautiful pattern within the plaster , it's a custom job with very precise patterns , ive been in the bldg tades since the late 70's & have never seen a pattern so complex & unique , once removed there'd be no way i could effect repair that wasn't highly noticeable , i have a friend who's a plasterer & he thinks rubber molds were used & he cant replicate the pattern without knowing how it was applied .

I know that ozone is used in commercial applications to kill mold but i doubt it pertains to mold inside walls , i was thinking the closed cell foam would stop the condensation & allow the mold to dry & die , without moisture i was hoping the mold would become inert & the foam would encapsulate any exisisting mold .
 
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Old 07-30-14, 06:48 PM
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I hear your thinking, but if someone down the road has an issue with mold and they determine you buried it in foam as opposed to having it treated properly, your explanation will not be sufficient.

The question about opening a wall somewhere is your opportunity to perhaps discover there is little or no mold in the walls. A closet or pantry where it could be repaired and not be an issue.

If it is a disaster inside those walls, you have no choice but to have it done correctly. You might be able to seek recourse against the former owner if you determine he knew about the mold issue and did not disclose that fact with the sale.

Bud
 
 

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