Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Walls and Ceilings
Reload this Page >

Where to break into wall to check for mold?

Where to break into wall to check for mold?

Old 11-02-12, 07:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 6
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Where to break into wall to check for mold?

Just moved into a 90-year-old bldg and noticed immediately a bad smell coming from bathroom. Last tenant didn't clean well. Landlord came and said tiles on wall of tub area needed to be re-grouted and did that.

My question is about walls. Please read on:

Someone sealed right over "black stuff" on tile grout along upper perimeter of tub and sink (photos). I also noticed grout on other bathroom walls looks darkened (photos). I bleached it 3 times at LL's request knowing it wouldn't take care of the root problem. At least my bathroom is cleaner.

BUT -- when I am in the next room (living room), I smell a bad odor there that is different. I think it's coming from the bathroom somehow. It's almost like a dead animal smell but not as strong as a rat I smelled years ago that was in the process of dying in a wall. My first instinct was wall mold in the wall between the bathroom and living room. I am moderately sensitive to indoor air quality problems and have been coughing a little, had a runny nose for a few days, my chest hurts, and I wheeze when sitting on couch near that wall.

I don't smell it in the other rooms.

Landlord says he will open wall up to show me there's no mold. Would this be a waste of time? If not, where would I want him to break the wall? Tiles extend halfway up all walls in bathroom.

Thanks for any help, guys....
Attached Images      
Old 11-05-12, 05:08 PM
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
We really could have used some wide angled photos. Is the top pic rotated 90 degrees? Are you in a single family home or an apartment? If you think that there was a leak, do you see any other signs of it below the bathroom? If you don't think there was a leak, where you do think the moisture originated?
Old 11-09-12, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Greetings, You have an adjoining inside wall to the bathroom where you smell the odor I would think based on your post.

I would recommend the method I use when doing remodeling jobs.

1. Take a 2" hole saw and cutout a hole on the back of the wall from the adjoing room with the bathroom. Using a holesaw will give you a perfect replacement piece that will easily be used to patch the hole you made. You want the hole to be low to the floor, preferably behind the baseboard. Make sure you were a mask filter of some type as you cut.

2. Take a flashlight and inspection mirror and you should be able to see any mold on the bathroom side of the wall. SHould there be mold it will most likely also be on the backside of the drywall plug you cut out so gloves would be a good idea as well.

3. Should there be signs of mold on the back of the plug or on the inside of the wall stop what you are doing and immediately cover the hole with plastic.

4. Call a professional to check the situation out, and by that I mean a mold mitigation specialist.


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: