MOLD! Would you even bother after seeing this? PICTURES included...

MOLD! Would you even bother after seeing this? PICTURES included...

Here it is. WORST BATHROOM EVER! But...

Would you even spend more of your time on this place after seeing it?
Even if I get in the walls, I know I can't just kill mold with bleach.
And I won't knowingly sell a toxic house.
What would you do?

1) VERY bad self-remodel of bathroom. 10-15 years ago.
2) I'm guessing everything is damaged from bad plumbing.
3) Mold & rotting on every surface. And lots of it.
4) I was told that the mold comes right back soon after scrubbing the walls/ceiling. Sad
5) Siding is missing outside of bathroom. It just rotted & fell off.
6) Rooms next to bathroom have mold - just less.


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Wow, good old duct tape. Some types of mold are extremely dangerous. Can you have a sample tested? The killer type mold would require a hazmat team type of removal. If it is not the real bad type, it may be worth running the numbers including totally gutting the bathroom and remodeling it by someone who can properly deal with mold. They would have to take the rehab far enough to get rid of the mold without exceeding your budget, so plan on the worst case. If it is not into the wood, drywall replacement is not that bad and while the walls are opened up, the plumbing is all accessible. Is there an access door to look under the tub and a basement or crawl space to look at the sub-floor and structure. Depending on how long it has leaked, there may be structural damage to repair as well. Do you have a contractor that could handle structural repairs if necessary? Not a show stopper, just more numbers to run. The numbers should help you decide the next step. Good luck and keep us posted.

Mold can be...

your best friend in negotiations. You can make it out to be worst than it is, thus getting the house for a steal! I would look at mold laws in your state and see what the requirement is before you have to get professionals involved and get a permit, etc. There are tons of do it yourself treatments on the market for small jobs. Your state and city will have mold regulations like so many square feet is allowed as a do it yourself project before you have to call in the Big Boys. I have seen mold that looked like there would be a jungle behind the sheetrock, only to find out is was concentrated in one area and only needed a some wood replacement and mold prevention spray. Of course, in your situation you might want to have a few contractors look at it since it keeps growing back so quickly. You might be sitting on a hidden gem of deal. Let us know what happens.

Press on...

If its just the bathroom

If its just the bathroom ,and the numbers work,Just to be safe I would gut it and reframe the whole bathroom new. I assume it is not an oversized bathroom, so the costs would not be that bad for material. You would have to fix the outside first so the water doesn't ruin your rehabbing. Get the shell done then work on the inside. But the numbers have to work or walk away.
good luck


Where's the hammer....time to go to work!


One other thought would be if there is an exhaust fan in the bathroom, does it exhaust to the outside or just dump the moist air in the attic space. If it does exhaust in the attic, you will want to inspect that area more closely. With a window in there you may not have a fan.


Hi Paul,
It's not too bad. Especially if the numbers all work. Replace the sheetrock and insulation. I would replace the tub area with tile, not big fan of tub enclosures. Use tile inside the window area and trim instead of wood also. If its not a vinyl window, it would be best if it were. Treat all walls with a mildew resistant primer. Without replacing the fixtures. Your looking at 5 to 600.00 in materials. I hope this works out for you. Continued Success........Lubertha



Ask an Expert

Ask your contractor what the wrst case senerio is? In the past I was in construction. You can not see behind th walls. Ask for an estimate with the worst case sernero numbers and a separate estimate with the normal sernero. Use the numbers from the worst case senerio only when coming up with your price or purchase. Then you are covered with the contractor. If it turns out to be a normal situation that is bonus in your pocket.


Hi Paul,

I find it worrisome that you mention rotting along with mold. Also, that the rooms surrounding the bathroom also have mold. It sounds like it's throughout the structure.

If you want to pursue it a bit before giving up on it, you should get an expert opinion on how dangerous the mold is and what can be done to totally get rid of it. I was watching Holmes on Homes on HGTV a couple of weeks ago and he was helping a woman who had leased out her house to seemingly perfect tenants. She learned different when the cops came knocking at her door. The tenants had turned her house into a sophistcated pot growing operation. The amount of humidity generated as a result of irrigating thousands of plants caused mold throughtout the house. All the walls had to come down. Professionals wearing Haz Mat gear went in to clean up. It was fascinating - they blew dry ice against the surfaces to clean off the mold. It basically sands it down and then the dry ice evaporates so there is nothing to fall to the floor. Needless to say, this was all very expensive.

So, I guess the bottom line is that you need to find out what kind of expense you are looking at before deciding what to do. If repairs will be astronomical then it's doubtful any deal you work out with the owner for what appears to be a good price will actually turn out to be that.




Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. - Amelia Earhart

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard


Hi Paul

It seems as if at least some of the mold (the pic of the ceiling corner) is from steam from showers as the steam rises and collects in the corners of the ceiling and walls. I agree with Richie,get prices to gut and completely redo and go to the owner with this info and negotiate the price.
Just to be safe I would do a gut and reframe (if it appears to be in the framing) and tile.
Also, I would check the basement or crawl space cause if the plumbing is leaking, it would likely appear in the basement or crawl space if it has been leaking long or bad enough. You would see water stains and or mold.
Is the mold in the other rooms on the walls adjacent to the bath? If so you might have a problem in the wall especially if it is adjacent to the wall with the fixture on it.
And yes if there is no fan, the mold will definately come back soon whenever there is steam and moisture.
Mold can live for years in an inactive (dry) state, and as soon as it gets moisture and has food, (drywall, paper, wood to feed on ) it becomes active again if it' not completely eradicated.
Good luck and keep up posted.


Hello Paul

I been looking at properties with mold in them and from what I'm seeing by your pics it doesn't look that bad, but I would recommend getting an expert out there to look at it since they would have an idea on what that would cost you. I know I learned allot from the advice of the DG family on mold so just follows the steps on here & you can't go wrong. I hope this house works out for you!

You Can Make A Difference!
John A.

I have seen worse

I have seen mold that looked like it was alive and ready to crawl down the wall. No kidding, patches at least 12 inches around and 3 inches deep. It had spores on the other side of the sheet rock, went straight through. it is amazing what you find in city row homes.

Anyway I used a company called SERVPRO to take care of the mold. I am not sure if they have a company in your area but they are nation wide. Don't mess with mold, let a professional take care of it if it is too bad. It is very toxic.
The mold in your pictures seems like it is mild. Not a big deal.

I would be more worried about what is behind the duck


Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 FREE wholesaling tips and resources!

To your success,
Carol Stinson

Duct Tape!!

Is that a new fashion thing that I am not aware of?!?!?!? lol... Guess I need to start using it in my homes!!

But anyways doesn't look bad at all!! I was waiting to open up the pictures and see mold jumping out at me!! I say if the numbers work go for it!!


Past experience

Well Smiling I wish I had taken photos of the house in Half Moon Bay (that I still co-own) and the bathrooms there. It was a mess, but to tell how far the problem goes you will need to go beneath the surface. Find the worst areas of mold, and then find the closests studs - cut into the walls and open up a 3x3 hole (clean cuts over a stud on one side are best) use a flash and mirror to see whats on the underside. You may find that the inside is clean or you might find the walls crawling with mold. If the latter (I had this issue in my HMB house), I had to knock out the interior walls of the bathroom down to the stud and replace with clean green board, tape, plaster and done Smiling (about two days of work) - I went a bit further as I was going to live in it and dropped in nice stone, new fixtures and a clawfoot tub I found on the tub king's page for about $1200.00 total (also redid the plumbing as I can do the basics Smiling ). If the mold keeps coming back its in the plaster or drywall already. In one of the rooms in the house I re-did I had to open the walls, spray about 10 treatments of dessicant, heat dry over 10 days and then button up with greenboard to make sure it didn't come back.

Good luck and best wishes,


Warmest regards,


Hi Carol

Thanks for providing the company that you recommend, here's their website if anyone needs it:

At least I know their in my area since we both live here in NJ. I will be calling them tomorrow. Every info helps Smiling

Everyone Can Make A Difference!
John A.


You should ask an expert but remember dont jump to the first person you ask you have to shop around. But from past experience your going to have to remove all of the drywall thats infected.To the bare studs and clean it use antibacterial solution that mold contractors use. But its better to have it check out by a expert....

Mold Sucks, but there is hope

Not to take away from any of the other excelent posts, I have been successful with a mild case due to neighbors emptying their pool after a bad rain and it backs up the sewer because the water level has no where to go, and once I forgot to clean my gutters, so the water went under the shingles, down the insides of the outer wall and into the basement. Had to rip up all the carpet and padding to the bare cement and start over. These are things to be aware of when looking at a house, because the house may innocently seem perfect, but in my case there is a reason why the roof will be replaced, and the basement fully refinished...all seemingly pluses for the prospective buyer, however the alert buyer will inquire.(and the seller should ALWAYS disclose the truth in the disclosure section upon sale whereas mine didn't)

A product that I prefer totally over the usual Clorox and water combo is OdoBan. It is sold as an odor eliminating product, but it is also very effective on surface mold, bacteria and meldew. I have treated an entire basement with the stuff, and the only problem I have had so far is that the things I chose not to treat I have eventually had to throw away. For surface mold I wet a paper towel with 100% OdoBan from a spray bottle, then carefully apply it like wall paper over the affected area and leave it there for at least thirty minutes. If the paper towel starts to dry out, then spray it again. When you are satisfied it has been saturated enough, you carefully fold (or wad it up if it is still really wet) the paper towel and put it in the trash. Then once the area has been cleared, I spray 100%(no water) OdoBan directly on the area and wipe down with a clean, dry paper towel.
I have never had any regrowth using this method, and it works better than any other Clorox based solution.

Caution: ALWAYS USE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR FOR SAFETY. AT A MINIMUM, USE SPLASH GOGGLES, CHEMICALLY RESISTANT GLOVES AND AN APPROVED BREATHING APPARATUS. (I use a special dust mask for asbestos and insecticides, but always check with a professional if you are not sure if your equipment is suitable.

Also, understand that I cannot afford to have a professional treatment done at this time, and had to wing it on my own using my own resourcefulness, however this may not work for really serious problems requiring tearout and replacemnt, but it would be a remedial solution to help eliminate extra cost in the least expensive senerios.