Condo Blues: What to Do If You Find Black Mold in Your Bathroom Remodel

Sunday, October 20, 2019

What to Do If You Find Black Mold in Your Bathroom Remodel

It’s time to get started on my guest bathroom renovation.

With demolition!

Because Demo Day is the best day.

It can also be the worst.

My demolition plans included removing the rest of the flooring, the toilet, and vanity. I planned to makeover the bathroom vanity if I could get it out in one piece. The builder installed all of the sink cabinets in the house first and installed the plumbing in around them. When I removed the vanity in the powder room remodel I had to destroy the cabinet which wasn’t the plan.


I cut holes for the plumbing in the cabinet with this exact Rockwell oscillating tool (after reading a lot of specs and reviews I chose the Rockwell because it is the only oscillating tool that can use bits and blades from any brand not just its own.) I was pretty stoked this DIY idea actually worked until my husband and I lifted the vanity up and over the plumbing to discover black mold on the wall and wood vanity. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

Oh yes, my friends. We sang the Condo Blues.

How to Get Rid of Black Mold

how to get rid of black mold in a bathroom
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

In even the cleanest of houses, it is common to find mold growing in a bathroom due to the frequently moist air and soft surfaces mold loves to permeate like wood and drywall. In my case it was most likely a micro leak in the connection to the sink plumbing. Under and around toilets, shower, and bathtubs are also places you are likely to find unknown mold growing in a bathroom.

The only solution is to remove and discard the moldy items because even if you douse it with bleach to kill the mold and wipe it away, those microscopic mold spores have started burrowing and eating their way into the item and the mold will grow back - which is a health hazard, especially if you are allergic to mold. *raises hand*

Truthfully we weren’t that upset to put the bathroom vanity on the curb for the garbage man because we aren’t fond of it. Even more so when we discovered the vanity is made of cheap particle board (which means we will eventually we replacing all of the cabinetry in the house. Hello future budget line items!)

Thankfully most of the black mold is on the vanity with only a small patch of mold on the wall itself – or so I thought.

Next, I put on a dust mask, safety glasses, and gloves to protect me from toxic black mold spores and carefully cut and removed the moldy patch of drywall with a drywall saw like this one  to see how bad the situation was before I called a professional mold remediation team to treat the mold problem.

This is one job you really need to call in the pros and not do it yourself.

Turns out that little splotch of mold had already burrowed through the drywall and into the fiberglass insulation behind it. Black mold is more devious than I thought. That chunk of discolored wall insulation also had to be removed.

what do i do if I find toxic black mold in my house
The remediation company removed a bit more than I had here. That's why I called the pros!

Luckily the mold remediators didn’t have to remove anything else and the mold thankfully hadn’t attacking any other part of the framing of my house. After they did their mold clean up and treatment, it was time to replace the wall and insulation.

Unfortunately there aren’t any building materials that are guaranteed mold proof because everything has the potential to mold eventually (did I mention how devious this stuff is?) That being said, your best bet is to spend the extra money and use mold resistant insulation and wall board – it is so worth it.

I replaced the missing chunk of fiberglass wall insulation with spray foam. A large can of this exact spray foam insulation was more than enough to do the job. The only issue was I had was spraying the first layer on a vertical surface so I had to do it in layers. The following layers had something to stick to once the first layer expanded and dried and it didn’t take very long to do or add that much extra time to my very short deadline.

Next, I replaced the drywall with a mold and moisture resistant drywall which is nicknamed green board because like this brand of moisture resistant drywall it is the color green. Some people call mold and moisture resistant drywall purple board because like this brand of moisture resistant drywall it is the color purple. Both brands are pretty much the same thing and naturally each brand tells you it is the best. I let price be my guide since this is an unexpected repair.

Lastly I primed the new drywall and the rest of the room (since at this point I had to repaint the room no matter what) with KILZ L204511 Kitchen & Bath Interior Latex Primer/Sealer/Stainblocker with Mildew-Resistant Finish I ordered online from here because I couldn’t find it locally. Kilz is the only primer I use. Kilz isn't paying me to say this. Kiltz doesn’t know I exist. I just like their primer so much better than Zinsser – who also doesn’t know I exist. Kiltz flows well when applied, covers just about everything in one coat, and is low odor and VOC. I’m not brand loyal to many things. Kilz primer is one of the few exceptions!

I figured I’d give the Kilz Kitchen and Bath primer a shot since it’s designed for high humidity rooms like bathrooms and I really, really, really hope it will help prevent mold from growing so I have to do this project all over again in the future.

This little renovation sidestep has taught me to always add extra time, money, and a backup plan (in my case a new vanity and redesign) to your bathroom remodeling budget and design plan.

For more household mold testing and cleanup ideas, check out the following options - and more! - below!

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Life Diet Health said...

This was the first post I clicked on from Fiesta Friday this week... as mold is indeed a problem where we are! If I chopped out a chunk though, we probably wouldn't have a house left! Not that my chopping skills are bad (my late Dad was a builder), just that there is mold on every outside wall! We've no idea what to do with it! We've had it back to the brickwork numerous times, we've had it injected, we've built a gully around the house... still it comes back! Any further ideas or suggestions you have would be welcome! Thank you!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

If the mold keeps coming back, it is probably a bigger problem that needs a mold professional to look at it and find a permanent solution

Life Diet Health said...

Thanks for your replay - I'm guessing so... we've had 4 or 5 out already but they all have different answers and want about £20k to try to fix it! Oh well, more open windows, dehumidifiers and airvents for now! Thank you!

Life Diet Health said...

Thanks for your reply - I'm guessing so... we've had 4 or 5 out already but they all have different answers and want about £20k to try to fix it! Oh well, more open windows, dehumidifiers and airvents for now! Thank you!

Teresa B said...

Ugh, I hate mold...Thank you for sharing these tips at The Really Crafty Link Party this week.

Petra said...

Great tips for getting rid of unhealthy mold! Thank you for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday.

Lisa Lynn said...

Oh my...I'm sorry you had to deal with this. Thanks for sharing the helpful info on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! Hope to see you again this week!

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