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Mold in the ceiling


candace
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I have just repaired a leak in my roof. Water intruded from the hole in the roof for the black water tank vent located in the closet. This hole has become unsealed in the past and caused a small portion of the ceiling (maybe 4" X 4") to rot. It was painted over (before I owned it). I decided to tear out the small portion of visibly rotted wood. After removing the section with the saw on my leatherman, I saw what appears to be mold on the insulation foam and the rafter. So, I got a little carried away and ripped out all of the ceiling wood above the closet. The whole thing has mold. I am thinking that it's probably spread to the entire rv. But I'm not sure. Ignorance was bliss. I sprayed the the moldy areas with Concrobium http://www.homedepot.com/p/Concrobium-32-oz-Mold-Control-025326/100654126 And scrubbed with a scotch pad, but I cant get it off. Can you folks tell me how dangerous this mold is? Have you seen this before? It's not like any mold I've ever seen. I started to think maybe it was an adhesive to connect the thin ceiling wood to the insulation and rafter. But that wouldn't explain why it's covering the only unpainted wall in the closet. Must be mold. Also pictured are tiny black "pebbles" mixed in with the mold. They are hard little granules. What are these things? What do you think I should do? I don't want to tear out the entire ceiling. Maybe I have to. But I'm on the road right now. No time for that. I was thinking I should just try my best clean it and then paint a new piece of particle board with anti-mold something or other to replace the wood I removed.

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Edited by candace
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Curious to see if you found out more?  Did you determine if it was mold for sure?

I was thinking if I wasn't having any respiratory symptoms, and didn't smell it, I'd personally just patch it back up, and keep a piece out to be analyzed once off the road.  From what I've read, unless you're sensitive to it, it's not immediately an issue.  A lot of "scare" stuff out there on the internet. You've got some time to figure out how to deal with it.

Just thinking out loud of course.  Wanted to see what you've determined.

Edited by bobblefrog
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A few little spots of garden variety, everyday black mold won't do you any real harm. If it did everyone in the Pacific Northwest would have long since died as it is everywhere when you go outside, on buildings, on the trees, on the leaves, etc. Those little black spots are NOT toxic mold. That is very different stuff and pretty rare to find as well. Black mold stains can be hard to remove. But some Kilz primer over them then paint will take care of the issue.

 

Edited by snail powered
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On April 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM, bobblefrog said:

Curious to see if you found out more?  Did you determine if it was mold for sure?

I was thinking if I wasn't having any respiratory symptoms, and didn't smell it, I'd personally just patch it back up, and keep a piece out to be analyzed once off the road.  From what I've read, unless you're sensitive to it, it's not immediately an issue.  A lot of "scare" stuff out there on the internet. You've got some time to figure out how to deal with it.

Just thinking out loud of course.  Wanted to see what you've determined.

 

19 hours ago, snail powered said:

A few little spots of garden variety, everyday black mold won't do you any real harm. If it did everyone in the Pacific Northwest would have long since died as it is everywhere when you go outside, on buildings, on the trees, on the leaves, etc. Those little black spots are NOT toxic mold. That is very different stuff and pretty rare to find as well. Black mold stains can be hard to remove. But some Kilz primer over them then paint will take care of the issue.

 

Thanks for checking in with me about this. It's definitely mold. The little black things pictured I believe are spores. The actual mold is a very light brown color. It covered the the foam board  insulation. It covered the only unpainted wall of the closet. And when I tore out the 2' X 2' section of thin ceiling wood it covered the unpainted up-facing side. The mold is best seen in the first picture and last picture in my original post. It was also on the underside of the of the closet's "floor". It's a thin piece of wood just like the ceiling wood that can be easily removed when everything is out of the closet. I sprayed everything down with concrobium. Tried to remove the mold but it's really stuck on the surfaces. I read that the concrobium kills the mold, renders it harmless and prevents mold from growing. I cleaned off the little black spores easily. I bought a piece of thin hardboard at Home Depot, painted it white, like the rest of the ceiling, and replaced the wood I removed in the closet with it. I removed the trim surrounding the vent above the bed over the cab and found lots of those little black things. So I think the mold is all over the non-visible side of the ceiling wood. I'm sure it's been this way since I bought the motorhome last July because when sweeping and cleaning in the motorhome I've always noticed the little black sediment (spores). I just though it was dirt. It's disconcerting but I have never been ill because of it so I'm not too worried about it.

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The concrobium sounds like (from reviews I read) a good product.  Good to know about.  Seems like it can be "fogged" but not sure that's going to make a difference to the other side of the panels - and with an RV, it's easy enough to reach all the spaces you need to wipe down (though fogging might be useful in the case of upholstery).  

So it seems like your best plan at this point is to treat it where you can and then put your focus on keeping the humidity down, and keep everything dry (as best you can)?  I did read something to about moisture absorbing crystals - you can put in cabinet spaces and such.  You might not eliminate it but at least reduce/retard more growth.  

Glad to hear no health problems - and it sounds like you can't smell it either, so that's good.  As you said, disconcerting, though!

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Borax Washing Soda, it will kill mold without the smell of bleach or toxicity of many mold killing products. But it won't bleach out stains. It will also help prevent mold on wood surfaces. Good for making friendly cleaning solutions to use for general cleaning around the RV and it significantly can help reduce the musty odors from mildew/mold especially when you are washing up curtains, blankets, pillows and such that have been in the RV for a while. Just follow the directions for adding it to your laundry.  Bonus points, just sprinkle it on ant trails or on the entrance to an ant hill to get rid of them. Works on all kinds of ants from the little "sugar" ants to the big carpenter ants.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi Gang,

newbie me again!

this is a very important topic for me.  My poor Bandit carried a full-size RV a/c unit on its roof for who knows how long.  Of course, being made of plastic, fiberglass and foam board, (and they cut the roof thru a 1x4 crossbeam to “support” it), it has taken on water in quantity over time.  Damp, nasty, mildew are three good words to start with.   How much water for how long?

when I pulled the table top from the above cab cabinet, it was swollen to about 3x normal thickness.  

I’m seriously wondering if I may have to remove everything and put down a new subfloor.   

And I really feel compelled to remove the carpet from those wet places.  I know preservation is important with magnificent vintage campers such as these, but boy! Howdy!  I must do something about this nastiness.  May I also add that there was a mouse nest in with the wet.  I’m willing to put carpet back in, but those surfaces need to be addressed.

so. - any expert advice on removing the ruined carpet?  Advice on “unsagging” the roof?  And has anyone gone to the subfloor replacement extent?

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Removing carpet tools... dyke wire cutter, plain pliers, straight slot screwdriver. Be advised that rv carpets are held in place by about a zillion staples. Most removed carpet gets replaced by vinyl flooring, easy to keep clean.

Raising the roof is harder. The basic plan is jack up the roof to original height and let things dry out. Use a space heater or dehumidifier. Look at your countertops and see if there is one you can put a bannister post from the countertop to the roof as a support.

Some folks have made bent laminated bows and through bolted them to the roof while it was jacked up.

I'm sure others will have ideas

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Thanks for the suggestions!   Does the stable factor apply to the carpeted walls and ledges?

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Floors=staples, walls =glue, ledges=??

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