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ODD water damage to sheetrock?

Old 11-19-2020, 05:09 AM
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Default ODD water damage to sheetrock?

Son's tenants sent a photo and I'm needing help with a diagnosis. Townhouse is 20 years old, tile shower in the MBA is above that closet. What's confusing to me is that I've never seen dripping water do anything but create a stain that gets larger and larger, but stays contiguous and circular. These mildew spots just don't look like leaking water.

I told him to Sawzall a 2x2 foot section and the answer will be clear if it's a drip, and hope he doesn't find a mouse house on that section, but what do you guys see from the photo?

Old 11-19-2020, 05:11 AM
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Wear a respirator....that's some serious mold.

A slow drip over months and months
Old 11-19-2020, 05:15 AM
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One of our condos had a leak in the bathroom from the bathroom in the unit above. The ceiling drywall never showed mold but it got so waterlogged that it started to bulge downward. Somebody reached up and touched the bulge and it let go. what a mess. No obvious sign until the drywall bulged.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lprizman View Post
Wear a respirator....that's some serious mold.

A slow drip over months and months

This. Black Mold is Deadly.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:20 AM
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If thats under the shower assuming cast tub with tile up walls. You have a drain pipe or seal leaking, bad caulk or grout joint or if it has a window or ledge you may have a tile job going bad.

Spray with bleach or peroxide 15 minutes or so before tearing out will help keep the mold spores down..

Last edited by fishnfool38; 11-19-2020 at 05:26 AM.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by foxsea View Post
This. Black Mold is Deadly.
you know mold is everywhere right.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by EIEIOfarms View Post
you know mold is everywhere right.
I read that there are 20,000 kinds of mold, and the black mold from that Texas house isn't everywhere so seeing dark moldy spots doesn't necessarily create a giant hazard. However, convenient that the covid mask will actually serve a purpose during this tearout.

Assuming that it's a drip, what would cause the many small circles, rather than one larger one?
Old 11-19-2020, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by EIEIOfarms View Post
you know mold is everywhere right.

I do, and Stachybotrys chartarum is Deadly.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:37 AM
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Directly under a bathroom with that much mold but no Sheetrock damage it’s either a very slow leak or shower is used infrequently.

Another option is a un-insulated HVAC duct dropping condensation onto the Sheetrock, but most likely there would be signs in a few different areas.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:39 AM
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#bmlm
Old 11-19-2020, 05:40 AM
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Just re read. Please do not have him use a sawzall to open up the wall. Multi tool with a bi metal blade msking sure you only cut 3/4” deep while holding a vac next to it would be the best method.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:41 AM
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Since it's the MBA, I'd think that the shower is used daily, and a slow leak with PVC drains would be possible, but why drip in different spots? That doesn't add up.

The home is in Birmingham (temperate climate), and the closet is 15' away from an exterior wall, but worth noting for him to use a short blade on the sawzall.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
Just re read. Please do not have him use a sawzall to open up the wall. Multi tool with a bi metal blade msking sure you only cut 3/4” deep while holding a vac next to it would be the best method.
We're on the same page. I hold the shopvac nozzle next to the cut and it contains most of the dust. The blade goes just into the sheetrock enough to cut it.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:48 AM
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id say its an intermitten leak vs a constant leak. allowing the sheet rock to slowly absorb and semi dry until the next episode of leaking. like a drain. thats why your getting the odd stains and symptoms.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:50 AM
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that could easily be from a shower leak, especially if there is insulation on top of that sheetrock. that doesn't look like a very large area to me, i'd say its been dripping for awhile and caused the surrounding sheetrock to get wet.
Old 11-19-2020, 05:52 AM
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No need for a sawzall, open it up with a hammer. You can make a clean cut when you can see what's there.
Old 11-19-2020, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kawakx125 View Post
that could easily be from a shower leak, especially if there is insulation on top of that sheetrock. that doesn't look like a very large area to me, i'd say its been dripping for awhile and caused the surrounding sheetrock to get wet.

Good idea. Maybe the first step is to remove the shower's drain grate and inspect for failed caulk around the drain. Good idea.

IF he sees failed caulk, can it be repaired from above, or will the drain need dis-connecting from below in order to do the job?
Old 11-19-2020, 06:10 AM
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I bet the ceiling cavity is filled with insulation that is soaking wet from the leak.
Old 11-19-2020, 06:11 AM
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Looks like a slow drain drip; maybe from an upper floor bathroom leak or AC condensate drain. Be ready for a good size mold mitigation. It also may be covered under insurance?
Old 11-19-2020, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
It also may be covered under insurance?
Worth a try to call his agent. He's selling the place, so higher rates would not be a future concern.


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