Home > Uh Oh Home Repairs

Uh Oh Home Repairs

August 29th, 2020 at 09:07 pm

My house was built in 1915 and has very solid masonry construction.

A half-bath was added on to the back of the house at some point, probably 50 years ago.

A couple of weeks when Tropical Storm Isaias came through, most of my neighbors had water in their basements, but I was lucky; my basement stayed dry.

What I did have was water coming through the door frame in between the main house and the add-on. I put a pail underneath and checked the next day; once the pail went down, the floor on both sides of the door seemed dry, so I closed the door and didn't think anything of it.

I don't really use that room except as a storage closet for household supplies, so I didn't go in the room again until last Saturday when I needed a battery.

My nose noticed a smell first, and I looked up and saw mold on the ceiling.

My neighbor came by on Monday and painted over the ceiling with mold killer.

My other neighbor is in the process of selling his house and had a friend over who is a roofer who was doing some patching for him and did some patchwork on my roof too but he also told me that I should replace that roof.

So I am now in the process of gathering estimates. The first estimate was done this morning; $800 for the back porch roof only; and $1800 if I get the front porch roof done at the same time (a $200 discount from having the two projects done at different times). (The roofer who seal-coated my main roof last summer said that the front porch roof should be replaced in 3-5 years.) I'm getting two more estimates this week.

The last thing to figure out is addressing whether there is any mold growing in the space under the roof and over the ceiling. I'm just not sure about that. There is a drywall person who lives at the corner who the neighbor who applied the mold killer was going to talk to.

I always feel so completely helpless when there are home repairs but so far this one is reasonably in control, Still a bit nervous about the mold though. Not sure if it could get through from the attached structure into the main structure. And I just never know who to ask.

3 Responses to “Uh Oh Home Repairs”

  1. Fern Says:

    I try as much as possible to learn from the many contractors I've hired over the years. Especially since if some unethical contractors sense you have no idea what they're talking about, they may inflate their prices. They may do that anyway, but perhaps not as much if you come across as competent or at least ask some questions.

    Another thing you can do is join Angie's List. I've been a member for years. Other members provide reviews of various contractors of every type in your area, and that gives me a degree of comfort. In fact, I never hire any contractors anymore who are not listed on Angie's List, and I always carefully read the reviews. I had some very bad experiences with inept workmen in the past, and I think there's a reason why some people are self-employed. I generally avoid word of mouth recommendations from friends, and 2 of the "bad experiences" I had in the past were, in fact, people recommended by friends.

    For mold to spread, it would need a continued source of moisture, so it would be important to reseal or repatch that roof. You can kill small areas of mold using a spray bottle of vinegar, which is actually more effective than bleach.

    Here's just one article on the subject:,materials%20and%20kill%20the%20mold%20at%20the%20roots.

  2. Dido Says:

    Thanks for that point about the mold needing a continued source of moisture to spread--I'm focused on getting the roof replaced (it's already been patched) and I won't worry needlessly about the spread then, especially since it's not a room that is used and not part of the main structure.

    Yes, I've also belonged to Angie's List as long as I've owned the house and I typically get several estimates from contractors when doing a home project so that I can ask lots of questions as well as compare what different people say.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    We are with you. Neither of us are "handy" so we depend on contractors and hopefully they tell us the truth. Hope you can get this taken care of and no more mold.

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