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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Question Help with Lath Board wall - needs repair due to mold

    Hi there... I'm new to these boards, but I did a search on previous topics before posting, and couldn't find anything similar. I hope someone can help me.

    I bought my first house 6 months ago, which was built in 1951. They used wooden lath boards on the support walls, and covered those in gypsum board. To my unfortunate surprise after buying the home, I found a lovely black mold infestation growing on the walls behing my kitchen sink. I removed the cabinets (gently, and after spraying a generous amount of mold-killing Tilex a day before), and found that the infestation had spread to pretty much the entire wall behind my lower cabinets. After discarding the rotten cabinets, the gypsum was pried off and tossed as well (and no worries, I sealed off the area with plastic barriers beforehand).

    Anyway, my concern is now that the wall behind the gypsum, which is horizontal wooden lath beams, approximately 8" wide is also rotten with mold spores. I know I can't just leave these boards, but I haven't the faintest idea of how to cut them out while supporting these walls. This is an exterior load-bearing wall, and from what I can see through the gaps between the lath boards, there's no insulation in there either (which explains why we're freezing our butts off this winter).

    How do I safely remove these boards and re-support this wall? The affected area is directly below a window, which makes me that much more nervous in tackling this project. I'm doing this solo, and as a single mom it's tough to do huge nitty-gritty projects with a 2 year old running around. I've got experience with demos and construction though, so I'm really hoping this is a project I can manage on my own, since money is tight.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: Help with Lath Board wall - needs repair due to mold

    The weight load on an exterior wall is bourne primariy by the studs, not these horizontal boards. You should be able to merely cut them out and build up the wall with boards or plywood of the same thickness and top off with new drywall. You will want to take the effort to insulate this area, especially if pipes pass through the this sink area. Make sure the pipes are on the heated house side of the insulation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Smile Re: Help with Lath Board wall - needs repair due to mold

    Thank you! I suspected as much, but was afraid to start slicing into the lath boards to find out the hard way that I was messing with something supportive.

    In this case, I'm assuming I'd be safe to just pry out the damaged area and repair it with same-sized boards? My biggest fear is that I find out there ISN'T any insulation, and the whole wall needs a makeover (which in turn leads to the whole perimeter of the house needing one too). Ugh.

    Much appreciated again, thanks

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