We just bought a console table to put our coffee stuff and wine bottles next to the kitchen table, but to fit it, we had to move the heater one mere inch to the right. I unmounted the heater, and pulled out the molding between it and the back door — and underneath the molding, radiating from that door, was a ton of mildew and absolutely drenched drywall. Only maybe three square feet were affected, but still. Jodi and I put on masks and pulled out all the affected stuff, taking care not to cut the vapor barrier, then Jodi started calling around to figure out who we know that can help with this situation.
We thought at first that it was the result of our animals’ water dish spilling and soaking the bottom of the wall, but on closer inspection, the door trim and a chunk of that drywall along the bottom had been removed and replaced once before. Prestige Homes seals the trim to the wall with a thick coat of paint they put on before delivery, you see — when we replaced the floor in the craft room, we had to use an exacto knife to cut the paint along the top of the trim to pull it off. The trim’s paint-seal had been cut already, as had the seal along the door casing’s trim. And where that piece of drywall had been replaced, there’s even cuts in the vapor barrier, so the last fix job was obviously completely botched — probably done by the owner, whom we know to not be handy at all, rather than by a professional.
Bear in mind this house was a two-year-old Prestige home when we bought it — factory-built, therefore very likely to have been relatively water-tight. So the woman we bought it from, obviously had this problem once before. I strongly suspect that the trim was removed and then put back after the patch job. We’re going to have to replace that piece, and at least part of the trim covering the door casing. And I’d like to get someone that knows what they’re doing to look at the wood under the vapor barrier, to tell us if that wood is salvageable at all, or if it’ll all end up having to come out.
This is the exact worst time to discover mildew. We’ve already cancelled Christmas, so we can save up to do our wedding and the CONvergence trip in July. I’m kind of hoping you folks might have some ideas as to what to do to fix this right, and as cheaply as possible. Pics can be obtained, if they will help diagnose the problem.