I'm renovating my basement bathroom and feel over my head as maybe this is a bigger problem. First time home owner. What professionals should I hire to assess/fix this issue? Please be specific because I'm new to this, much appreciated. Understanding this is a diy forum, what do you consider when deciding to involve pros on damage like this?

What I did: Moved into this home a year ago, haven't used this bathroom. Getting around to renovating and saw water damaged baseboards. Tore them off, some mold (dark green, black dusty) on the drywall. Cut off the sections while sponging/brushing with bleach solution. Cleaned up the area. Removed insulation. Scrubbed mold off the left side of that first pic.

What I'm seeing: left side of the first pic, load bearing wall, baseplate seems solid with no visible rot. The bottom part of the stud (about 1 foot) has visible rot. Right side no visible rot. Mold seemed limited to that small section.

First pic: 1 main area of damage. 2 Rotting section. Also the black on tile floor seems to just be glue

Second pic: Close up of worst section, load bearing (I think).

Scene of the crime after clean up with bleach

Close up - dark lines near bottom of base plate, bottom part of stud rot, top part of stud seems ok

  • 2
    Talk to yours friends and neighbours to get their recommendations on the locals. Check all reviews for a few local companies, but remember people can say anything online.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Does that stud seem structurally weak?

Houses are framed and built with redundancy baked directly into the code books.

A single rotted stud is not going to make your house collapse.

Besides, houses with basements rely on the cinder block wall and central beams for structure. It is extremely unlikely that this basement stud is structural.

Your number one objective is to determine whether there is an ongoing water issue in that wall, if so then fix it. No sense in continuing work unless you assess the water situation.

As for that stud I would shore it up with another shorter stud at minimum. Cut away more drywall and add a 3-4 foot stud to the right side and secure with a couple of good screws.

enter image description here

  • Black: existing structure
  • Orange: new stud
  • Blue: high quality screws or bolts if you're so inclined

If you have an oscillating multi-tool or sawz-all then you can cut away a short section (2 feet) of the existing stud and replace it with a short piece of pressure-treated stud. This is in addition to shoring up the stud.

If you're literally looking for a professional to call in then you would need either a carpenter or a handyman.

Realistically though, if you're personally renovating your bathroom then this should be easily handled by you.

Additionally, you could just have a humidity/mold/mildew problem and it has eaten away at that stud for one reason or another.

Check the relative humidity of your basement and make sure to run a dehumidifier if your basement is anything above 45%.

An unoccupied basement is usually fine up to 60% but once you decide you want living space down there then you want to prevent issues as much as possible; hence the 45%.

  • Thank you for your evaluation and explanation. To clarify this is in a split level where this bathroom is partially underground. The top of these studs are about half above the ground (not sure if this changes your comment that it's unlikely this is structural). Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 2:52
  • @TomMcFarlin Cannot confirm nor deny from that description. So from the outside your cinder block does not go the full height of the basement? That would be extremely strange. Is any part of the basement unfinished? Can you see construction like this? cdn.treehouseinternetgroup.com/uploads/photo_gallery/large/…
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 3:46
  • @TomMcFarlin So you have something like this? Odds are that there is a sill plate on the cinder blocks and your walls are built on top of it.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 12:39

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