We have one...long story short....we got called in, the unit was screwed up
(AC unit) and the crawlspace had a water drainage issue.
Took samples, ended up getting in a specialist. (we were NOT the original
installers on the AC...this was a home for sale, and we were checking it for
the buyer) and the home, is now on the ground....as in, insurance didnt pay
anything hardly, and you have to treat some types as a hazmat material...I
spent a week getting shots for a lung infection..mold.
How bad can it be? Hows longs it been growing?
Mold needs three things to prosper
Water, and thats in the air.
Dark, or absence of ultraviolet rays.
Mold been here since before the dinosaur...we are not going to kill it all
Killz is a very good primer that sticks to just about anything. I
wouldn't just put Killz on it, but I would spray it with a 15-20% bleach
solution and let it sit for a day or two to dry out. While it is drying
you can sand any wood that had the mold to physically remove it. If you
take this route, make sure the room is closed off from the rest of the
house and wear a respirator and goggles. It is important to sand it while
it is still wet as the stuff won't go airborne. It is even better if you
can hold a shop vac next to the sander to collect as much as possible
white you are doing it. Then after it dries you can cover it with Killz.
It grows in moisture and darkness. The favorite place I have found for
mold is in an exterior wall cavity that has gotten wet. The insulation
holds the water forever and becomes the food source for the mold even if
the leak has stopped.
Stop all leaks and make sure you clean out any wall cavities that are wet.
You can get a moisture detector and drill a very small hole in a number of
cavities and test them for moisture. You should do this at the bottom as
that is where the moisture will linger.
My daughter has a severe mold allergy and has been hospitalized eight
times in a three-year span, so I consider myself pretty knowledgable and
experienced on the matter. Our old house was just unbearable for her
after a while. Our brand new house had a leak because of a crappy
fireplace installer and water got into a couple of wall cavitites and the
mold was back. I had quotes from $5-15,000 to fix it and the insurance
company has a clause so they won't pay a dime other than to repair the
leak and the wall damage (about $1K). Needless to say, for that amount I
fixed it myself. We have been working closely with a mold dog which is
trained to detect mold. His handler has overseen the repairs that I have
done and has OK'd everything. You can see if a mold dog is in your area
at http://www.mold-dog.com .
The other thing that these mold remediation companies kill you on is high
quality HEPA filtered vacs. You can only get so fine on a filter before
it is like trying to suck air through a stone and even then there are fine
mold particles that will get through. The best solution is to use a
simple shop vac with a long hose and put the thing outside. Then anything
escaping the filter is already out of the house. We got a price from a
cleanup company to just do a HEPA vac cleaning of the whole house (3000 sq
ft) and they wanted $3900. You can guess where I told them to go.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.