Monday, March 24, 2008

Do it yourself mold removal

I read this article on my Dollar Stretcher email tonight while reading their weekly newsletter. Living down here in Houston, mold is an unwelcome occurance in our home. TF is weekly trying to get rid of the mold that grows around the edge of the tile on the bath tub. He has always used clorox bleach and we both though that we were killing the mold. What a lesson I learned by reading this article. I thought you might learn something from this too.

Article by Alina Bradford - An expert shares how to remove mold from your home

Mold is a big problem in the steamy South where the high humidity feeds its need for moisture. My home is constantly under attack it seems, and every member in my family is severally allergic to mold. Being frugal, I wanted to try getting rid of the mold without the help of a professional, which would cost me more than $1,000.

First, I tried scrubbing the walls with bleach. It seemed to work at first, but within days, it looked as if I hadn't done anything at all. Why? "Bleach does not kill mold," says Michael Dooley, the Vice President of the New Mexico chapter the American Society of Home Inspectors. I was shocked when I heard this, until I did some research and realized that the reason you use bleach on white clothes is to remove color. Essentially, I was just removing the color from the mold; fooling myself into thinking it was gone.

Dooley says that there are some great, inexpensive solutions to killing mold. One of them is using a cleaning product that contains at least 3% hydrogen peroxide for non-porous materials. Inspired, I made a solution that was one part hydrogen peroxide and three parts water and put it into a spray bottle. I applied the mixture to the mold in my house, and I have to say that it was very effective. And since a bottle of hydrogen peroxide costs less than a dollar, it is affordable, too.

"Another inexpensive alternative," says Dooley, "is to make a paste with borax and water. Use the paste to scrub the surface that is infected with mold and rinse." Borax can be found on the same isle as laundry detergent at your local grocery
store. 16 ounces of borax is around 80 cents.

Wood with mold contamination can be sanded and/or wire-brushed, then sprayed with an anti-microbial agent, and refinished. I find that painting the walls in my bathroom with Kilz brand paint has slowed, if not gotten rid of my mold problem in that room. Many people think that Kilz kills mold. I haven't found any proof that it kills the mold. It works by blocking it. It seals out moisture, so the wall doesn't become
infected with mold. Kilz can be found in Wal-Mart stores, and is cheaper than many regular paint brands.

"Most porous materials such as sheetrock, carpeting, ceiling tiles, and so on, should be cut out and disposed of and replaced with new materials," says Dooley. This can get expensive! So, of course, the most affordable way to combat mold is to avoid it growing all together. Make sure your rooms, especially the bathroom, are well ventilated. If you live in a humid part of the country, it is a good investment
to buy a dehumidifier (ideally, humidity levels should stay below 60% in your home). If you see any condensation on walls and windowsills, keep it wiped dry. Fix water leaks right away and keep the area dry.

Remember, when you are getting rid of mold, the spores can become air borne and travel to other places in your home. Dooley recommends putting plastic sheeting around the contaminated area until the work is done. He also says that, "If you decide to remove mold yourself on an area more than a few square feet, you should wear some protection such as a NIOSH approved N95 protective face mask."

I had to admit, all the mold in my home made me think we were going to have to move. Following these tips has made my home a much more comfortable place to live. We are sick less and have less allergy related symptoms, and I didn't have to spend very
much money.
_____________________

Alina Bradford is a freelance writer, artist, and the owner of a website for moms. www.Defrazzledmom.com is a place for moms to de-stress, find answers to everyday problems, and more.

Note from Lucy: The N95 face masks can be found at most Home Depot and Lowes stores or you can order them over the Internet. I heard a talk last week about pandemic flu and these masks are also good to use for protection during a pandemic flu outbreak.

Talk to ya later.

72 Comments:

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Granny said...

Just goes to show we're never too old to learn something new (I'm talking about me, not you).

We don't have a huge mold problem here but it does appear from time to time and I've always used bleach.

Thanks for the heads up. I now know better.

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Barlow Putz said...

mold, i have never thought about mold, should i think about mold?

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

Barlow Putz,

If you have to worry about mold up there in your dry climate then we are all in big trouble every where else.

(Lucy's husband) TF

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger Jim said...

When I prime wood, I always use KILZ white. Either spray or brush on type. I started using when keeping and painting some inside sheet rock after our house had three feet of water in it.

Claudette did that in 1979 when we lived in Friendswood. (Flood insurance didn't cover walls that didn't have insulation behind them and that could be dried out.)

I think you would want to put bleach in those mold solutions so you can't see what is already there.

I'm trying to get my income taxes done, things keep interrupting.
..

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

So far, we've not had any mold problems since living here. We do live in a high humidity place (during summertime), so it's possible we will experience the problem sometime. I would not have know to use hydrogen peroxide. Like you said, the great thing is that it's inexpensive!

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

Good advice there. I'm reminded of comedian Gallagher's comeback upon reading on a mildew-remover product's label to use in "well-ventilated setting." He says, if it were well-ventilated, you wouldn't have a mildew problem to begin with.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Thankfully we don't have much of that problem here. Good to know what takes care of it. I would have thought the bleach would have been the best thing. Now, thanks to you, I know better!

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Putz said...

pandemic flu, is this something i have to worry about/???

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Diane J. said...

Count me among those that thought bleach was the best thing to get rid of mold and mildew. Hmmph! Now I know better.

Hope all is well with you and yours, Lucy.

Have a great weekend,

Diane

 
At 7:40 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

This is all good stuff. I shall fle in the outer reaches of my mind.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

I was under the impression that bleach killed mold too. I am alergic to microscopic mold spores so try to keep away from it.
I don't have any in my house that I know of but will certainly keep this info for future reference.
I wonder if the peroxide solution will kill the green algae that grown on my back deck? I think I'll give it a try.
Thanks for the info.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Putz said...

i did a reply to why i need to go to the home depot or internet to buy masks for good use in protection during a pandemic flu outbreak....lucy you are scaring me, your husband told me not to worry about molod in utah, should i worry about a pandemic in utah?????????

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

It's been raining cats and dogs here, so I shall be on the lookout for mold!!
:-)
I hope your weekend is going well.
You asked about my mom's age when she got married. She was 17 when she and my dad got married, and 18 when she had me. She's a young grandma and a lovely one too! My dad is only 20 years older than me, so they both are young grandparents, ages 62 & 64. Most importantly, they are both young at heart and very loving.

 
At 4:46 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Mold is a hugh health risk and need to be dealed the right way. Just be careful when you want to do mold removal yourself.

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At 7:48 AM, Blogger NYCmoldRemoval said...

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At 8:29 AM, Blogger NYCmoldRemoval said...

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At 10:32 AM, Blogger NYCmoldRemoval said...

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At 9:14 AM, Blogger DIY said...

Toxic molds can be dangerous for your health. Successive mold removal sessions can help you a lot to overcome this situation.

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At 6:46 AM, Blogger NYCmoldRemoval said...

When it comes to mold removal, you are advised to contact a professional. This professional is often referred to as a California mold removal expert or mold remover. One of the reasons why you are advised to do go with professional mold removal is because of the unlimited number of benefits there are to doing so.

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At 8:22 AM, Blogger DIY said...

Bathtub is very much likely to catch molds and mildews. It gets wet and sustains moisture; and the buildup of organic materials makes the surface heaven for molds and mildews.

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At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to disrespect an inspector's knowledge, but chlorine bleach does kill mold. Other bleaches probably do not, though. Clorox original (sodium hypochlorite) works in exactly the same way as does hydrogen peroxide, namely, by having a "spare" oxygen atom it desperately wants to get rid of. It sticks to susceptible molecules (like those on living cells) and oxidizes them. So I've no idea why he'd say bleach won't work, because they do the same thing chemically. (And yes, I've got rid of mold on plants, on ceramic tile grout, window sills and whatnot using chlorine bleach, so for me, it worked.)

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That said, one shouldn't spray chlorine bleach as the mist will severely irritate one's airways, and also, it should never be mixed with anything but water, to be on the safe side (with ammonia-containing products, it creates hydrazine, and with acid products, chlorine gas – both equally toxic! I did spray chlorine bleach once to sanitize a kitchen gone real bad, not with mold this time though, and was bed-ridden for two days...)

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous mold removal said...

It's still best to seek for professional advice in removing mold for a guaranteed solution.

 
At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Flooded Basement said...

Really well executed blog. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks...

 
At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Maryana said...

Very impressive! Many thanks to the author of this blog. I really learned a lot from it.

 
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At 7:36 AM, Blogger Linda Jeffcoat said...

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At 7:24 AM, Blogger Soledad Feigenbaum said...

Bleach really doesn’t kill molds. I have heard several reports about people using it to the same effect, which is to say: NONE. We have all been tricked by the process. Well, thankfully, there are other ways to prevent molds for do-it-yourself people. I see the results worked well for you, so I guess I’ll have to recommend these tips to some of my friends.

Soledad Feigenbaum

 
At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use white vinegar (also very cheap). I read somewhere that mould on gyprock walls can spread for meters and meters inside wall cavities. White vinegar sends the mould into a feeding frenzy so powerful it explodes itself up to 82% death of the mould lifeform. We had a severe black mould infection in our home. It is now mimimal. I follow up the vinegar with bleach to remove the stain. If mould returns, repeat vinegar treatment then bleach an hour later. Dry well.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Jeremiah Wyatt said...

You should wear protective gear when removing mold by yourself, there are many health related problems associated with mildew and you can have them if exposed directly to this thing.

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Allen Hoffman said...

Mold removal is actually an easy thing to do. But the hard part is to locate their hiding place. Usually, molds can be seen in moist areas. They rapidly grow and could cause dangerous health reactions to other people. When you are exposed to molds, the most common symptoms you'll actually feel are sneezing, skin irritation, watery eyes and headache. In worse case scenarios, it could cause cancer, bleeding lungs, memory loss and even death. This it is very important to remove and prevents molds, inside and outside the house. When cleaning, it's important to wear gloves and mask for protection. Or better yet, seek some professionals to locate and remove the molds in the house.

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger Layne Adams said...

Hi there! great stuff, glad to drop by your page and found these very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing, keep it up!
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At 11:58 PM, Blogger 911restorationlocals said...

Mold removal can be a complicated and expensive thing for a homeowner to face. However, the implications to leaving mold in the home are too serious to be ignored. Some mold is considered dangerous, and unfortunately, our modern homes are often a breeding ground for it. Professional mold removal can make the difference between a sick or healthy home.

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At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

Nice home remedy tips! Vinegar can be a good cleaner, but if the problem is massive, then calling in a mold remediation specialist may only be the answer.

 
At 1:59 AM, Blogger Wendy Craig said...

While you can use an mould removal brisbane industrial item to take out the mould, making your very own cleansing solution with house products will save you money and keep your home toxic-free.

 
At 3:47 AM, Blogger Wendy Craig said...

Specialist mould removal gold coast cleansing Melbourne recommend not to use bleach if you plan to keep the good appearance of the carpets without triggering any type of sort of damages to the shades or the fibers.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Mould Pro said...

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At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Mold Removal said...

Carpets need to be cleaned on a regular basis so that no dirt or grim is there. With regular cleaning by professional people will make sure that your expensive carpets are free from any allergens such as molds and mildews. You can have healthy as well as clean environment with the best carpet cleaning services. You can find such services easily.

 
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At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 3:47 AM, Blogger MAR SCR said...

Mould removal is process to mould free environments.


 
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At 2:49 AM, Blogger prakash sharma said...

Mold Removal: If mold growth is spoiling the entire look of your home or office, then a great solution for you is to get mold removal done by Sunset Carpet Cleaning. Offering quality carpet cleaning and mold removal services, Mould Removal Brisbane ensures to present you with a fresh and lively home. Their round the clock emergency team makes it easier to get client homes and carpets cleaned in no time.

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Barry Chavez said...

These are some good tips, Lucy! Ventilation, I think, is the penultimate solution for mold as they really like dark and humid places. If we can prevent the initial growth, we can prevent the weekly problem of them growing inside our homes! Of course, once you already have the problem it would be a different case altogether. In your case, I’m glad you were able to solve it. I’m hoping you can find a way soon to get rid of the mold altogether.

Barry Chavez

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Yana Olson said...

Black mold is not like some molds that are non-toxic and usually harmless. This mold will be the kind that's very toxic and dangerous for humans...



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At 12:36 AM, Blogger Carpet guy said...

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At 8:23 PM, Blogger Jason shwartz said...

Mold removal can really be a hassle. I really like that you mentioned specific cleaners that will be able to help with that problem. Hydrogen peroxide definitely sounds like a great option as well. That is something that could ultimately make the difference between doing it yourself and having to hire a removal company. http://teampulido.com/services/mold-damage-removal/

 
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At 4:38 AM, Blogger robert yarn said...

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At 11:31 PM, Anonymous The Newlyweds said...

I am so glad that I read thru this, because we have recently started cleaning out a 4bdrm hous tht had been vacant for numerous amount of years, it was in dire need of Cleanliness. The last tenants left a lot of garbage and massive damage to both bathrooms. Once we got all garbage out and floors swept and mopped it seem a lot mor livable. We are still working on the walls and toilets because of mass mold. God willing it isn't goin to be a health risk for me and our girls considering we are asthmatic. Thank you for your info we have gloves, face masks, and goggles to go along with the Hydrogen peroxide. I was so dreading the bleach scrub that I know would have me choking and gagging all the way thru the cleaning process.

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Same Day Inspection said...

I have a mold issue. Its in my bathroom primarily. Its on the window sill, the creveses around the bathtub, the ceiling and near the shower head. Its disqusting and my mom won't call the landlord so I'm taking matters into my own hands. Thanks for the post you shared. very useful tips for me...
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At 10:01 AM, Blogger Saira Miller said...

I never expected for finding the such a beautiful blog that i am looking for a while. You have given easy way for cleaning and removing the mold from carpet. I am greatly thankful to you!

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At 6:57 AM, Blogger thatmoldlady said...

Hey Bud!

To discover mold in the home, you must focus on symptoms and signals. These signs can vary greatly. Mold and mildew can be recognized because they produce bad smell similar to decomposing materials. The bad odour that fungus produce can be unbearable when fungus growth has already reached intolerable quantities and is also left unchallenged.

The risk, however, will not lay with the smell, though it could produce allergies in people. Molds produce things that trigger allergies and irritants which might lead to allergies. Exposure to fungus has been recognized to affect someone's respiratory system.

Thanks for sharing useful tips to wipe out mold.

Keep doing good work!

 
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At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Christopher Zupa said...

Thank you! I have an ongoing mold problem in my washroom. I usually clean it with bleach every twice a month, but it always comes back. I think the mold is somewhere behind the walls and ceiling which I didn’t notice before.

 
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