Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cleaning Up a L'il Mold

We have been working on the plans for our play room. I'm pretty sure we're having just as much fun planning it as the grand babies will have playing in it. Part of the plans include a play house in a second, small closet in the room. The closet was originally included as we were building the house, when we saw a huge section of unused space under the roof line next to the room. We finished off the room and added a short door to it, and used it as storage space for the boys' old toys, etc. I need to put a big emphasis on the ETC. in that closet. I emptied it the other day, and half of it was stacked with boxes of old clothes. Not really keepers, per se, but just old clothes that come from days long past. After I got all of the boxes out of the space, I noticed that the floor was damp in a corner. I mean really damp. Like if you knelt on the carpet there, your jeans would get wet.

So, that started a completely different ball rolling. We called our neighbor who is a roofer, and he had his crew work on the roof to find the leak. And after a couple of visits, he got to the bottom of the problem and everything is tight and sealed.

Now that the closet was bone dry, I needed to address my mold problem. Ick.

We pulled out all of the carpet in the closet, and threw it away. And most of the closet was just fine, but we had a bad corner that needed some help. None of the dry wall was affected, so we were able to concentrate on just the floor.

I talked to the experts at Home Depot, and they led me in the direction of this product.

I sprayed it on quite heavily, and began scrubbing away. I scrubbed until all it looked clean, and then I scrubbed some more. After wiping it all away, and letting the area dry, I applied bleach all over the whole area.

Then, after the bleach had a chance to do its magic and then dry, I applied more of the mold control product and let that dry for a day or two.

After that, I applied Kilz over the entire thing. (Comes in a spray or paint on form)

I vacuumed before, during, and after the process, just to keep any of the dust and mold spores at bay.

It smells wonderful and fresh, and it is totally dry and a blank slate for our new project. I'll throw in some photos as we move along on the "closet playhouse".

I found some additional helpful information on

Mold on Drywall
If you find mold growing on unpainted drywall in your home you will have to remove the drywall and replace it. Unfortunately there is no way to completely remove mold from unpainted drywall since it is a porous material.

How to Remove Moldy Drywall
Use a utility knife to cut out any section of drywall with mold on it. You should make sure to cut out an area that covers at least two of the wooden beams behind the drywall. This is so you'll be able to properly attach the replacement section of drywall onto the two beams.

Next you'll need to cut out a section of new drywall to replace the drywall you just removed. Use a tape measure to measure out the length and width of the new section of drywall that you'll need so that it will fit properly. Then use the utility knife to cut out the section of new drywall.

Make sure that the new drywall fits snugly in place and then use drywall screws to attach it to the wooden beams. After this you should apply joint compound (also called drywall compound or mud) and then leave it to dry. Once you've left it for 24 hours you can then sand the joint compound down to smooth it out. You can also then paint the drywall if you like.

It's a good idea to 
HEPA vacuum the room as well to remove any mold stirred up during the process.

Mold on Painted Drywall
If you find mold on drywall that is painted or primed then the good news is you shouldn't have to remove the drywall. This is because the mold should be just on the surface and shouldn't have penetrated into the drywall itself.

Wipe or scrub the mold away using a cleaning product or mold killing solution. You can find some mold killing solutions and directions on how to use them at the 
Killing Mold page.

Mold on Wood
It's usually safe to keep using moldy wood once you've cleaned it up. Although there might be some small amount of mold left below the surface of the wood, it shouldn't regrow and cause problems provided you keep the moisture in your home to a minimum. If the wood is painted then it's even better news since the mold probably wouldn't have penetrated into the surface of the wood.

How to Remove Mold from Wood
To clean moldy wood wipe or scrub the mold from the surface using a sponge, cloth or scrubbing brush, along with some water and detergent, or any other household cleaner. See the Killing Mold page for some effective solutions to remove mold.

You can use a mold killer if you want, such as bleach, although it isn't necessary as the main goal is just to remove mold from the surface. There are always going to be small amounts of mold and spores in your home anyway, so trying to kill all the mold spores isn't the aim. Plus dead mold spores are still allergenic.

The same general process for removing mold from wood applies whether the mold is on wooden furniture, wooden walls, wooden beams or any other wood.

Removing Mold Stains from Wood
Once you've cleaned mold growth off wood there might still be a mold stain left behind. Don't worry, this is just a cosmetic problem and the mold shouldn't regrow as long as your house doesn't have any big moisture problems. And if you do get moisture problems then mold will grow in your home whether or not there's a mold stain left behind anyway.

If you don't like the look of the stain you can sand the wood if you want. This should usually remove the stain, although sometimes the mold stain might run deep into the wood so that it can't be completely sanded away.

Another way to get rid of left over mold stains is to use a small amount of bleach to fade it away. This could discolor the wood though so it's a good idea to do a spot test.

Removing Moldy Wood
Another option of course is to remove and replace wood with mold on it. Usually this is not worth the cost and trouble compared to cleaning, but if it's a situation where the wood is cheap and easy to replace you might decide it's the best option.

After Remediating Mold on Wood

You'll need to HEPA vacuum the surrounding area once you've removed the mold from the wood. During mold removal it's inevitable that some mold spores are stirred up and so you need to remove as many as possible by HEPA vacuuming.

After you've finished cleaning up the mold problem you might want to coat the wood with a fungicidal sealant or paint so that you know it's completely safe. This way any mold left in the wood certainly won't affect you and no new mold should begin to grow on the wood either.


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