Mold

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by nursedoe, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    I want to ask what you think about the seriousness of mold. I know it is a big deal these days. People charging thousands and dressing all up in Hazmat outfits with respirators to take out a wet wall. I am not sure that most of the time it warrents all of that caution.
    We have plumbing leaks that still need to be repaired. My bathroom has a couple of feet of wet 2x4's that I could replace, they look pretty moist. The next project will involve tons of what looks like mold on dry wall, wood cupboards etc. Our plan was to be cautious, protect ourselves and the rest of the house. But we are not sure those zillions of dollars should be spent on mold guys.
    We think we may buy one of those really good air cleaners to use, Hippa filters on vacuums etc. But Hazmat teams? You guys have been doing this for hundreds of years collectively- What do you think?
  2. remediation is a nice new word, but i fear it is based a lot on the same principles as old fashioned cough remedies. It helps, it doesn't hurt, but no-one can say to what degree and whether it was a fair service for the price.

    Firms that take mold out of buildings want to stay in business, so they have to be sure that their own employees don't start a class action lawsuit against them; that is why the employees have to be protected more than anyone else.


    Millions or billions of types of molds are out there, so it'll take more manyears than we have to study them in this century. Most molds grow on the broken cells at the edge of organic matter, like where wood has been cut. So solid wood when damp rots away very slowly, when compared to damp plywood, OSB, particle board, luan or paper. Those are just some organic things that have cellulose in them. Molds also eat other organic things, like paint, soap and dust.


    Molds all excrete toxins. Just like higher animals do, And lower ones too. Excreting what they might call byproducts left over after they eat. Molds excretions are liquid or gas, known as mycotoxins. (Myco- is the greek origin root word for anything in the mushroom family.) A few mycotoxins are lethal, some are only toxic, and most have a not yet determined impact on human health. This explains also why it is safe practice for employees who touch new molds every day or every week to have those HazMat suits, because their immune systems may be already going haywire from a previous stress.


    Allergies are by definition a body's reaction to a stressor that another body's immune system does not consider as life threatening or worth going into high gear for. Sine you cannot reason with your immune system, you have to take it seriously when it sends you those signals that it has been working overtime and draining you of most of your vital energy. If you get allergies, it is not a bad thing, but you have to isolate what those stressors are, and take action to reduce exposure to those stressors.


    Hope this helps.


    david
  3. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
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    I had a plumbing problem in the bath and when I called my insurance company at no expense to me they sent over a restoration service. They ripped up the bath, walls, floors, etc. Then came in with pretty sizeable machines, one was called an air-scrubber, and a huge dehumidifier. They physically wiped down everything with bleach. They disposed of all the stuff including,a huge mirror and the sink vanity and toilet. My insurance company paid the claim which included everything except for the plumbing work itself. They paid for a new sink, vanity and mirror/cabinet plus, lights. All fixtures. They paid for the paint/wallpaper, flooring, and facet.

    They did a great job and my rates were not raised.

    Afterwards, I needed a plumber, and that became a pretty sizeable problem. I spent 3 times the amount of what the insurance check was.

    I would suggest to call your insurance company.
  4. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    I would like to reduce my home insurance rates and that means I cannot call them. I have had a "water claim" in the past and that makes me a "risk". Once 18 years ago the water heater broke and flooded the house as we slept. The next time was about 6 years ago when the washer pipe broke and flooded everything. I have since replaced everything with tile.
    My new home owners insurance has a mold exclusion as do most of the new ones. I am afraid that if I call them, I will be blacklisted. I am still trying to recover from being dropped by State Farm after the California forest fires five years ago because I had a shingle roof. I have replaced it with beautiful tile, but insurance in the gap was about three thousand dollars!.
    I also think some of that damage is because the bathrooms built in the fifties didn't have vents. We suspect a pipe is leaking between the two bathroom walls and I am not sure that would be covered anyway.

    So all this demo is coming out of my pocket. I just don't remember hearing about plumbers having a lot of health problems because of their exposure to mold.
  5. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    One cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Spray it on any and all surfaces even close to where the mold is visible. Let it dry naturally and then using a shop vacuum with a HEPA filter clean up any dry particle. Use the same bleach solution later along with rags and a scrub brush to clean off any remaining particles.

    Use a toxic mist respirator (not a dust mask) and wear gloves and goggles. When you are all done toss the HEPA filter (enclose it in two plastic garbage bags) and suck up some bleach solution into the shop vac. Rinse the shop vac and wipe it down both inside and outside with the bleach solution and let dry naturally.

    Use the cheapest store-brand bleach you can find. No sense in paying for a name when the cheap stuff is just as effective.
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    5,658
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    I have had numerous claims. My first house we didn't have one. Then we bought the Money Pit. In the past 13 years here, I had an horrific icedam. It was so bad--- that it blew the insulation out from under the baseboards and it dangled on even lampshades; at first we had no idea what this was hanging everywhere. The water ran down the insides of the walls and pushed the insulation down to lower than knee level. It also clogged the furnace with big balls of it, a paper like insulation. I swore I could read the print on it, lol. It did so much damage and was very costly. Gutters fell off, shingles came off, we were living in an igloo.

    The outside walls were covered with ice. Huge swords of ice threatened us everywhere we walked around the house. Our house became dangerous. :eek:

    That was one claim.

    After the ice melted we found out that our mortar did, too. It was falling out from between the bricks. I was afraid to breathe on it for fear like that childrens story if I huffed and puffed it would fall down...

    That became another claim. Big claim.

    I got big water problems. I woke up one morning and found I was living in a boat. I keep oars by the kitchen door and a life jacket hanging on the coat tree.

    This was many claims.

    I have weak trees. Each time the lightning strikes one of them they get weaker. This was 2 claims.

    Why does my insurance company not drop me? It isn't because I flirt well, or I can make them laugh. It is because I have had them since I was 16 years old. I am now 102.

    My parents before me had them. There parents had their horse and wagons insured by them. My children are insured by them. My cousins, my aunts, my uncles and all future generations have been promised to them.

    I got my car insurance through them, my homeowners, and when they offer medical insurance I will switch to them.

    I get big discounts from them for my sons good GPA's, for my great driving skills and my history of no tickets. So they don't hold it against me, infact, they go out of their way to help me when the house decides to take on a life force of its own.

    Loyalty is the key. I think...

    I should mention in all fairness in 1981 I had a very bad accident, my rates were raised for one year only $110 bucks and even although it was not my fault I wanted to and did pay out my liability back then of 35,000 dollars; and in 1983, I got my one and only speeding ticket.
  7. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    My cousin gave me some industrial mold killer that he said kills like 40 something types of mold and bacteria. It is not bleach. It is wicked strong. I didnt' know that shop vacs had HEPA filters. I will go look for one my next day off.

    The project is a couple of weeks away. This heat wave makes working in the desert too dangerous, since we were told to close off all vents, including air when working on the moldy room.
  8. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    The Shop Vac brand has HEPA filters for its regular line of vacuums. Be prepared for sticker shock as they are not cheap. They cost 2-1/2 to 3 times as much as the regular Shop Vac filter.
  9. D.Smith

    D.Smith New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Georgia
    Reason is this. Mold is a scary word. Homes have been torn down due to improper water removal. Insurance companies have been on the wrong side of the wallet on this and now they have started fighting back. So companies that once was just spraying a lil bleach and kiltz now have to come in and seal off the effected areas. Negative air containment so that a slight chance of disturbance it will not move into other areas. Quality air testing to verify that it has been done correctly after such occurs.


    Look to the future of home sales as disclosures mold or mold related issues will come to surface. Insurance companies insuring the mold remediators have also caused big bills.



    So what is it you can do as a DiYer. Most towns will have air scrubbers that you can rent. Create a neg airspace so that any access into the effected area will draw air in. Treat mold similar to abestos. Some forms are very toxic and pose a health risk.
  10. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    In answer to the original question...

    I don't think I've ever opened a wall that didn't have some mold spores in it. You get to know that distinctive smell, mustiness mixed in with the plaster dust, before you see the black or green spotting...

    I'm still kickin' around, right?

    If you go lurk at JLC, or any other pro forum, do a search for mold... the consensus is that most of the hype is... well, hype. Bunk. BS. A chance for some people to cash out. A nice sensationalist story for the press.

    You're a nurse, look at the medical evidence... not much there. No consensus as to which types of mold are dangerous, what concentration levels are dangerous... nothing solid.


    ...On the other hand, there was this one basement, about ten years ago, that I got sick every time I went in there. It was actually the sickest I've ever been, in my life - laid up in bed for 3 days with a high fever (my roomates were about to call for an ambulance, when it finally broke), intense headache the whole time, bright green snot the color of algae... and the taste was the same as mold smells like.

    (sorry for the gory details, hope nobody's reading this during dinner or anything)

    Went back to work... got sick again.

    After the third time, I rented a positive-pressure remote air supply headset. Pressure-washed everything with 10% bleach, got some dehumidifiers & fans in there & let it dry out. Everything was fine after that.

    I later heard a rumor, that the building owner had been busted for storing military surplus gas grenades in a closet upstairs. The information was vague, but maybe he had a few bio-weapons, too? Who knows. He was a very strange dude...


    What I do know, is that in 15 years of getting covered with all kinds of mold, it's the one time I ever maybe got sick from it. And when this topic comes up on pro boards, I'm the only one who ever makes such a claim... So you're probably okay.
  11. Bill MD

    Bill MD New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Berlin, MD
    Crawl Space

    What is the best way to take care of damp crawl space? I hear there are 2 ways. One is to add ventilation. The other is to completely seal the crawl space by putting a vapor barrier over the ground and up the walls, sealing the vents, and installing a dehumidifier. Anyone have thoughts on which is the best way to go?
  12. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I have dealt with mold and I think the best way to go is a match and a gallon of gas, :D

    It also works for bees and nosy neighbors.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2007
  13. they both work. Moving air works as a dessicant to mold, which needs h20 molecules and air together in a stable environment. Moving air is like friction to mold. And it makes some h20 evaporate too, even if the air is moist to start with.

    Dry air is impossible to grow mold in. There is no need for a fan turning the air around when there is already a dehumidifier, since the dehumidifier is a fan, or acts as a fan.

    david
  14. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    When i got mold in my basement we (my wife and I) looked into what we needed to solve the problem and found some info online that said "you need to close the windows and run a dehumidifier". I'm not questioning you just asking and commenting. Wish i found you sooner
  15. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
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    Imagine

    Running a dehumidifier works very well but I think first the problem needs to be solved as to why it is wet or humid. You will need a plumber. I run a dehumidifier in my garage for most of the day since the problem is pretty extensive and the fix pretty costly.

    When I sell this house I am not going to charge for the extra water under the ground, and I am going to throw in a pair of oars and a life jacket, too.

    I am going to put it in the hands of a real estate office, CHARS...who promises if they can't sell it they will burn it down. Infact, the office is owned by my girlfriend and I. :D

    My camp has a very moldy ceiling. It is virtually not habitable. The mold came from a roof leak. This weekend it is getting all prettied up, new roof, new ceiling---it is being offered for sale.

    The coal room in my house is moldy on the walls right now. It leaks all the way around the house and comes in, in different directions. It kind of makes pretty little streams inside. I have a little neighbor boy, Taz, short for Tazmania devil who admires my bubbling brook inside and sometimes comes over on a rainy day to watch for fish. ( i bought a few goldfish once for him to find)

    We sit with our rods in the basement :D So, make the best of the worst. Kids are great for that and we have so much to learn from them. Imagination and visualization is the key. Imagine your mold is gone...

    If that doesn't work, a match ... and a gallon of ... gas works. :D
  16. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Regarding getting ill: You might have a better chance of experiencing a Yeti sighting or getting devoured by a great white shark is my guess.
    Press hype= sells newspapers.

    My problem was not as bad as yours.....however: I had similar problem 5 years ago. Extreme desert heat really dried up the moisture in my case and mold growth ceased. (110-120) ( I too live in high desert)
    The residual mold on exterior walls was neutralized with a bleach/water spray bottle treatment.
    Walls were primed with a premium primer with mold resistant properties
    prior to painting.

    Mike
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  17. people who work from home offices, and in a cool enough climate that doesn't let them breathe fresh air all the time, are vulnerable to getting gradually weakened by breathing the same old minor mold smell all the time. It could take a long time, but it does have an impact.

    If you get out of the house a lot, and your home isn't a mold colony, you will have a better time dealing with whatever mold there is.

    david
  18. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    The mold in the soon to be gutted bathroom comes from the bath not being vented and I suspect lack of cleanliness on the part of the "adult" children living in that section of the house. There is mold on all surfaces that reappears after being sprayed with bleach. We thought the leak was from the water heater ( which was leaking), but something somewhere is still wet. We may not know until the wall are down. I will miss that pink and black tile. It was kind of cool. The inhabitants of that section of the house are always tired, cranky, frequently ill. Let's see if all improves once the place is clean.

    But first, my bathroom.
  19. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
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    I think it is better to always rid whatever place of mold for health reasons. Even if it doesn't or wouldn't cause a disease on a person, I bet it can contribute to not feeling well or even, cause an underlying condition. I am not a nurse nor would I ever be a candidate to be one; although, I was for years a unit sec in medsurge so I saw a few things coming down from the OR. Also, I have been battling NHL and with it a couple bouts of pneumonia. Believe me, I have thought more than once of the mold from my bath. It is now mold free. I am also, NHL free...yeah! and never grumpy.:D

    Maybe, only when a certain someone bugs me. :) hmmm.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  20. skin cells fall off every body, clean or not.

    david
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