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Old 12-07-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


I am having trouble deciding what is the smarter thing to do. One person tells me one thing another tells me another. I am looking for more information.

I am going to drywall my basement. When I pulled down some of the old paneling there was a bunch of black fuzzy stuff behind the plastic. Is this mold?

Should I rip everything down and basically start from scratch, or should I just drywall over the paneling and leave it how it is? There is (and possible are) rip/s in the plastic barrier.

I have photos to help.







Thanks for your help and advice!

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:21 PM   #2
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


Yes it is mold , You may be seeing some health problems in your home if you don't get rid of it. I suggest removing all plastic but make sure you use a good breathing mask recommended for mold. This stuff can make your whole family sick. When you re-do the basement make sure you get some air flow behind the wall and use a quality de-humidifier. After it is cleaned also use a sealer type primer to encapsulate the possible spores that may still be in the block. Good luck and be careful.

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


Thanks Paul. Do know what kind of mold it is?
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:43 PM   #4
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


BAD MOLD BAD Any mold like that is serious. On thing that will help kill it, get a garden sprayer, the pump up tank critters, fill it with a 75% bleach and 25% water mix, spray the area and it will kill the mold. How you contain the mess I dont know but you need to do that also.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:52 PM   #5
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


What confuses me about this is it's almost like a fiber. Someone told me it was insulation that fell between the barrier and the cement. It still doesn't look right.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:52 PM   #6
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


The mold grew because there was no insulation between the wall and the room. Because a warm space touched the cool space it condensates. Next time place plastic on the wall and seal it with a tar / chalk. Stud the walls and then insulate the walls.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:04 AM   #7
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


You can verify that it's mold by doing the bleach thing. Just try spraying a small area with 50/50 bleach / water. If the "mold" instantly goes from black to brown or yellow - green it was mold. If there is no color change - it might be something else, like you suggest.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster View Post
BAD MOLD BAD Any mold like that is serious. On thing that will help kill it, get a garden sprayer, the pump up tank critters, fill it with a 75% bleach and 25% water mix, spray the area and it will kill the mold. How you contain the mess I dont know but you need to do that also.
Do NOT spray 75% bleach inside your home, anytime, anywhere. 10% bleach,90% water is more than sufficient. The fumes and chlorine gases created by greater concentrations will cause more health problems than the mold may. Spray it. wipe up the mess, clean everyrthing well. dry it out and solve the moisture problem before you rebuild. And don't over react. It's mold. It's not some alien life form.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:18 PM   #9
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


Another thing is it looks like your studs that are fastened to the cement walls are not pressure treated. If it were me i would rip everything including the studs down and start over. I would frame the basement with actual 2x4 studs with a 1" gap in between the cement and stud wall. Insulate the stud wall and then use plastic and then drywall.

As for the mold i have read a 50/50 mixture is what you are supposed to use.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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It only takes 2.4% Sodium Hypochlorite (the active ingredient in Bleach) to not only kill mold and spores, but to break down even the base proteins that compose them. That is per the University of Arizona, Environmental Research Laboratory. 10% bleach/90% water is plenty and won't be nearly as corrosive on the users lungs or the building components.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:15 PM   #11
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M6 is correct , DO NOT over use the bleach . Take it from someone who has seen a mishap. It is not pretty. The framing with an air gap between the wall and the cement is code here in Michigan. We usually give at least 1/2 between the two walls and make sure the top can breath to the ceiling or floor joist cavity. If you are using plastic behind the drywall this is a must since normal condensation will occur. Like I said earlier make sure you have a good de-humidifier also. After putting all the work into a remodel you don't need to see this re-occur.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:32 PM   #12
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


Whatever you do make certain your doing it based on sound advice. People often offer ideas and experiance, but sometimes the advice is wrong or is otherwise incorrect for your situation. Following wrong advice could have costly consequences. I don't have any suggestions as to determining the correctness of advice other than to do alot of research and reading. Ask questions here, learn more, then read/research more and so on.

I'm facing a mold abatement problem in my basement as well. One common and critical piece of advice I have found, is to eliminate the source of moisture which is allowing the mold to grow. In your case it may just be condesation as JCAHILL4 suggests (post #6). But I wouldn't want to rule out everything else until you know for certain!! And before you invest all that money and labor into drywalling your basement, I would Strongly suggest that you do alot of research on finishing basements before you start!


And I would check into that accoustic ceiling tile before you disturb it. Depending on when those tiles where purchased... there is a good enough chance that those ceiling tiles may contain asbestos, that it is wise to make yourself aware of it! Despite what some people might tell you, asbestos is a real danger. Beyond the risk of cancers, you can be assured that asbestos fibers in your lungs Will cause problems. Your body cannot break down the fibers so it encases them within your lungs and forms permanent scar tissue which affects your breathing. Perhaps you might consider sending a sample to a lab?

Here is a link to DIY removal of a sprayed on textured ceiling (much of it applies to the removal of the tiles). Your state may forbide you from doing it DIY. Check first, and then decide. And know that you will not be able to contain all of the asbestos. I choose to remove it myself. I didn't know that it had asbestos but I assumed it did. I invested in the precautions, knowing I couldn't possibly contain all the fibers. Due to financial constraints, I felt forced to do this on my own, but I wouldn't recomend it. Here is a site you might use to gain more knowledge regarding asbestos in ceiling tiles. There are many more links on that site with a lot of solid info.


Some other links you might find helpfull....

This site has Alot of links/info about mold.
http://www.inspect-ny.com/sickhouse/FindYourOwnMold.htm
and http://www.inspect-ny.com/sickhouse.htm#bannertop

Some US government mold info.
http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/i-e-r.html
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldguide.html
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:47 PM   #13
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


Looks a little brown to me to be mold. If it is mold google it and start reading, some molds are worse than others.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:07 PM   #14
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


Ive read that vinegar is safe and as effective as bleach to kill mold with.
Ive used white vinegar to kill mold in our home and it works very well without any harmful side effects. The white vinegar that you buy from the supermarket reduced to 5% works well.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:09 AM   #15
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Help with black fuzzy stuff


I'm not sure that that is even mold. It looks like it could be dust from the accustic ceiling tiles that has gotten trapped between the plastic sheeting and the wall. Does your house have any Silva Wool insulation (a brown insulation used back in the 50s )? This too can leave behind dust that could settle down from above.
I'd try the diluted bleach and see if it does infact destroy it. If it is mold, most will dissapear within a few minutes of spraying it. If it is just dust from the tiles/insulation it will just make a mess.
Let us know what you find out.

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