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Old 08-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #1
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Issue with mold on subfloor

Having an issue with some mold and I'm hoping someone here can at least calm me down a bit. We have had some leaks on and off in our unfinished basement under the front door for quite a while now. I thought it was coming through the cracks in the foundation but I looked again last night and I now see that it must be coming from higher up, i.e. under the door frame. Well, needless to say, the subfloor right next to the has a black moldy, rotten spot about 1' X 1' in about three different places. I assume I will need to pull that section out and replace it. Has anyone had to do this before? This is the only place in the entire house that I know of with any mold issues. I'm having an expert look at it tomorrow but now I'm freaking out about having my 1 year old in the house with the presence of this little bit of mold. Any one experience this?


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Old 08-19-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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Mix some chlorine bleach with water (50/50) and spray the area. You will kill the mold in minutes. End of problem for now.

Then use spray foam to close the breech. Once the foam has expanded and set, trim it and pretty it up with one of your favorite steak knives and then seal it with caulk.

DON'T FREAK! You don't even know that any of you would be bothered by mold to begin with. Mold isn't necessarily harmful to everyone. Stop feeding it and it will go away. You can kill it in the next fifteen minutes.


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Old 08-20-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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Please whatever you do, do not spray bleach on that mold.

You do not need to freak out but, the moldy patches of sub-floor will need to be removed and discarded and organic and porous surfaces touched by mold. According to the US Center for Disease Control there is no safe or effective way to remove mold from wood or any organic, porous surfaces.

These materials need to be removed and discarded. Bleach won't kill it and might do even more harm. Mold is a living thing and it has a survival instinct. When under attack with bleach, some say it might release more spores in the air in an attempt to survive.

Airborne spores can make sensitive people sick and cause a bigger mold infestation in other parts of the house.

Once you discard the moldy materials, take the time to find the source of the moisture and fix it, because if you don't, the mold will come back.

Only very few species of mold are toxic, and the CDC recommends that you don't bother testing, but just remove it instead, because even the non-toxic species release spores that can trigger allergy symptoms in sensitive people, including small children.

In addition, the same conditions that favor mold growth, also attract dust mites. Dust mite pellets are the number one cause of indoor allergies in the US.

Both mold and dust mites need two things to grow, organic matter and relative humidity levels at or above 60% . In a house, you can't get rid of organic matter. So you are left with controlling the moisture.

Fix the leak and run a dehumidifier to lower the RH levels to around 50% and you will never have to worry about mold or dust mites again. Mold will dry out and stop releasing spores. Dust mites will dehydrate and die.

If your baby or anyone in the family begins to develop allergy symptoms in the meanwhile, just get them out of the house until the moldy patches are discarded.

I have a baby who is allergic to mold. There is nothing to be freaking out about as mold is everywhere, but you do want to minimize the child's contact with the mold in the house.

Here's a link to CDC that might help you
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:29 PM   #4
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Bleach is ok but I prefer to use vinegar with water if it's necessary to treat/kill the mold (sometimes it is necessary and preferable - even if it's just temporary - to prevent it from spreading before you have time to actually fix the problem)

Vinegar (white vinegar) is non-toxic and does a great job and is by far more ideal than bleach ... and it's cheaper.

Once the seciton of rotted wood is removed you should run some tests to find the leaks and then fill them in with an appropriate sealant. Odds are your old sealant is brittle and cracked and just needs to be removed and replaced.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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Democrats! they are all the same.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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I have read and found that a 10% bleach/water solution works the best. Anything stronger is not as effective.
Be safe, G


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