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Stephen123 12-29-2010 10:04 AM

Need help for black mold infestation under wood floor
New user here, hi!

The backstory goes like this: my bedroom recently developed a musty smell. After inspecting everything, I found the source: the radiator piping had developed a leak inside the wall, under the wood floor. (Forgive my photography, I know it sucks! :) )

Once the leak was fixed and the floor dried, I noticed that a type of black-green mold had developed on the affected areas: the source of the dusty smell. Searching online, I found lots of alarming material on black mold and its effects on health - which could indeed explain some allergy-like symptoms I was experiencing that I (or my doctor) couldn't find a source for.

Now, my question is this: how should I proceed with removal? Initially, I hoped that bleach and backing soda would take care of the infestation and stem future growth. However, after taking photos under the floor, I am not so sure this is going to be so easy after all.

Is it possible (and *safe*) to work on my own? My current thinking is to remove more wood floor to determine the extent of the infestation, clean the debris, use a fungicidal and replace the floor. Would this be enough? Any precautions I should take?

Alternatively, should I contact a cleaning service? How much can I expect this to cost, in general?

How would you proceed?

Edit: oops, should have used thumbnails instead of the whole pictures!

AllanJ 12-30-2010 09:00 AM

The mission is simple, remove or kill all the mold. In the process the bleach may damage wood and plaster and other materials and you will damage wood and plaster and other materials in the quest to find all the mold. You have no choice in this matter.

Remove and discard soft material such as insulation.

Hang up a curtain (or plastic sheeting), taping it to the ceiling, walls, and floors, to isolate the moldy area from the rest of the house while you are working. If all the pieces removed are wet with bleach prior to being carried through the house to be discarded, the chances of getting mold elsewhere are greatly reduced. Some folks recommend wearing a coverall suit while in the work area and take that off before leaving although the benefits of this are dubious if you need to make several trips in and outcarrying the moldy materials out. Having an open window nearby where you can throw the moldy materials out is useful.

Stephen123 12-30-2010 11:01 AM

Thank you, this is useful. I'm still researching available options before committing to any specific course of action. In the meantime, I have sealed the room off.

I have seen someone recommend dry ice to kill mold. Does anyone have an opinion on the effectiveness of that?

BigMan926 12-31-2010 06:58 PM

I've seen the dry ice approach work but essentially it's done like sand-blasting. The dry ice is blown directly at the problem with high pressure equipment. It's extremely effectively but it's not something you can do on your own...hire the work out.

Floor Doc 12-31-2010 07:25 PM

This is what to use . although bleach will kill the mold , it won't keep it from coming back .

Microban Disinfectant Spray - Mildewcide, Bactericide, Fungicide, Deodorizer, Anti-Microbial

hoz49 12-31-2010 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by Floor Doc (Post 560004)
This is what to use . although bleach will kill the mold , it won't keep it from coming back .

Microban Disinfectant Spray - Mildewcide, Bactericide, Fungicide, Deodorizer, Anti-Microbial

+1 Microban is the way to go.Bleach kills but the mold can grow right back.

Stephen123 01-01-2011 02:36 PM

Thank you, this looks very promising!

Will keep you updated.

Floor Doc 01-01-2011 02:48 PM

Microban is used for sewer backups to . it is what is used in the trade .
Good luck.

Daniel Holzman 01-01-2011 03:27 PM

Mold only grows when the temperature is high enough, there is available moisture, there is a suitable substrate, and there is food. The temperature is almost always high enough in your house, wood and drywall are excellent substrates, and drywall is a food source for mold. The limiting factor is generally moisture, since there are always mold spores in the air and on the floor.

Take away the moisture, and mold will not grow. So you use whatever product you choose to kill the mold (I have used bleach myself, not familiar with dry ice or microban), throw out any damaged material that cannot be repaired (in my experience, drywall is not worth salvaging), dry out the location, and if there are no leaks the mold will not return.

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