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bluefoxicy 11-27-2012 07:45 AM

Mold and spores
So the house I bought had a slight amount of mold. The apartment I was in apparently had a lot... I guess mold is a pest, it's alive and I don't want it in my house right?

The house has a little mold in the basement just along one wall, very little; the wall has water coming in because water is pooling at the foundation of the house, an issue I'll fix by correcting the gutter downspout (it dumps water at the foundation) and the grade of the back yard (it slopes toward the house). For now I've sprayed that mold with Moldex, and I've added a dehumidifier set to 45% to keep the area dry and hostile for mold.

Problem: when dry, mold spores.

A year ago I started itching like hell and developing tons of rashes. Found out the girls downstairs had visible mold growing from the ceiling, coming from my apartment. Now, with the basement in my house dehumidified, when I go down there I start developing rashes immediately. I need a shower and fresh clothes after a visit down there. There's no insulation, so I guess it could only be mold spores.

So currently, my plan is as follows:
  • Add a filter to the furnace (I didn't put one in yet, not sure what size it takes)
  • Add a HEPA filter of some kind (actual HEPA, at least MERV 5, preferably MERV 9 or higher) to the basement
  • Regularly vacuum and occasionally steam-clean the carpet until I replace it with wood
  • Regularly (every other day) wash the shikibuton cover, pillow covers, and blankets
Anti-histamines totally eliminate the reaction for about 6 days on one dose, but I should really remove the mold spores.

Is all this sensible?

Thunder Chicken 11-27-2012 06:57 PM

A good scrub with a bleach-water solution will do the trick on concrete (and other places, for that matter). Get the water issue sorted out first. You might have to get the concrete sealed against water infiltration.

Everything else seems sensible. You'll never completely get rid of the spores (they are everywhere) but if you keep things dry things should be OK. Make sure not to store cardboard or other mold-food down there.

bbo 11-27-2012 07:42 PM

if you suspect mold in the carpet and/or pad, best to just get rid of it right away. I'm not a fan of carpet below grade, if that's where it is.

user1007 12-04-2012 05:30 PM

You might want to pursue some allergy patch tests. Not saying your problem is not mold and I was once diagnosed with environmental pneumonia for lack of anything else that made sense.

Skin rashes tend to suggest to me you are encountering something other than mold to make you itchy.

creeper 12-29-2012 08:20 AM


bbo 12-29-2012 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by creeper (Post 1081747)

yes, think kids with lice .. .itchy yet? :laughing:

creeper 01-02-2013 07:00 AM


gobug 01-02-2013 09:17 AM

Your plan is only preventive, not elimination. Those steps would be good after elimination.
Elimination is not easy.

If this were my place, I would obtain a fogging machine and fog a good disenfectant onto all surfaces. That could involve removal of interior wall coverings, like drywall, plaster lathe, plywood.....This would require a full face respirator and a plastic suit.

The disenfectant I would select would be EnviroCare. I think it is better than Chlorox for dealing with fungi or bacteria.

Chlorox, etal, on the surface of concrete will not do anything but kill the stuff on the surface. If the problem comes from the ground into the concrete, it would be even more difficult to solve.

Seek help. I don't know where you are, but I suspect there is some organization (like state level - not EPA) who can give you some specifics on what you are dealing with.

Good luck.

CaptRandy 01-03-2013 06:52 PM

might want to check out

Maintenance 6 01-04-2013 08:31 AM


Originally Posted by CaptRandy (Post 1085656)

Looks like a great biocide. At $68.00 per gallon it ought to be. Doesn't say a thing about fungicidal properties. If you've got mold growing on a masonry surface, scrub it down with a mild bleach solution (no more than 10%). Masonry does not contain any significant organic material. Therefore it will not support mold growth. In fact the PH for concrete is way out of range to support fungi. Any mold living on a masonry surface is thriving on collected organics (dust) on the surface. A scrub down with a stiff brush, a cleaner and then a rinse will remove it.

Remove the mold colonies and you will significantly reduce the spore count. I said "reduce", not eliminate. It is impossible to completely eliminate mold spores. The last breath you took included at least several, no matter where you were (unless you were breathing medical grade bottled oxygen :wink:).

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